Focus on Fireplace Design

July 12th, 2012

Transcending cultural traditions and architectural styles, the hearth of the home is a design feature that has played a fundamental role for families in the past and is now more of a stylistic addition for modern day homes. Whether you include a fireplace in your home’s design for traditional purposes or as an aesthetic feature, a fireplace’s function and style should not be overlooked during the design process.


The purpose of a fireplace is something that varies from family to family. The fireplace in your home could be used to warm a room or living space, to add that special ambiance, or both. With the large, open layouts typical of log homes, fireplaces can become a grand focal point, reaching from floor to vaulted ceiling. Perhaps when you envision your fireplace you visualize your friends and family gathering around it as you hang your stockings during the holiday season.

Locations Fireplace

What is a log home without a fireplace really?  As a common design feature in wood homes, a fireplace is usually located in a place you spend most of your time, like the great room. In addition to the main living spaces, bedrooms and studies can also have their own fireplace, keeping the room comfortable while providing a relaxing ambiance. Even in the kitchen, fireplaces can serve a specific function. Some European cultures include a fireplace in the kitchen out of tradition. If your property includes a pavilion or patio, including some kind of fireplace for crisp nights or for roasting marshmallows with the kids is also a great addition.

Wood Versus Gas

Something else to consider is the type of fireplace you include in your home. Both gas and wood burning fireplaces emit enough heat to warm a living space, so how do you decide whether you want one, the other, or both? If available in your area, gas fireplaces are easier to maintain because they do not require a supply of wood, they don’t smoke or require clean. However, many prefer the authentic look, feel and smell of a wood burning fireplace—the sound of real wood crackling as you sit by the glow of the flames. But who says you can’t have both? Perhaps you want a hassle-free gas fireplace in your bedroom while remaining authentic in the great room.

What does it Look Like? Kitchen Fireplace

Fireplaces can come in many styles and designs. It could a small insert or as grand as a floor-to-ceiling fireplace. What do you want your fireplace to look like, do you envision stone or stucco or another material? Would you prefer a large mantel, a small mantel? Perhaps you want it to be more interactive by including shelving or seating? How about double-sided fireplaces in your home to utilize one system for two adjacent rooms or from indoor to outdoor? And don’t forget the many options for outdoor fireplaces, like chimenias or fire pits.


For more concepts that include the many styles and functions of a home fireplace, visit PrecisionCraft’s Design Gallery.

A Log Home Overview from Small to Large

June 14th, 2012

When a customer first sets out to build a custom log home, they review a variety of plans and designs before finally creating a concept that fits their lifestyle needs. Whether that is a sweeping lodge-like home or a smaller-scale, luxury log cabin, log home designs come in all sizes to review and draw inspiration from. Here are three such plans that show these variations in size.

Small Design - Truckee


At 1,500 square feet, the Truckee is a log post and beam plan that showcases the beauty of log home’s without limiting the design. The inclusion of stone and vertical siding on the exterior creates a genuinely unique design. Entering this single-level floor plan through a breathtaking handcrafted entry, the home opens to reveal large living spaces with a patio accessible from the great room as well as the master suite.


Mid-size Woodhaven designWoodhaven

Just a little over twice the size of the Truckee, the      Woodhaven is a classic handcrafted log home that is a distinguished by detailing like the intricate cross braces on the front and back of the home. The second level consists of three bedrooms that overlook a spacious and open first floor layout. The main level opens to a partial wrap-around porch. Inspiring homeowners all over the country and beyond to build similar designed homes, the Woodhaven is a mid-size plan that highlights the essence of Mountain-style homes and the architectural additions that make it one-of-a-kind.


Large scale Ticonderoga



The Ticonderoga is an expansive, lodge-like design. The 5,600 square feet of this floor plan features textural detailing and imaginative design. This concept is based on the Adirondack style that traditionally pulls inspiration and materials from the surrounding land for its finishing touches. With such a vast space to work with, you are given the ability to include added amenities like specialty rooms. Included in this specific concept is a piano room, study and guest suite. Looking at the entire home as a whole, the Ticonderoga showcases the traditional creativity of architecture in a log home.


