Hi Joe, Go to Katahdincedarloghomes and learn about the difference Cedar makes. In 25 years I have built with many species and I have learned plenty about logs. When selecting a company to supply your materials you will find all the information you need to make an informed decision. The log home industry has come a long way since I started and continues to develop. Good Luck, Jim and Pam Katahdin Cedar Log Homes
Hi Joe, Greg Beck Here. I was getting ready to try and join my 6 x 6 post beams, which will be supported by my post on my wrap around porch . Once the post and beams are in I can start my trusses that will allow me to cover my entire porch with roofs I figured I would just center the posts directly under the center of the shiplap joint and run a huge lag bolt down through the joint and into the post to help with high winds once its all done with trusses and a roof. Thought u might like to know what I was doing, you seem to have good advise. Thanks a bunch Joe ! Greg In MO.
Haven't visited any establishments in Elmira - but now I may have to!! So you visit Lynnette's funtime website too? She has great info - I will need to give her a plug. I have a link for her on my log cabin blog.
Joe - is it possible Larry's Bar was renamed? We are actually in Waters w/ a Gaylord Address. The snowmobile trail starts right around the corner from us! Right on Old 27 is the Keg Bar and the Stampede Saloon (our personal favorite - best buffalo wings, live music and the nicest owners in the world!) This past winter was probably the best for snowmobilers in a long time! Thank you for your kind comments on my blog! :-)
Joe - hello from a fellow Michigander! We live in Dearborn and recently built our vacation log home in Northern Michigan. My husband and I have thought about in the future when we retire and build our "permanent" log home - about areas such as TN, N. Carolina and Montana. What made you choose TN?
All the best with your plans!
P.S. Cute dog!
It's really interesting ... you and I are running into some of the same problems. For example, proximity to health care was and to some extent still is one of our concerns. We have found a major medical center about (the magic numbers) 15 minutes from our property. That's good but what happens in an emergency. Here in Sarasota we can usually get help in about 10 minutes (although the wait in the emergency room can be 4 hours). I'm not sure a helicopter would help if time was of the essence. Even more important to us is trying to find a good doctor that we are comfortable with. I haven't solved that one yet.
We did buy property in a community that is "somewhat" deed restricted. It's not a planned community per say but there is an association that controls the kind of homes that come into the development. No trailers or mobile homes or using your property for camping or commercial purposes.
But, to us, the best thing about the association is that there is a group that we can make a connection with and something to be involved with. It's a way to make instant "friends".
I know exactly what a Telleco model is now that you have described it for me. Actually, we were interested in the design you are talking about until we changed our own layout objectives. We too found that furniture placement was difficult. We were not crazy about the prow front but that is personal preference. By the way, I assume that you are still looking for a piece of property close to water, how is that exercise coming?
Talking about slopes and everyones definition of a slope, I describe my property, which is pie shaped and the wide part of the pie is where the house will go, as being just a slight slope, as you continue down towards the point of the pie (about 250 feet) it gets steeper but still walkable ( another 300 feet) and the last 50 to 75 feet are too steep for any practical use. I wanted to attach a few pictures but couldn't figure out how to do it.
I think septic approvals have to meet the same criteria in TN and NC. We have a 3 bedroom septic approval but are planning to have a loft area where we can put up more people if necessary. We also plan to finish part of the under house basement into living quarters. By law this cannot be called a bedroom but rather a game room or second family room or some other nonsense like that. The septic guys know what you are planning to do and the septic tank sizes are planned accordingly. In my part of NC you have to have a primary field and then a secondary overflow field.
Yes, we are going to use square logs with dove tail ends and a space between logs to do chinking. This chinking thing is still another consideration but I'll get into that at some future time. Everyone has an opinion about kiln drying vs. air drying too . After reading all the arguments for each I think it's 6 of 1 ... Perhaps there is a slight edge to kiln drying because of the moisture control factor. But keep in mind that our ancestors didn't have kilns and some of these houses are still around after 200 years. Maybe the kind of wood you use is important but I don't know enough about that to have an opinion.
Your comment about atrium ceilings goes back to what I said in my last email, you might have to design a Florida log home. I live in a 2000 square foot town house. I have 2 floors and in all honesty have never had a problem with noise passing from one room to the next. If my current house were made of logs it would resemble the house we want to build.
I will give you a call but for other bloggers following this, your thoughts are well founded. Going from "city" surroundings to the woods is a major decision especially when you are going into the "bible belt" of TN. Everything has its plus's and minus. I have timed traveling here in Sarasota and have found it takes about 15 minutes to get to grocery store and 20 minutes to get to Home Depo. TN is just about the same although greater distances. I noticed in TN they talk in terms of time to something while in FL we talk in terms of miles. My biggest concern is the time for medical help to a well equiped hospital. I know in TN you can sign up for an air ambulance service to get you to Knoxville quickly. This all becomes important when deciding where to put that log home as we aren't as young as we used to be. This is another reason that we would like to be in a planned community with year round neighbors. The Watts Bar lake area tends to more this way.
The Telleco model is essentially offered by most log home builders. From the top it looks like a + sign or more often a T. Typically with a big peaked window wall in the middle on the view side usually using dormers on either side. Many offer the "prow" window in this center section which sticks out like the bow of a ship. This improves the view when in the family room but drives the cost up as the basement underneath must be the same to support this "prow". It also presents problems with furniture inside.
