PrecisionCraft’s Wood River Log Home Plan features a unique combination of log and timber frame. This customized version takes shape at a beautiful build site in Alberta, Canada.
Recently, Homebuyer Publications, publisher of Log Home Living magazine contacted Jim Young, President of PrecisionCraft Log Homes & Timber Frame for his advice to future log home owners on buying land. This interview, packed full of good land buying tips, is featured in Log Home Living’s 2010 Annual Buyer’s Guide. Get the uncut interview at www.LogHomeBlog.com.
Rustic Handcrafted Log Home in Idaho
Log home enthusiasts worldwide will love PrecisionCraft’s final Inspired Living story. With a 360 degree view of the LemhiRange, access to Idaho‘s finest rivers and headwaters, and a style reminiscent of an old mining town, this handcrafted log cabin home blends modern design with true rustic living!
Over the past few months, PrecisionCraft has presented its Inspired Living stories, real life examples of clients turning M.T.N Design’s concepts into extraordinary log homes. This month, PrecisionCraft takes you on a tour of its final Inspired Living home, a beautiful handcrafted log cabin home nestled in the LemhiRange just outside Mackay, Idaho. Get the full story behind this rustic log cabin home.
Find more design inspiration in PrecisionCraft’s award winning Log Home Plans Gallery. Here you will find PrecisionCraft’s featured Client Variations; examples of how their clients have taken a M.T.N Design plan and customized it to make it their own. Now that’s Inspired Living!
Last month, PrecisionCraft announced its new Inspired Living feature sharing real life stories of how M.T.N Design’s new design creations come to life. This month, the award winning team shows how one log home plan, the award-winning Woodhaven, inspired three separate couples to build their dream homes; each customized to match a different lifestyle, architectural taste and budget.
Read the full Inspired Living story and try out PrecisionCraft’s customized Comparison Tool to see side by side comparisons (photos and floor plans) of each featured home.
This Inspired Living feature begins with an Idaho couple, Sandy and Dennis. For years, this couple dreamed of building a log home. But, it wasn’t until they found PrecisionCraft’s Woodhaven plan that they knew it was time to make that dream a reality. And, with children, grandchildren & a large extended family living within driving distance, they knew their home’s design had to fit their specific, family-centered needs.
Then there is Carol’s story. Inspired by the same Woodhaven floor plan, Carol worked with M.T.N Design, PrecisionCraft’s design firm, to design a home that combined the rustic look and feel of a traditional log home but with a modern twist. From a restaurant style kitchen with movable pieces, easy-to-clean cement floors, and a lower level designed to host parties and entertain guests, every room in her home has an underlying purpose.
Lastly, there is Dave and Penny. This couple wanted a home that would stand out; an authentic, handcrafted log home. Dave and Penny worked with their designer to customize the Woodhaven, room by room, paying close attention to how the logs came together and where stone accents were incorporated.
With an inspiring floor plan and PrecisionCraft’s skilled team of architects, engineers, log & timber manufacturers and builders, each couple started at the same place but ended up with a one-of-a-kind log home, specifically designed to match their own architectural style and budget.
“This is the kind of thing our clients want to see, says M.T.N designer, Matt Franklin. “Real life examples of how their designer can modify a floor plan to match their needs, from simply altering its layout and size to integrating a completely unique combination of log and timber.”
For years, PrecisionCraft and M.T.N Design have released a new log and timber frame home design each month. The purpose? To inspire and excite log home enthusiasts world-wide and to give them a variety of creative plans to browse. With over 65 of M.T.N Design’s most admired log home plans now showcased online, PrecisionCraft’s wide ranging floor plan gallery offers a lot of design inspiration!
So, what’s next for this artistic duo? Showing you how these great designs come to life, of course! Hold on tight as this creative team takes you for a detour over the next four months, sharing real life stories of how M.T.N Design’a new design creations come to life. Get the inside scoop on what inspired each home’s design – was it to build a legacy for family generations to come, to incorporate “green” elements to ensure energy efficiency, or to create an atmosphere of warmth and intimacy? Despite the reason behind the design, you are sure to find inspiration for your own log home design here!
This Month’s Story: Building a Legacy Home – see how Kelly and Marie take M.T.N Design’s Laurette Chateau floor plan and turn it into their own legacy timber frame home!
BONUS Feature! Each online feature story is equipped with an interactive floor plan tool. If you like the layout of the great room and want to see it come to life, simply click on the room… easy as that!