To view more log and timber floor plan concepts ranging from small to medium and large sizes, visit the Precisioncraft website:

Specialty Rooms

May 10th, 2012

Pool Room

A traditional theme in mountain-style homes is the focus on central gathering spaces. Great rooms, kitchens and dining rooms blend to create spacious, open floor plans for groups of all sizes to come together. While these spaces are very common within log and timber homes, here are a few examples of unique rooms that you may not expect to find in the average log home.

Exercise Room

From lap pools to saunas to personal gyms, the inclusion of dedicated exercise spaces are becoming more common.  People who build homes in the mountains tend to have an  active lifestyle. By including spaces for an indoor lap pool in the winter or a sauna to sit in after a long day of skiing, their mountain-style home allows them to bring their passion for exercise into every season, no matter their location.

Animal Rooms

Sauna Room

Birds, Cats and Dogs, oh my! By designing rooms for animals of all shapes and sizes, families are able to incorporate their love for their furry friend into their home.  One such client dedicated a room to her parrots, including a central drain and an old vault cage door in the design. Another client, tired of dog paws across the floor, added doggy doors and showers in the mud room to create a buffer between the home and the outdoor dirt.

Secret Rooms

Building a new home should be an exciting and creative process. With all of the freedom to customize your log home, why not add private spaces of your own? We’ve created plans with secret playrooms in the back of children’s closet, studies behind swinging bookcases and even safe rooms for added precaution. There is no limit to the rooms we can include in your home to fit your unique lifestyle.

Inspired Living: Sustainable Log Home Retreat

March 15th, 2012

Mark and Crystal were an Oregon couple who wanted to build a winter home that would accommodate their cold-weather hobbies. Inspired by the natural beauty of their Mt. Hood location and the idea of living sustainably, they wanted their home to be a winter escape that could still maintain consistent temperatures throughout the year. With the help of PrecisionCraft Log and Timber Homes and its design firm, M.T.N Design, the couple was able to build a stunning winter retreat that became the first true log home to receive a LEED Platinum Certification. Read Mark and Crystal’s inspired living story of how they made their winter home super-efficient as well as tailored to their needs.

Sustainable Log Home Retreat

Making the Most of Your Living Space

February 16th, 2012

When you build your log or timber home, one of the main feelings you want your home to evoke is a sense of family. Whether large or small, you want your family and friends to feel at home when they step through the threshold of your custom-made home. Making the most of your space, no matter the budget will ensure that your guests have room to stay comfortably.

Floor Plan with Bunk RoomBasements

Once you have begun the design process with your architect, it is important to let them know your needs for sleeping space. “Choosing to include a basement to your floor plan is a relatively easy  and cost-effective way to increase your home’s space due to the already laid foundation,” Celeste, Manager of M.T.N Design. An open basement area is great for children to pile in and roll out their sleeping bags or it is also an opportunity to put in an extra bedroom or two.


A common element in many log and timber homes are lofts, which can add depth, perspective and architectural beauty to the home without creating a need for an entire second level. Lofts are also an opportune way to include more space for company. Choosing to build a guest room in your loft is one option, while utilizing hideaway beds or pull-out couches is another creative way to use the space for visiting friends and family.

Above Garage Space

If your log home plans already include a garage, using the additional space above for a bonus room is a good way to increase the number of rooms for guests. Whether you choose to make this room a common area or strictly a room reserved for guests, an above-garage living space is a simple addition to your floor plans that will offer a lot of opportunities.

Additional Space SaversBunk Room

Another popular room in many mountain-style homes is a bunk room. You can choose to build your bunks into the plan’s design or simply place bunk beds within the room; this will make an area equipped with space for grandkids to squeeze in comfortably and can work for adults as well. Murphy beds are also a great idea for any room, furnish your office with a Murphy bed and desk combo or simply place them throughout the house, their fold-away abilities will allow you plenty of space for daily activities.

Whether you are building a lodge, fit for large groups of people, or a log home with just enough room for company to stay, a good architect can help you plan out your living spaces so that you can enjoy your home to the fullest with your family.