Coun­try Crafts­man

Step in­side a Ten­nessee tim­ber frame where a vi­sion be­came a for­ever home

Timber Home Living - - Product Guide - Story by Clau­dia John­son, Hon­est Abe Log Homes Pho­tos by Bran­don Malone Pho­tog­ra­phy

Lynn and Chris Langer’s new tim­ber frame home is a stun­ning ex­am­ple of how a vi­sion be­comes a for­ever home. “I guess you’d call what we wanted a moun­tain-style, arts-and-crafts bun­ga­low,” says Lynn, ex­plain­ing that their idea had been to cre­ate the feel of the early 20th cen­tury Crafts­man ar­chi­tec­ture fre­quently seen in Adiron­dack moun­tain lodges.

Orig­i­nally from New Eng­land, the Langers re­tired to Ten­nessee’s Up­per Cum­ber­land re­gion af­ter find­ing land they liked on­line. They’d owned a tim­ber frame in Con­necti­cut, so they ap­proached the de­sign of their new home with a clear vi­sion.

“It had to have a great room with high ceil­ings, an open floor plan and a cozy kitchen and din­ing room,” Lynn says. “We found Hon­est Abe, and now we have ex­actly what we wanted.”

Lynn said that she and Chris were drawn to Hon­est Abe Log Homes, which has been de­sign­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing log and tim­ber frame homes since 1979, be­cause of its rep­u­ta­tion in the in­dus­try. The fact that Hon­est Abe’s de­sign team can eas­ily con­vert any plan to a tim­ber frame cou­pled with the cal­iber of Hon­est Abe’s prod­ucts con­vinced the Langers that the Ten­nessee­based com­pany was a per­fect fit for their project.

“We were very fa­mil­iar with post-and­beam con­struc­tion, and right away we re­al­ized this was qual­ity work,” Lynn re­called from her first visit to Hon­est Abe’s head­quar­ters in Moss, Ten­nessee. “The wood was planed to a smooth fin­ish, and the Dou­glas fir tim­bers were nice and straight with a stylish cham­fer.”

Work­ing with the Cookeville Hon­est Abe Log Homes sales team, Greg and Melissa Wat­son and Ed White, the Langers launched their de­sign process in the spring of 2015.

The Navajo plan from the com­pany’s Legacy Col­lec­tion was al­most ex­actly what the Langers had in mind, but they wanted to cus­tom­ize it on both the in­te­rior and ex­te­rior. Award-win­ning de­signer Michael Hix of Hon­est Abe’s in-house de­sign and draft­ing depart­ment trans­formed the ba­sic plan to match their con­cept.

For in­stance, a first floor guest room shown on the Navajo plan was re­pur­posed into a full-time of­fice, but place­ment of a Mur­phy bed in the of­fice quickly con­verts it to a room for host­ing guests like the cou­ple’s two grown sons, both city dwellers, who Lynn says love to “come for a rest in the coun­try.”

With the house lo­cated on 43 acres of ru­ral land fronting the Caney Fork River in White County, Ten­nessee, the Langers wanted a com­fort­able spot for ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the sea­sons out­doors. Work­ing with Hon­est Abe’s de­sign team, they cre­ated a 16-by-18-foot out­door room un­der a large gable roof fea­tur­ing a wood-burn­ing fire­place of nat­u­ral, hand-cut stone. “With the out­door fire­place there’s no mess or fuss,” Lynn says. “When we want a real fire, we just go out­side.”

A gabled-roofed out­door din­ing room con­nected by cov­ered porches to the out­door liv­ing room is de­signed with open walls to catch the sum­mer breeze.

As for cli­mate con­trol in­side the home’s 2,042 square feet, Lynn says that she and Chris are very im­pressed with their in­su­la­tion pack­age and the heavy tim­ber roof sys­tem that re­sulted in sur­pris­ingly low heat­ing bills.

“We al­ways heated with wood in Con­necti­cut, so we in­stalled a Hearth­stone stove in the kitchen area and our first-ever gas fire­place in­sert in the great room’s nat­u­ral stone fire­place,” Lynn says, ex­plain­ing that th­ese sup­ple­ment a propane fired HVAC sys­tem that keeps the home toasty warm dur­ing Ten­nessee’s colder months.

Lynn said the de­sign for the en­tire house, which has 1,782 square feet on the main floor and a 240-square-foot loft, demon­strates “very wise use of space” and is ex­pan­sion-ready. The Langers had a full walk­out base­ment cre­ated us­ing Su­pe­rior Walls. When com­pleted, there will be a com­mon area, two spa­cious bed­rooms, each with its own large win­dow, a shared full bath and a shop.

“Our house is su­per com­fort­able for two peo­ple,” says Lynn, men­tion­ing that be­cause they plan to spend the rest of their lives there, they made de­sign choices like cre­at­ing a cus­tom, wheel­chair-ac­ces­si­ble mas­ter shower and plac­ing all liv­ing and sleep­ing spa­ces on the main floor to en­sure that they will re­main com­fort­able.

Lynn says that she and Chris re­mained “happy through ev­ery step” of the process that they had cho­sen Hon­est Abe Log Homes as their de­signer and man­u­fac­turer and also to com­plete the dry-in phase of con­struc­tion.

“We are con­vinced that if you want a log or tim­ber frame home, you need to get it from an ex­pe­ri­enced and rep­utable man­u­fac­turer,” Lynn says. “The peo­ple at Hon­est Abe and the qual­ity of their ser­vices and prod­ucts made them a great choice for us.”

Hon­est Abe’s homes are shipped across the U.S., and cus­tomers are

guided through the same process the Langers found com­fort­ing by a net­work of in­de­pen­dent deal­ers and in-house sales con­sul­tants.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Hon­est Abe Log Homes visit hon­ or call 800-231-3695.

ABOVE: Cen­tered on the front of the Langers’ tim­ber frame is a gabled out­door liv­ing room with a heavy tim­ber roof. The hand­crafted wood-burn­ing fire­place, the ac­cents sur­round­ing the front door and the floor are of nat­u­ral, hand-cut stone. A ceil­ing...

RIGHT: The Langer home fea­tures a cov­ered front porch, cov­ered out­door liv­ing room with fire­place and an out­door din­ing room. The ex­te­rior sid­ing is made from Hardie board with ac­cents around the front door be­ing nat­u­ral wood and hand-cut nat­u­ral stone...

TOP: The great room’s fo­cal points are the hand-cut nat­u­ral stone gas fire­place, Dou­glas fir tim­ber frame com­po­nents, the heavy tim­ber roof sys­tem, Eastern White Pine trim, 2-by-6-inch En­gel­mann spruce tongue-and-groove ceil­ing and dark hick­ory...

ABOVE: The main din­ing room is in the great room, but a cozy break­fast room with a wood-burn­ing stove and a read­ing nook bathed in light from a row of clad win­dows are lo­cated off the kitchen.

ABOVE: Tex­tured tile, dark-stained cus­tom wood cab­i­netry and gran­ite coun­ter­tops cre­ate the feel of an early 1900s Crafts­man house with the stain­less-steel ap­pli­ances and vent hood adding a mod­ern touch.

RIGHT: The out­door wood-burn­ing fire­place is crafted of hand cut na­tive stone and forms the left wall of an out­door room cen­tered on the fa­cade of the house.

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