PrecisionCraft and M.T.N Design receive top recognition in the 2009 Log Homes Design Awards! Hosted by Country’s Best, the contest’s judges included the magazine’s editors and contributors. “We thought we’d pack this, our first annual Country’s Best Log Homes Design Awards, with page after page of the most stellar designs the log home industry has to offer,” said the magazine editors.
There were ten categories ranging from Best Staircase Design to Best Master Suite. Take a look at these five “stellar” floor plans, designed by M.T.N Design, that took center stage in this year’s design contest.
Best Plan Over 2,500 Square Feet: The Trailside Log Home Plan
“Sometimes an expansive floor plan can make a home feel more like a museum, but that’s not the case here. Atmosphere-inducing design details create a cozy feel, even with a large footprint.”
“Although the multiple living spaces were designed for a specific purpose, the rooms were laid out in a way that creates an overall plan that flows seamlessly, making the home easy to navigate.” Get a closer look at the Trailside floor plan.
Best Use of Exterior Space: The Washington Harbor Log Home Plan
A single level with lots of character, the Washington Harbor was designed specifically to blend in with its surroundings. The design is drawn at 2,366 sq.ft. Here is what the judges loved most about this custom design:
“Walk out of this timber-heavy design and you’re instantly greeted by a sprawling patio, designed to take advantage of your gorgeous setting.”
“This outdoor living space combines the best aspects of an indoor great room with the open air of outside. Access to this amazing space is gained through the large NanaWall system, which . . . creates a seamless transition from the indoors out.” Close up of the Washington Harbor log home floor plan.
Most Creative Log Home Master Bedroom Suite: The Rockpoint Floor Plan (Modification)
Designed as a milled log home, the Rockpoint is a popular plan. Using the original design as inspiration, the homeowners modified the plan to get this award-winning master suite. Here is what the judges had to say:
“An arched entryway to the bedroom adds dramatic flair to this setting, as does the vaulted ceiling. Private entry to a covered porch with a view completes the five-star hotel effect.”
“Adjacent to the entry hallway—which gives it a presidential-suite feel—a private, bay-window-encased nook can contain the perfect sitting room or walk-in closet.” See the original Rockpoint design.
Other Plans by Mountain Architects Recognized
Multi-Level Log Home Plan: The Hidden Creek Floor Plan
See if the Hidden Creek is your idea of the best multi-level mountain style floor plan.
Most Creative Kitchen: The Hermosa Vista Log Home Plan (Modification)
The Hermosa Vista has a kitchen that flows from the formal dining area and out onto the patio, through the innovative NanaWall™ window. A convenient large pantry with extra oven is the envy of most amateur chefs.
See the entire Hermosa Vista floor plan. Let it inspire your own ideas of perfection.
Orientation to views & working with the slope
Sloped sites go hand-in-hand with scenic views. This is one of the primary reason people build houses on sloping terrain. Usually the steeper the site the more view that is available. Quite often there will be a choice of views and/or slopes on a site. In these cases the best view is the one to build toward and then deal with whatever the slope is in order to enjoy that particular view.
Grade contours at start of design
In order to place and design the house to fit the slope of the land grade contours must be provided to the Architect or Designer at the beginning of the process through a topographic survey. Without these contours the design process becomes guesswork which can lead to unnecessary added expense to the homeowner. . Rules on height limits from Development and Local Building Codes. Another design parameter that is necessary to know at the beginning of the process is what the height and setback limits of the Development and the Local Building Codes are. A working understanding of these parameters will lead to a successful project. Sloped sites can increase the complication of determining these height limits. Obtaining a written version of the authority’s definition helps the designer to understand what the limits are.
Slope dictates daylight basement for economic reasons
Quite often homeowners don’t comprehend the economic advantages of a daylight basement. They miss the point that if you’re building on a sloped site the foundation of the house will need to be much taller on the downhill side of the house. If the slope is steep enough (and more often than not it is) you’ll wind up with enough height inside the foundation walls to have livable space at the basement level (daylight basement). This is a low cost solution for additional livable space.
Drainage on uphill side must be addressed
As a house is placed on a slope the uphill side of the site will naturally drain down into the house. In order to prevent an ugly situation a continuous slope running away from the house must be designed in.
Use of retaining walls uphill and down
In some instances a retaining wall must be place on the uphill side to hold back the slope and create drainage for that side of the house. On the downhill side retaining walls are used to create larger flat areas for patios, etc.
Stepping of Floor Plan to work with the site
Single level ranch style houses don’t work very well on a steep slope. The best solution on a site of this type is to step the house down the slope. This fits the house in with its surroundings and helps solve the Height Limit issue. It also creates a more exciting design and eliminates extra tall foundations.
