How to Make Your New Log Home Your Own
By Nikki Alvin-Smith
In today’s log home market you can buy everything from a luxury mansion to an off the grid outfitter’s cabin. Whatever your wants and desires for your new log home, it is smart to start out your decision making design process based on some good basic knowledge. In this article we’re going to look at some of the interior design options you should consider for your modular log home.
Let’s start with wood! It is a log home after all.
The flooring you choose for your home will depend on your personal sense of style and taste, as well as budget. Take a look at three common selections, hardwoods hickory and maple and softwood, pine. Hickory has a louder brighter coloring and pattern and a very distinct look. It is one of the hardest woods to install because it is so hard and it is more expensive to purchase than the other two. But it offers great durability in high traffic areas. To highlight its unique coloring hickory is often laid in wider boards but beware not everybody loves its loud look. If you are thinking about resale down the road, then the flooring may not be to the wider population’s taste. But if you want your home to shout out your unique style, then it is a great option.
On the other hand maple provides a smooth even look and can easily take bright rugs and colors. Maple does not take stain particularly well and a clear coat stain may end up yellowing over time. Maple is not used as commonly in flooring, but can add some an elegant visual that won’t offend.
Both hickory and maple score well for hardness with hickory beating out maple.
While resistance to moisture and swelling/shrinkage is not as high for either wood as that of oak, both offer a decent score on the moisture resistance factor.
Most pine floors are either white or yellow pine. The problem with these types of pine is that they dent easily (heart pine being the exception is still a softwood but offers better resistance to damage from high traffic). There are treatments you can apply to increase their hardness and improve their resistance to denting. However, when a floor material begins with half the hardness rating of the hickory or maple, you know you are making a big compromise. Which is O.K., as long as it is something you can live with later. The bonus of course is pine is the cheapest option.
When you are shopping for cabinets for the kitchen and bathroom, and wall finishes for the home, the same principles of wood choices apply. Both the kitchen and bathrooms will be subject to moisture so a wood with a high stability score/moisture resistance factor and/or sealed protective finish is important to protect the wood and stop it swelling and shrinking.
The Heart of the House ~ The Kitchen
Everyone loves a lovely kitchen. Especially those of us who love to cook farm to fork and enjoy gardening and fresh food. Even if you are a ‘microwave pizza’ kind of family a kitchen equipped with the right appliances, cabinets and most importantly design, will be a boon whether you are entertaining friends and family or taking refuge from a busy day at the end of a long week at the office or coming in to warm up after a tiring day hunting or fishing with buddies.
Kitchens are typically one of the most expensive rooms in the house to finish. With a modular prefab log home, a lot of the hard work has been done for you and the designs and pricing structure reflect suitability for purpose and are budget friendly and affordable.
A good modular log home company will have options for a variety of budgets. We spoke with Dave Zook, of Zook Cabins in Atglen, PA. His company is an industry leader and have decades of experiences in providing high quality modular buildings on theEast Coast. We asked Dave Zook for advice on what the log home purchaser should look for when talking to a log home modular builder.
“The company you select should have a proven track record of working with their clients to provide customization features to suit every need. While at Zook Cabins we share our wealth of experience in design features and layouts that work, and can deliver a prefab design that we know works well for the comfort of daily living and have it on site and ready to use in days, there should be no compromises on the quality or design of the home because it is ready to go. All our designs provide practicality and longevity for the use of the log home over time.”
It’s true that being able to buy straight off the lot is super convenient, it is also true that many of us want our home to reflect our individual tastes.
“At Zook Cabins our team can design your kitchen in a larger open plan (which is what we suggest if you plan to use your log home more than two or three weeks a year), and you can add more cabinets, choose different counter tops and truly make your home your own. If you want a Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom, a bank of large windows to take in a mountain view or a big porch or deck to enjoy outside space we can do that too. I think when you have an experienced team, like we do at Zook Cabins, that has a history of satisfying a huge variety of clients’ needs then you know you are not just a number. We want you to be happy with your home and we go out of our way to make the purchasing experience straightforward and enjoyable and the end result one you will treasure for many years ahead,” stated Dave Zook.
During my research for this article, I noted that many companies that offer log homes, don’t do a particularly good job of making the process of purchasing easy to navigate. Especially when it comes to what is offered as standard and giving you ideas for adding neat features to personalize your log home. So it is worth finding a company that lays everything out with great photos, thorough construction descriptions and provides detailed information to set your mind both at ease and engages you with fresh ideas to encourage your creative self to set your log home apart from anyone else’s.
From my experience over many years creating content for websites and designing layout and providing photos and graphics, there’s always a balance when designing a website to answer and address succinctly everyone’s FAQ’s; help answer questions folks haven’t even figured out they needed to ask and provide information on a full range of services such as professional delivery, efficient timetables, warranties, financing; and properly featuring products in good detail on the website.
Buying a house of any size is not a small project, and having been through the process of building our own family residence from concrete basement to weathervane I can assure you the decisions can be almost endless. Indeed if my husband suggests we need to go to a box store to buy some supplies I inwardly groan. I feel I have spent years of my life combing the aisles for electrical or plumbing parts, choosing vanities and faucets, picking up ‘straight boards’ for trim. In fact I believe if you asked anyone that built their own home if they’d do it again they’d say no!
When I checked out Zook Cabins website everything was logically laid out, 99% of my questions about construction inside and outside were answered and there was even full advice on site preparation, plans and permits and an offer to work directly with the site contractor. The customization options are clearly spelled out and there is a great selection of different styles of prefab log homes from which to choose. An impressive array of budget options too.
I visited Zook Cabins in Atglen, PA and naturally their offices are ‘housed’ in a Zook Cabin! And it is just beautiful. I confess to knowing all about the details of construction from all the extensive experiences that I have enjoyed mentioned above building our own home, and am considered somewhat ‘picky’ about the design and finishing touches.
Take a look at Zook Cabins before you go anywhere else. Visit their website, set up a visit to one of their Amish crafted builds in progress and chat with their friendly team of professionals who can walk you through the process of buying your dream log home.
When I retire from my mountain paradise to another perhaps slightly warmer location (I live in the Catskills right now), I will definitely be in the market for a modular home buider. And I’ll know just where to go to buy it!