Log Home Design Ideas, July/July 1999
Story by Teresa Hilgenberg
questions is the only way to find out if you can make your dream become
reality. When Maurice and Jill Robinson began construction of their
log home nine years ago, they did so with the knowledge that it would be a
work in progress. The Talbott, Tennessee couple started the home and
a three-stall garage with the idea in the back of their minds that it
would evolve as needed. About a year and a half after they
moved in, the Robinsons finished the home's basement. That first
project would give way to several more.
The first addition the Robinsons made to the home was to close in a
breezeway connecting the home and garage. Next came a deck, and an
addition to the garage. All
of these projects had been handled by builders with whom Maurice and Jill
contracted on their own. For their most recent project, the
Robinsons looked to Hearthstone Homes, which has supplied the logs used in
their home. Maurice and Jill wanted to add a great room for several
reasons. Maurice has been on three safaris and needed additional
space to accommodate the mounts he was having made. Jill wanted to
rearrange some of the living areas.
home was designed with an open concept, but Jill had discovered it wasn't
something she was entirely happy with. "When we built the
house, the great room, kitchen, and dining room were all open," she
explains. "I decided I really wanted a separate dining
room" To fill these new needs, the Robinsons decided to add a
new space and then shuffle the other living areas. The formal dining
area was moved out of the kitchen and into the original living room, and
the new additional would serve as the living/great room. Above:
This great room addition is the fourth major project Maurice and Jill
Robinson have undertaken since building their home nine years ago.
The Robinson home was placed on the property
to take maximum advantage of its natural elements.
This created an access problem when logs for the
addition had to be delivered to the site.
The first addition made to the
home was enclosing a breezeway between the garage and
house. The new space was supposed to be a sunroom, but
Jill says, "somehow a pool table found its way in
says she knew what she wanted in the room and had a sketch in her
mind. When she called Hearthstone, her first question was, "Is
it possible?" Hearthstone representatives visited the Robinsons
to see how the home had changed since it was first built. The
consensus was that yes, the addition was feasible. The great room
addition was completed more than two-and-a-half year ago.
Hearthstone representative, Chris Wood, says there were several issues
that had to be resolved before the project could be started.
and foremost, the addition had to be engineered so its log shrinkage and
settling would not affect the existing structure. The home had
already gone through a settling period, but logs used in the addition
would have to catch up. Digging and pouring a foundation was also a
major concern. "You don't excavate right up to the existing
wall for fear of knocking it in or damaging it," Wood explains.
Both of these issues were addressed in the engineering and planning stage.
there was the issue of providing access to the site for supply
trucks. Wood says the Robinson home was placed on the property to
take advantage of its natural features, so installing a 16-foot-wife
gravel access road was out of the questions. To address this
problem, Hearthstone designed the addition with 24-foot logs (rather than
the 40-foot logs usually used), and had them shuttled to the site on small
issues like matching hewing patterns, windows, roof materials, and log
color also had to be addressed. The Robinsons chose to put a metal
roof on the addition, then replace the home's roof with the same material
at a later date. Matching the log stain color, Wood explains, is not
a problem because the original logs can be pressure washed and then
stained to match. With these issues resolved, work began on the
addition. The resulting great room is a space the Robinsons love, an
example of how asking the right questions - "Is it possible? - is the
most important step to take.
The great room addition, with a
green metal roof, is shown above.