An Inspired Log Home Design
M.T.N Design’s newest design, the Idlewild, is inspired by Old Tahoe architecture, a style that represents the exquisite beauty of Lake Tahoe as well as the peacefulness of the wilderness surrounding it. Known for its rambling design features, Old Tahoe architecture blends harmoniously with its environment, intertwined with the granite cliffs surrounding the deep blue edge of Lake Tahoe. With the introduction of the Idlewild, M.T.N Design has captured the essence of this unique style and created a spacious home with an intimate feel and abundant character.
View the Idlewild floor plans and elevations.
Build the Idlewild in Two Stages!
The rambling architectural style makes it possible to build your dream home as your budget permits. Start by building the main house with the two bedrooms upstairs. Then, when you are ready, add the garage, luxurious master suite, and upstairs guest room.
Designed by M.T.N Design for PrecisionCraft Log Homes.
With the close of the first month in 2009 just around the corner, Mountain Architects releases its final design in the Rustic Luxury Log Cabins & Plans series. The Truckee log cabin plan is a unique log post and beam design with stone integrated throughout. This single-level log cabin home, with just over 1,500 square feet of livable space, brings together rustic tradition with a touch of elegance. Its layout is simple yet offers the perfect blend of warmth combined with attractive natural materials.
View the Rustic Luxury Truckee Log Cabin Home Plan
The exclusive collection, Rustic Luxury Log Cabins & Plans, recently released by M.T.N Design now features three attractive, unique cabin designs complete with luxurious finishes. Designed for discriminating homeowners who are seeking the best in mountain style living, but in a smaller, more intimate home, this new series offers the perfect blend of warmth, attractive natural materials and high-end finishes.
Targhee Log Home Design
Released in December 2009 is the Targhee Log Cabin Plan. With 2,296 square feet of livable space, the Targhee features a three-level design with a master suite on each level. Unique to this cabin design is a dining space with windows on three sides – perfect for enjoying a great view of the snow covered mountains. The Targhee also features over 600 square feet in porches and decks making it possible to enjoy the outdoors from every floor of this log cabin retreat. The massive stone fireplace just outside the kitchen area on the main level adds character and warmth to this Appalachian style cabin.
Trian, Rustic Luxury Log Cabin
November’s design featured a French Country timber frame cabin – the Trian. This beautiful timber frame cabin home features barreled tile roofing and stone commonly seen in the French Riviera. For a unique look and feel, M.T.N Design also incorporated beveled edge siding as well as beautifully crafted timber frame braces surrounding the large bowed window just off the great room. The large stone fireplace on the open patio completes the look and feel of this Rustic Luxury Log Cabin home.
With 2,039 square feet on the main level, the Trian timber frame floor plan features an open design with bold timber framing throughout the kitchen, dining room and great room areas. With an additional 227 square feet, the loft area is perfect for a library or small office.
Telluride Log Cabin Home
M.T.N Design kicked off the new Rustic Luxury series in October with the Telluride. This luxury, single level log cabin home features a unique combination of stone, bark siding, beautifully crafted character logs, glass and milled log walls.
With 1,560 square feet of livable space, the Telluride log cabin creates a sense of warmth and coziness – truly a cabin in the woods. Its floor plan features a simple layout with vaulted ceilings, dual master suites, and of course, a great room with a view window.
Stay tuned for M.T.N Design’s final addition to the Rustic Luxury series. With the New Year comes the release of M.T.N Design’s best cabin design yet! See the entire line of Rustic Luxury log cabins at PrecisionCraft.com.
Many considerations go into the design of the perfect log home kitchen. Below are a few things to consider in your one-on-one meeting with your M.T.N Design designer.
Architectural Style & Lifestyle
There is no one style of log homes these days. Buyers are more sophisticated in their choices, beyond the typical Western log home style exterior. They may choose to live in a French Country, Appalachian or Craftsman style log or timber frame home. As with the exterior look and feel, architectural style also comes to life inside the home; notably in the layout and design of the kitchen. A French Country kitchen may, for example, incorporate more refined materials and cabinetry while a Craftsman style kitchen may utilize extensive beam-work.
Along with the architectural style, lifestyle has its role in the layout of the kitchen. Log homes are traditionally more open and casual in layout; a trait generally reflective of those who enjoy entertaining family and friends. If entertaining is a top priority, the kitchen will act as more than a place to prepare food. Its layout, style, and accents become a focus of the home itself. A large island strategically placed, for example, will encourage guests to mingle and share their stories. In addition, an open layout can create a seamless flow from the kitchen area to the great room; a great way to make all guests feel valued and included.
