Mak­ing His­tory

What’s old is new again in one Ten­nessee hy­brid home.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - PHO­TOS BY JAMES RAY SPAHN

What’s old is new again in one Ten­nessee hy­brid home.

When most set out to build a cus­tom home, they say they want some­thing that’s oneof-a-kind. In the case of Rick Peter­son and his log cabin-meets-tim­ber home in south­ern Ten­nessee, check­ing that goal off the list came as soon as he picked out the ma­te­ri­als he would build with. “I wanted some­thing un­usual,” says Rick, “so when my friend in the wood­work­ing busi­ness told me he’d found a more than 200-year-old log cabin that we could dis­man­tle, I couldn’t pass it up.”

From there, Rick and his builder let the logs do the talk­ing, and set out to de­sign a new house that could be built with the pieces of the old cabin. This jour­ney took them to Knoxville, Ten­nessee, to StoneMill Log & Tim­ber Homes, where they found the com­pany’s Kelly Plan­ta­tion plan, mod­i­fied the draw­ings to suit Rick’s vi­sion for the home and started the two-year process of build­ing a home that per­fectly pairs old con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als with new tech­nique and a new tim­ber frame. “We built this house like Johnny Cash built his Cadil­lac,” says Rick. “You know, one piece at a time.”

The first piece: In­cor­po­rat­ing those cen­turies-old logs into the front, “old” part of the house — a project that took about six weeks. “The friend of mine who found the log cabin is also the master of a wood­work­ing school, so his stu­dents came out to the site and put all of the logs to­gether them­selves,” says Rick.

In the front sec­tion of the house, Rick and his build­ing team stuck to a tra­di­tional de­sign, com­plete with first­floor master bed­room suite, a for­mal din­ing room and two up­stairs bed­rooms, con­nected by a Jack and Jill bath. From there, they wanted to add ex­tra square footage and a more open feel in the back of the house — the per­fect place to in­cor­po­rate a tim­ber frame. “We were lim­ited on what we could do with the logs, so we had to do some­thing dif­fer­ent on the back,” ex­plains Rick. “We felt like us­ing StoneMill’s tim­bers was the way to go.”

“The tim­ber frame por­tion gave the home­owner the best of both world’s; he wanted an­tique logs, but now the back feels a bit more mod­ern and bright,” says Mathew Ster­chi, VP of sales and mar­ket­ing at StoneMill. “Also, be­cause the logs were re­claimed and had al­ready done their shrink­ing and set­tling years be­fore, we didn’t have to worry about at­tach­ing a new tim­ber frame to new wood that would move and set­tle over time. That was a huge ben­e­fit.”

From the out­side in, the back of the home has a newer feel, giv­ing the il­lu­sion that the house has been added on to over time. Tongue-and-groove sid­ing com­ple­ments the in­te­rior liv­ing space, as well as the top-of-the-line kitchen. A mix of wood was used for the floors through­out the home, cre­at­ing a unique con­trast against the Dou­glas Fir frame and in­te­rior spruce walls.

The va­ri­ety of woods and the use of re­claimed ma­te­ri­als makes the house truly unique, and one with its nat­u­ral sur­round­ings. “It’s so com­fort­able and se­cluded,” says the builder on the project. “That kind of peace can be hard to find nowa­days.”

Rick agrees. “It’s def­i­nitely a place where you can turn your phones off and just en­joy be­ing out there,” he says. “When I’m there, I want to get on my trac­tor and just ride around. I never want to leave.”

Cedar posts and floors are show­cased on the home’s back porch. The stone path­way leads to an out­door fire pit.

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