Fo­cus on Floor Plans

Smart de­sign is cen­tral to log home suc­cess.

Log Home Living - - CONTENTS -

Floor plan de­sign is one of the most ex­cit­ing parts of the log home pur­chase process, be­cause it’s where you get a first glimpse as what your dream home will look like. Chances are, you won’t get it right the first time, but don’t fret. It’s com­mon to go through many drafts and re­vi­sions, shift­ing rooms, tweak­ing size and ad­just­ing scale. Then, once it’s fine tuned and you see it on pa­per, your project takes that al­limpor­tant leap from pipe dream to real-live log home. Th­ese 10 tips are de­signed to help you as­sess your wants and needs so that you can achieve log home floor plan per­fec­tion.

1 Look at Your Life.

There’s a ten­dency to blindly fol­low cur­rent de­sign trends whether they work for your life­style or not. Es­sen­tially, mak­ing your fam­ily fit the house in­stead of the other way around. The smarter strat­egy is to con­sider the makeup of your brood. Are you empty nesters with vis­it­ing grand­kids?

Do you have teens or ag­ing par­ents? Th­ese fac­tors can im­pact your plan.

Then, look at the way you live. A fam­ily that en­joys for­mal meals needs a din­ing room; one that loves to kick back with a pizza and watch the game on a big screen may not. For­mal en­tries, over­sized master suites and sim­i­lar de­sign fea­tures are great, but they aren’t one-size-fits-all. Find your bal­ance.


Size Mat­ters.

Big­ger isn’t al­ways bet­ter ... but it does al­ways cost more. Be­fore you ar­bi­trar­ily de­cide you need a cer­tain num­ber of square feet to be happy, make sure that num­ber makes sense. Think of your rooms in terms of ac­tiv­ity zones; how many peo­ple will oc­cupy them si­mul­ta­ne­ously on a reg­u­lar ba­sis; and what they’ll be do­ing in them at that time. If the kitchen is your hub of ac­tiv­ity, more el­bow room per per­son will be in or­der. If ev­ery­one lounges on the couch in your fam­ily room, this is an area you can down­size (and fos­ter more to­geth­er­ness in the process). Once you de­ter­mine the square footage you’ll need to ma­neu­ver in each room, tack on an­other 15 per­cent to ac­count for walls and traf­fic flow.


Floor Plan Fan­tasies.

With your es­sen­tials cov­ered, it’s time to in­dulge in all those fun ex­tras like ex­er­cise rooms, home of­fices/ li­braries and game rooms. Bring your ideas to the ta­ble and ask your de­signer if they’ll work within your bud­get. Many of your re­quests may be doable; es­pe­cially if what you re­ally want is the feel­ing of more space. Walls of win­dows, sky-high kitchen cab­i­nets and a gen­er­ally open de­sign can give the per­cep­tion of space in a smaller foot­print. Of course, your de­signer should be re­al­is­tic about what can and should be in­cluded within your bud­get. Re­mem­ber: Just be­cause it may not be fea­si­ble now doesn’t mean it can’t be done down the road.

4 De­vise a Plan.

You don’t have to be an artist to sketch a floor plan your de­signer will un­der­stand. Start with a sim­ple bub­ble di­a­gram, with each bub­ble rep­re­sent­ing a room, and place them in re­la­tion to where you will want them to be lo­cated within your home. Then square off the bub­bles to cre­ate the walls of your rough floor plan. Easy.

5 Show, Don’t Tell.

Con­vey­ing your ideas to your de­signer and builder through pho­tos and draw­ings will be much clearer than try­ing to in­ter­pret it ver­bally. Keep a scrap­book of clip­pings or a file of digital down­loads of homes and ideas that rep­re­sent what you’re look­ing for in your log home’s de­sign.

6 Ex­pect Ad­just­ments.

Man­ag­ing size, qual­ity and bud­get is a tough bal­anc­ing act. Un­less you have un­lim­ited re­sources, you can ex­pect a lit­tle give and take while de­vel­op­ing your floor plan. That could mean any­thing from shav­ing of a few square feet to elim­i­nat­ing an en­tire wing. Just re­mem­ber: Never skimp on the struc­tural es­sen­tials (like proper sealants, foun­da­tion, roof­ing and in­su­la­tion) that will af­fect your home’s per­for­mance.

7 Site it Right.

How your home will sit on your site af­fects its over­all de­sign. ( This is why hav­ing your land in hand be­fore you draft a floor plan is so im­por­tant.) Take note of your site’s ad­van­tages and chal­lenges, as well as its sun ex­po­sure in var­i­ous sea­sons and times of day. And never put it on the best spot on the lot. Ori­ent your house so you have a clear view of it in­stead.

8 Think in 3D.

See­ing your home on pa­per or a com­puter screen gives you an idea of its lay­out, but you also need to con­sider the ver­ti­cal space (vol­ume) of each room, not to men­tion its el­e­va­tions (its curb ap­peal). Most de­sign­ers uti­lize 3D CAD pro­grams that will help you vir­tu­ally walk through your house be­fore a sin­gle log is laid.

9 Log Your Style.

From the di­am­e­ter of your logs to whether you choose a milled log prof ile or a hand­crafted fin­ish, th­ese de­ci­sions will af­fect the look of your home. Con­sider all your log op­tions in tan­dem with your f loor plan de­sign choices.

10 Make Sure to Make it Yours.

Seek­ing guid­ance from log home pro­fes­sion­als, de­sign­ers or ar­chi­tects is a wise de­ci­sion, but keep in mind that this is your home. Make sure their ideas make sense for your needs be­fore you adopt them, and be sure to work with peo­ple who are as ex­cited about mak­ing your dream log home a re­al­ity as you are.

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