The art of entertaining will also affect the number and choices of appliances. A summer barbeque is more easily accomplished if access to the deck or patio from the kitchen is simple. Or, open the entire kitchen up to an outdoor kitchen / barbeque area with a Nana Wall system. Guests are sure to love the uninterrupted flow to the outside.
Many decide to build their dream log home only after finding a lot with the perfect view. The kitchen and great room often share the best view by incorporating a good amount of glass in the design. One note to consider, however, is the effect on the layout of the kitchen…a lot of windows can take away from the amount of upper cabinets available which in turn may necessitate a separate pantry for storage.
Orientation to Adjoining Spaces
As stated above, today’s log homes are more casual in nature. The formal relationship between the living, dining and kitchen has been replaced by an open floor plan that brings the kitchen into the main living experience of the home. Instead of the kitchen being blocked off from the rest of the living area by walls, the only thing separating it from the living room may be a kitchen island. Therefore, the choice of materials in the kitchen becomes even more important in the overall ambiance of the home.
Layout of Kitchen & Appliances
The more casual outdoor lifestyle that is inherent in log homes distinguishes the design of the kitchen from that in other types of homes. In addition to the usual work zones for preparation, cooking and clean-up, additional storage or indoor grilling may also be necessary. Several under-counter refrigerator doors and other specialty appliances may also be added in various locations in the kitchen for the active, casual lifestyle. It is not unusual for a log home to be in a remote location which may require the addition of a large pantry in the kitchen. Items such as a wine cooler, indoor grill or freezer may also be added.
Use of Logs or Timbers in the Kitchen
The use of a log beam, timber ceiling, or vertical log or timber posts in the kitchen adds interest to the design. Vaulted ceilings utilizing log or timber trusses greatly increase the drama of the space. For added architectural appeal, vertical logs are often incorporated at the under-counter face of the kitchen island.
Tip: Frequently, clients ask how wall cabinets are installed on a round log wall. Cabinets are typically hung by way of furring on the face of the log wall which provides a plumb surface for the cabinets to hang from.
|Throughout the years PrecisionCraft and its design team, M.T.N Design, has set itself apart from the industry with truly inspirational log home and timber home designs. Take a look at some of our customers’ Top 10 favorites and see which ones ignite a spark within you. And, remember that these “Top 10” designs are merely starting points for many. Working with M.T.N Design these designs have been enhanced to reflect each person’s own personal preference in architectural style, layout, size and product!|
M.T.N Design stays at the forefront of the industry with a new design each month. This time, the team introduces their new series, Rustic Luxury Log Cabin Homes & Plans, an exclusive collection featuring attractive, unique designs and luxurious finishes. Designed for discriminating homeowners who are seeking the best in mountain style living, but in a smaller, more intimate home, Rustic Luxury Log Cabins offer the perfect blend of warmth, attractive natural materials and high-end finishes.
In addition to creating a sense of warmth, Rustic Luxury Log Cabin Homes & Plans provide the perfect design solution for smaller build sites – great design without compromising architectural style and detail. And, if you are looking to build a LEED certified log cabin home, smaller is better! Mountain Architects works with clients to ensure their log cabin homes meet their green building goals. Discover more green home design tips.
With this announcement comes the release of M.T.N Design’s first design in the new cabin series, the Telluride. This luxury, single level log cabin home features a unique combination of stone, bark siding, beautifully crafted character logs, glass and milled log walls.
With 1,560 square feet of livable space, the Telluride creates a sense of warmth and coziness – truly a cabin in the woods. Its floor plan features a simple layout with vaulted ceilings, dual master suites, and of course, a great room with a view window. View the Telluride Log Cabin Plan.
Stay tuned for more Rustic Luxury Log Cabin designs. A new cabin design will be introduced each month, through January 2009. Sign up at their web site to receive the Design of the Month.
M.T.N Design, PrecisionCraft’s design firm, consults with clients helping them meet their green building goals. Check out what they say are 10 important items to consider in designing green log homes!
- Consider the Log Home Carbon Footprint using a higher proportion of log or timber in construction. ECCM (Edinburgh Center for Carbon Management) estimated there could be up to an 88% reduction of greenhouse gases by using log or timber structural elements wherever possible rather than other conventional building materials. (see the “Log Home Advisor”).
- Reduce the use of chemically processed materials in your home by using more logs and/or timbers. Logs and Timbers are 100% natural. As a building material they do not emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) or other pollutants into outdoor or indoor spaces. Ecologically and environmentally, solid wood is the only building product that is renewable, biodegradable, recyclable, energy efficient, and extremely beautiful.
