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The log home lifestyle is within reach of homeowners everywhere, whether their current homes are of conventional or log construction.  More popular than ever, log additions to existing residential structures are gaining momentum with creativity and affordability. A log addition to a home of any style may be accomplished with planning, consultation, and vision. “The sky is the limit on what you can do with a full-scribe handcrafted log home,” comments Brad Neu, president of Montana Log Homes, “and w…

Dream Escapes

Do you want your vacation getaway home to be an exact duplicate of your main home? Of course not! Your leisure life is far more relaxed and free than your everyday life so you’ll want that to be reflected in your home away from home. Perhaps you are attracted to a different architectural and decorative style that you’d like to explore. Go a bit more sleek and modern or maybe indulge your love for a rustic, natural feel. If the colors used in your main home are neutral, take a chance …

Ensuring Energy Efficiency

Considering the rising costs of energy and the environmental awareness that is so necessary as natural resources become more scarce every day, log home owners are taking advantage of opportunities to maximize the energy efficiency of their homes on a regular basis. While doing so, they discover not only that savings in real dollars may be substantial, but also that their personal impact on the environment is becoming “greener.” Those who are constructing their log homes and those who are purchasing an e…

Passive Solar Principles

Who hasn’t been drawn to the warmth of a sunny spot on a cold day, or cooled off in the shade during the dog days of summer? Passive solar design takes that natural comfort and incorporates it into the design of your house. Put simply, you can design your home to gather and make use of the sun’s light and warmth in the winter, while minimizing the warming effects of the sun in the summer. The result: a comfortable, bright, efficient home.  There are many factors to take into consideration when inco…

The Battle of the Budget

For those who embark on the journey of building the log or timber home they have always wanted, one point become clear early in the process. The dream may be realized only within the boundaries of what the budget will bear. Finding the necessary balance between building and budget is a curious combination of art and science, aspiration and reality. Taking some time to consider the parameters that must guide the building process reduces stress while saving later effort and money. “W…

Designing a Log Home for Easy Exterior Maintenance

We all dream of living in a log home. But what we don’t dream about is spending countless hours maintaining that home. The good news is that if you build it right in the first place, maintenance won’t be an issue. To help with that effort, we spoke to several experts about what it takes to design a log home for minimal exterior maintenance. Here’s what they had to say.  1. Examine the Overhangs Most wood rot and damage comes from water splashing onto the logs. If your roof overhangs adequately in a…

DIY? The Pros and Cons of Building Your Own Home

Log homes have come a long way from the days of Little House on the Prairie and Grizzly Adams. Modest one- and two-room cabins have given way to multilevel showstoppers that are equal parts art and architecture. Still, the yearning to invest sweat equity remains strong for some log home owners. There is romanticism to knowing you built your home with your own two hands. At the advent of the modern log home industry in the 1960s and 197…

Planning Exterior Spaces

Some of my favorite time at home is spent on a quiet spring afternoon, sitting on my deck listening to the rain hit the metal roof overhead. Whether it’s watching the sun set on a long, lazy summer evening, entertaining family around an outdoor fire pit, or playing a friendly game of flag football on the lawn, our time spent outdoors is the stuff memories are made of. Many of us choose our home’s location specifically for the abundant natural beau…

Luxury Living for Less

Along the road to log home ownership, you will eventually hit the inevitable speed bump of wants versus budget. “Wants versus needs” might be the first thing that comes to mind, but a log home has to have the basic needs in order to receive a certificate of occupancy: logs, a kitchen, an HVAC system, a roof, etc. It’s when you you start putting in the wants from your own personal list that your budget gets stretched. You want to infuse your home with the things that will tru…

Design for Living

The esteemed poet and author Maya Angelou once said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” What we know about energy efficiency has increased exponentially in recent years. So now that we know better, there’s no excuse for not doing better when it comes to homebuilding. Not only are energy-efficient building practices an important way to preserve the environment, they lead to a more comfortable home and can also save you money—…

All the House for a Fraction of the Cost

Fractional ownership, also known as “shared ownership,” is a concept often lumped in with timeshares, but they’re only distantly related. Like a timeshare, you have access to a piece of property for a specified period of time each year, which varies depending on the number of owners who  share each property. However, the key distinction between fractional ownership and a timeshare is that in fractional ownership, you buy deeded real estate—you buy a home—n…

Buying & Developing Your Site

Building a log or timber home in a rural area and/or on undeveloped land can present a unique set of challenges that most other homeowners don’t have to manage. Even if you’ve already selected the perfect plot of land for your new abode, there are certain considerations that must be factored in before moving forward with the site preparation and the actual home construction. If you haven’t found the right place yet, on the other hand, you’ll want to find a real estate broker who knows the intri…