Making this Log Home Project Happen.

October 25th, 2007

As an architectural firm that specializes in the design of log homes, we see many different projects with an array of build site conditions and design specifications. But, this log home design story is unique. It is a story of a challenging build site and a client’s rather unique design request.

When we first met with this Florida client, we learned that he was looking to build a handcrafted log home in Breckenridge, CO. Great! Sounds rather straightforward, right? This client currently resides in a very nice French Country style home in the beautiful Sunshine State – a flatlander’s paradise. Completely in love with the home he has lived in for years, this Florida client tells us that he wants his home – the floor plan exactly as is – to sit on his steep build site in Breckenridge, CO.

Now, when I say steep, I am not using the word lightly. My colleague and I flew into Colorado for a site visit to meet our client’s builder at a restaurant that sits only 7 blocks from where we were staying — what we thought would be an easy walk. After a steep climb, and a few fast beating hearts, we found ourselves at the restaurant and unable to talk as we were so out of breath. We then realized we were in a town that was 7,000 feet higher than home.  But what a terrific view on the customer’s property! As we gained our breaths and looked around, we began to understand our client’s desire to build his log home on that very spot in Breckenridge, CO.

It is while we stood there taking in the view that we truly realized the scope of the task ahead of us. Not only were we faced with a challenging build site, but we also had to find a way to squeeze a handcrafted log version of our client’s Florida home on the steep ground we were standing on and stay under the height limit imposed by the CC&R’s.

As if the challenging build site and unique floor plan layout were not enough, a quick review of the development’s CC&Rs revealed that we were faced with a few more challenges. From ridge lengths to wall heights, the list of design dos and don’ts began to grow. And, to top it all off, our client has the great pleasure of building his log home next to two members of the development’s design review board; two members interested in watching his every move.

In the log home design business, you learn to embrace and even welcome every challenge. From the steep build site to the development’s strict guidelines, we will make this log home dream a reality for our Florida client. As for the design review board members…all we can say is, “Go ahead. Keep watching our every move. We are well on our way to making it happen!”

See 65+ log home plans at PrecisionCraft’s Floor Plan Gallery.

Frank Lloyd Wright & Log Homes?

October 12th, 2007

You could feel the energy in last week’s log home design meeting escalate at the mention of Frank Lloyd Wright. Our client, infatuated with the crisp clean architecture found in Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, challenged us to mix in elements of his favorite architecture with our square log walls.

As the design meeting kicked off, the team found itself working with a list of spaces and dimensions rather than a sketch of the home. From this list of spaces and dimensions, we began to assign relationships and ended up with a bubble diagram to give the client a feel for the general shape of his log home floor plan. Eureka, we were on the right track. Now, we just had to refine these relationships and put a scale to it all. The result is remarkable; a contemporary modern layout which emulates Wright’s genius for this type of design.

This unique log home will be built in Steamboat Springs, CO. A place where Frank Lloyd Wright will meet the Rockies. A log home with horizontal lines and low pitched, hipped roofs is the perfect contrast to the tall peaks of the Rockies.

The envy set in as we all began to imagine sitting in the glass walled space inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, looking out over the terrace to a high mountain meadow and lake with the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop. Yes, we are on the right track; on our way to creating a simply amazing log home design. Every log home design meeting is different. Learn more about M.T.N Design and their exclusive log home designs.

M.T.N Design are the industry’s finest log home designers.

The Outdoors at the Heart of Your Log Home Plan

October 3rd, 2007

Alderbrook Log Home Floor Plan - A Log Home for the Great Outdoors A prospective client’s love for the great outdoors inspired the creation of this log home floor plan design, The Alderbrook.

With the natural environment at the heart of the Alderbrook log home plan, enjoying the outdoors just got easier. A screened-in porch complete with a fireplace is perfect for warming up the chilly evenings. The Indian summer days are best enjoyed on the open deck or over breakfast on the dining porch.

This unique design concept initiated out of Log Home Living’s new feature You Dream, We Design. Log Home Living asked M.T.N Design to design a log home plan based on a prospective client’s needs and desires. The results, published online, were astonishing! After hearing many great comments regarding the design’s focus on the outdoors, PrecisionCraft decided to make the design September’s “Log Home Design of the Month.”

