The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 14, 2005

Log Homes Give Pioneer Flavor to Getaway Places
Vintage Americana recalled in rustic or sophisticated designs.
by Lesa Rosato

Log home builders range from individuals who craft custom log homes one at a time to larger companies that sell hundreds of kits a year.  This home is a custom 6x12 Hearthstone.
There is something uniquely solid and permanent about a log cabin that's hewn from the forest and set upon the earth where it's meant to stand for generations.
Massive timbers rising from a stone foundation lend weight and substance to a home and connect it to its environment like no other material.  Sometimes you have to look closely just to find it tucked between branches.
"When I was growing up in the foothills of the mountains in eastern Tennessee, I always admired the older log mountain homes, " said Wayne McAmis.
Now he owns a lakeside home made of flattened logs on the outside, with a little space in between - like thousands of others scattered across America's landscape, though a far cry from a log cabin like Abe Lincoln may have called home.
"I wanted the look of a mountain lodge with an upscale loft," McAmis said.  When he retired a few years ago, he sought the serenity of lakeside living in a home that felt comfortable and sound, but with a decidedly sophisticated twist.
Although he still owns a home in Carrollton, he spends most of his time on Lake Wedowee in Alabama, where he had a log home built four years ago.
"I worked with Hearthstone, but I brought in my own architect because I wanted to change a few things and make it taller in the back," he said of his 2,900 s/f, three-bedroom home, which has 2 1/2 baths, that he designed with 10-to11- foot ceilings and a chimney in back.
Log home builders range from individuals who craft custom log homes one at a time to larger companies that sell hundreds of kits a year, customizing them, then precisely cutting and curing timbers before shipping them off and setting them up on buyers' land.
"They came out with a crane and all the logs and set up the shell of the house," said Connie Wells, who with her husband, Phil Wells, lives in a log home in Cumming on a grass airstrip.  She's also in a Hearthstone home, which she and her husband customized.
"We took in our house plans from our previous home and had them adapt that to a log home," she said.  After the basic shell was assembled by Hearthstone's crews, the couple's builder took over, overseeing subcontractors who finished the house.
John Ricketson, Project Manager for Hearthstone, said his company precuts, ships, and erects kit homes.  The finish work is done by others.

Living/Dining Area - to view all photos of this home, please chick HERE.

"There are some manufacturers that will sell a kit and tell people you can put it up for $30,000 or $4,0000, but it usually turns into a $200,000 to $300,000 project," said Ricketson, whose office is in Macon.  That's why his company insists on taking the process to a certain point before turning it over to a homeowner to finish.  "We've built over 6,000 homes and we have very well-trained erection crews."
In addition to building traditional log home, the company puts up timberframe structures, which look more traditionally finished on the outside, but leave the structural framework exposed in the interior.......
.......... Many who want a log home head to the shores of lakes or want a place nestled into the hills.  Some say it's all about the way it feels to live in a home where you can reach out and feel the grain of the trees that make up your home. "There is just a different, solid feel to it," said Connie Wells.  "We have a metal roof and a huge amount of insulation - the house is really tight - but you can still hear the rain.
Decorating is fun, too, she says.  "It just looks so neat, and it's really cozy.  When it comes to decorating, you don't feel compelled to have everything look exactly like a magazine layout."
Although their log home is on the market, the Wellses aren't giving up on the rustic lifestyle they've come to love. "I'm going to miss it," Connie Wells said, "but we're moving to an antique log home up in the mountains of North Carolina

John Ricketson
Project Manager
120 Carriage Drive, Macon, GA  31210
(877) 662-6135 Toll Free
(478) 474-9370 or FAX (478) 477-6535


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