The garage underneath is by far the cheapest solution to the garage problem and takes advantage of a huge space that is wasted unless you want 5-6 bedrooms. The stairs is the big negative but your solution is good. A side note is that in TN. septic code is based on bedrooms not bathrooms. I see houses advertised with a permit for 3 bedrooms yet the house has 5. Somebody is going to pay a lot of money for frequent pumpouts of the tank.
You previously mentioned the building sites with the steep slopes. Some I have looked at you need to be a mountain goat. The view is great but the owners have literally put in a tram system to get down to the dock versus the stair case from hell. The driveways are actually scary on some of these houses and would be impossible to climb in snow or if covered with wet leaves in the fall. The slope certainly make it easy to put in a walk out basement and in many cases the foundation is easy to build if you don't hit TN rock. I have also learned that the "flat" lot normally means your lakefront leaves you in the winter as the water is normally shallow too. The problems of paradise.
I agree with your use of flat logs which is referred to as a Genesis log by several of the suppliers. Log home owners have told me that the round log inside is a big dust trap and I also suspect it cuts down on reflective light which I'm trying to avoid. I am also convinced that the kiln dried log is the only way to go to minimize the settling issue and help solve the bug problem.
As you know, in Fl the rage is the atrium family room with 20+ feet ceiling heights. I spent 6 weeks in a house like this and the noise level was terrible in the house. When in the upstairs bedrooms you could hear everything in the family room. I don't know if the log walls help to cure this but things such as using rugs on the second floor in the bedrooms and solid wood doors with good seals on the bottom might along with the insulated inside walls. My wife always complains that I blast the surround system so this is on my check list.
You make a lot of interesting points Joe. First, I would be happy to meet with you to discuss your objectives and mine. I have a one man handyman/carpentry business and like everything else in our economy my business is slow right now. I don't know what your schedule is like but if you want to meet, give me a call.
My phone number is 941-379-0535.
One good thing on my end, my wife loves log homes even more than I do, so I don't have any problems convincing her of anything pertaining to design. Actually, she loves the look of the original log homes, but they are even to cramped feeling for me. I think I mentioned to you that we are talking to people at Top-Notch Homes in Waynesville, NC. What we have done with them is combine two models and then made changes to them. Currently we are at about 2200 square feet and trying to keep it at that.
Regarding getting light into the place, we have altered the design so that we are able to get two decent sized trapezoid widows on one side of the house. It's still not a chalet but it is, in our judgement, a workable compromise.
Location, location, location. We looked in TN for a while but being close to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg was just too crazy for us. Where we are in NC, it's more undeveloped. I don't think your wife would like our area. Our property is 20 minutes from just about anything and 35 minutes from Asheville. No lake of any size nearby. But I do have over three acres and the views are great.
Just between us kids, I think you are going to have a bit of an uphill battle selling your wife on the mountain living lifestyle, especially if she is fond of Florida living. I somehow feel that you are going to have to design a log home that looks like a Florida house.
Regarding your concerns about having to walk upstairs, when you get to that stage of life, well, we are already retired and have thought of that too and although it is not a 100% solve to the problem, we are planning to have the excavation done so that the back entrance of the house is on the same level as the "higher" driveway but there would be a lower entrance to the garage. The garage being under the house. That way, if worse came to worse, we could leave the car at the back door. We have also considered a simple elevator lift but have not gotten beyond thinking about it.
Geothermal heating and cooling is a great concept. The downside is the cost. I've been told that it costs about 4 times as much as a traditional heat pump. But if we can swing it we will be installing geothermal.
I tried finding the Telleco model in the Blue Ridge web site and couldn't find it. Who's model is this?
Hi Joe, I'm still trying to figure out how this communications stuff works here. From what I see looking at your site that you never got the response I sent to you after your comments to me. What I have done (below) is copied and pasted the email I think you never got. If you did already get it just ignore all this rambling.
Comment by Ted on August 8, 2008 at 6:46pm
I don't know why I didn't realize it before but you live in Sarasota too. I live in a community called Bent Tree, if you know where that is. I think that you are being very generous when you say that the market here in Florida is not the greatest. I, like some of the other members of our group from Florida, have been trying to sell our home for quite a while now but as you well know, can't get enough money out of our homes to build the log homes we want. My wife and I have decided that we will put our house on the market in the fall of 2009 and hope for the best (offer).
Getting back to Blueridge Homes, I think they are a good deal if you can stay within there guidelines. As I said in my earlier email, they have a problem when you ask them to deviate from their standard designs. The company I am negotiating with, Top Notch Log Homes of Waynesville,NC are only 20 minutes from where I intend to build, so freight is not as issue and they have come in with a dri-in price of just about $100.00 per square foot. I just haven't been able to beat that. For that price they will put up the house (about 2100 square feet) They will use 6" x 12" square dove tailed logs, install all exterior and interior doors and windows (also included), install the "full" roof and do all three porches and decks. They will also install all interior wall partitions. Being that I will be my own gc I will take on the rest of the responsibilities like, excavating, foundations, well drilling, septic installation, HVAC, electrical rough is, plumbing rough in, all interior finishing. Wow, I'm tired already. I figure that it will take me (conservatively) about a year to do my end of the house. Just some more stuff for you to consider when you start building.