Every new floor plan created by the team at PrecisionCraft and M.T.N Design is professionally rendered to help clients think about the look and feel they want in their log home. As rendered, the Alderbrook shows how a combination of materials – log, timber, glass, & stone – can work together to create a one-of-a-kind log home. Clients looking for classic log homes or a full timber frame homes can work with their M.T.N designer to customize the Alderbrook to match their own architectural style preference.

As drawn, the estimated turnkey cost of the Alderbrook is $530,000. This estimate reflects PrecisionCraft’s past log home building experiences and average construction costs generated by 3rd party, national data (RS Means Data). M.T.N Design works to refine this turnkey cost estimate, which may be more or less taking into consideration a client’s specific build location, build site conditions, and design modifications. Learn more about this log home turnkey cost estimating service provided to PrecisionCraft’s clients.

When a Log Home Plan Has You Sleeping Under the Stars

September 21st, 2007

It was a typical design meeting where a client had selected one of PrecisionCraft’s  log home plans as a starting point for the design of his own log home.

As with every design meeting, this one took a unique turn with the discussion of the client’s vision for his Master Bedroom. Looking for a connection to the outdoors, the client began to tell a story…a story that illustrates a theme that we, as log home designers, hear all of the time. It begins with a love for the outdoors and the need to have a home that “takes in” the outdoors.

This client shared his story of a friend that “put his bed on rails.” What in the world did the client mean by this? Well, after some explanation, we discovered that their friend decided to have rails installed – rails that connected his bedroom to the deck outside. With a love for the outdoors, this rail system allowed their friend to simply push his bed outside and sleep under the stars. An interesting way to stay connected with the outdoors, don’t you think?

The “rail system” is an unusual solution and may not appeal to most people. However, it does make you think about the importance of designing a log home that works with the outdoors.

After some brainstorming, an old fashioned sleeping porch off the master suite might just do the trick. It could be a screened-in porch or something more like a Sunroom. A gazebo might also be an idea…maybe a porch of some sort with skylights or an open gable. Once you let your imagination wander, the possibilities begin to come to light. This client will have the log home he has envisioned for so long — a log home that flows effortlessly to the outdoors!

Take a look at some of PrecisionCraft’s award-winning log home plans and let your own imagination wander.

Finding a Little Inspiration for Your Own Log Home.

September 19th, 2007

Fine Tuning Your Log Home Vision

What is the purpose of showcasing different log home floor plans?

To inspire you. To get you thinking about your own unique home – whether it be a rustic log home, an artfully crafted timber frame home, or a hybrid home.  Close your eyes for a moment and imagine walking through the door of your getaway mountain retreat. What do you see when you first walk into your home? Rustic log pillars? A view of the mountainside outside the glass wall facing you? How do you plan to use your home – to entertain? Or, is your home a private retreat for you? As you make the journey up your driveway, what does your home look like? How is it positioned on your land?

One of the best ways to bring your log home vision together is to explore a variety of log home floor plans and to find log home pictures that inspire you.  Then, find an architect experienced at designing log & timber frame homes that is willing to work with you to not only understand your vision but also to brainstorm with you the style, look, feel, layout, and size of your home.

Each month, our architectural division, M.T.N Design, works to create a new log home design. These designs reflect our past experiences with our clients, our architects own passion for log homes, and the latest trends in the log home industry.  Will one of these new log home floor plans meet your every need and expectation? Probably not. But you will find certain features in each plan that inspire you, that make you rethink your own log home vision. In addition, every new floor plan is professionally rendered to help you think about the look and feel of the exterior of your home.  What does your log home, timber home, or hybrid mountain retreat look like? Is it rustic in appearance – much like the Caribou plan? Or, is your dream home more modern in appearance with an eclectic use of materials – much like the Hickory Falls?

But, don’t stop your search with a collection of log home floor plans. Find images that illustrate what you like and what you don’t like.  Pictures not only help you fine tune your vision but also help you communicate that vision to your architect.

It is important to remember that the log home floor plans showcased here in this blog are simply starting points. A good place to bring together different ideas. So, go ahead, start exploring and find what inspires you the most!  Log homes, timber frame homes, & hybrid log & timber homes