- Consider good basic design decisions:
- Orientation of the house to elements and the site.
- Avoid afternoon sun and dark roofs in warmer climates.
- Use “Sun Angle Calculator” to get the ideal overhang.
- Use a radiant barrier on the underside of roofs.
- Use a vapor barrier on warm or humid side of walls.
- Reduce the number of can lights in roofs and switch boxes in exterior walls.
- Placement, type, and size of windows and doors. Use clerestory windows for lighting and ventilation to cool the house.
- Build air tight.
- Limit vaulted ceilings.
- Use eaves, porches, and awnings to reduce the amount of summer sunlight entering your windows.
- Use energy efficient products such as:
- SIP’s (structural insulated panels)
- ICF’s (insulated concrete forms)
- Low E / high performance windows and glazing
- Install Energy Star appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators and freezers.
- Use Radiant Heat.
- Use a Programable Thermostat.
- Select the proper Water Heater for your home – Conventional storage (size is important), instantaneous, heat pump, solar or tankless coil / indirect water heaters.
- Use locally sourced products when possible to reduce carbon emissions reduces the amount of fossil fuels required for the transportation of products from other parts of the country or the world. It also reduces the amount of plastic and paper products consumed in the packaging of such far-traveling products. Buying local reduces consumption of valuable natural resources.
- Use low-VOC products such as indoor paint to improve indoor air quality. Health experts are becoming increasingly aware and alarmed that man-made chemicals are showing up in our blood and lungs. Logs are 100% natural and don’t emit VOC’s or other pollutants. Soil, water and air combine with the energy from the sun in a miraculous process of photosynthesis to produce wood. Also use eco-friendly stains and sealants on the exterior. The exposure to toxic chemicals in our every day lives is resulting in significant increases in asthma and respiratory illnesses, skin problems, migraine headaches and any number of health related problems.
- Use wood Alternatives or FSC-certified wood products. Consider using environmentally preferable and rapidly renewable products such as linoleum, bamboo, recycled-content tile or non-VOC carpet. Choose wood products from sustainable managed forests, such as those certified by the forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
- Use rapidly-renewable materials. Examples include linoleum, form-release agents made from plant oils, natural paints, geotextile fabrics from coir and jute, cork, and such textiles as organic cotton, wool and sisal. These materials are biodegradable, often (but not always) low in VOC emissions, and generally produced from agricultural crops. You might also consider recycled interior finishes such as carpet with recycled fibers and countertops made of recycled paper.
- Plant Green. Plant trees to shade the house and for wind protection. Use native plants in your landscape plan and eco-smart landscaping techniques. Consider catching rain water from roofs to water some of your vegetation and use stormwater management to control run-off. Reduce site disturbance.
- Use Green Power. Green Power is an optional utility service for customers who want to help expand the production and distribution of renewable energy technologies. With green power you do not have to change your electricity provider. Instead, customers choose to pay a premium on their electricity bill to cover the extra cost of purchasing clean, sustainable energy. More info on green power can be found at: http://www.eere.energy.gov/greenposer/markets/index.shtml. Additionally, there are several renewable energy technologies commercially available for electricity production. They include:
- Concentrating solar power
- Geothermal electricity production
- Wind energy
Michael and Denise came to us with a very unique request. They wanted to design a Craftsman style home around their already existing swimming pool. Why build a home around a swimming pool? A great question and one that we had to ask as well!
Recently, Michael and Denise purchased a home built in the late 1980s but it wasn’t the home itself that had them sold. The layout of the home they purchased featured a formal entry, separated living areas, and smaller bedrooms with wardrobe closets. A design and layout very typical of the 1980s but not so appreciated by Michael and Denise who were looking for a more contemporary home. But, the home was nestled in a heavily wood area in Granite Falls, WA, complete with distant views of the beautiful Cascade Mountains and a pool with a one-of-a-kind story.
The most outstanding feature of this 1980s home is the kidney-shaped pool located in the daylight basement. This pool took quite a bit of planning and hard work to get it positioned perfectly. Huge granite boulders buried deep in the landscape that Michael and Denise love so much were carved out to make room for a pool. Their existing 1980s home is to be torn down (while saving the pool) and replaced with a Craftsman style, timber frame home complete with a contemporary flair. The layout of their new home will feature a more informal and open design incorporating new spaces and features such as offices, a workout room, a steam room, a caretaker’s apartment over the garage, and an elevator.
Well, it sounds like a great project; a fun challenge. One that the team at M.T.N Design and PrecisionCraft is eager to take on! Be sure to check back with us periodically as we plan to follow this project all the way through.