How To: Design and Plan a Log Home
Use these 10 tips to get your log home plan in line with your log home plans.
by: Log Home Design editorial staffTaking the vague notion of lifestyle and translating it onto a piece of paper that someone can actually look at and build a log home from — well, that just sounds like a huge leap. But if you chip away at that obscurity by outlining day-to-day specifics of how your family uses space, you can merge that log-home dream into a reality. Use these tips as you hammer, chisel and mold your vision.

1. Chart Your Lifestyle.

A lifestyle outline will tell you how you feel about your home and the basic plan. For example, a casual couple won’t need a formal entry or dining room, while high-octane families should consider cozy, peaceful spaces to regroup.

2. Size Things Up.

Before you jump on the wasted-space bandwagon, make sure the number, type and size of rooms reflect what will take place within them.

3. Account for Extras.

Architectural components are integral to your home, but they also tend to hog space (and cost money, so don’t forget to figure them into your budget).

4. Map Out a Plan.

Draw a bubble diagram, where each bubble is a room. You’ll group the bubble rooms together according to where you want them to be positioned in your home. Square off the bubbles to create a rough floorplan, adding space for walls.

5. Compromise.

Balancing size, quality and budget is essential, and unless you have unlimited resources, the reality is you can’t always get everything you want. So make cuts that work for your lifestyle, or consider looking into additional financial resources.

6. Show, Don’t Tell.

Convey your ideas to your designer and builder with a notebook of clippings (or scans burned to a CD) of homes and features that speak to you.

7. Site Your Home.

Take note of the advantages and challenges of your building site. Then determine how these factors will affect each room in your home in terms of light, views and insulation.

8. Think in 3D.

You also need to consider your home’s vertical aesthetic. Try visualizing yourself in each room and imagine how it will look and feel; what you’ll see in front, behind, above and below; and what sounds you’ll hear.

9. Choose Your Look.

Your home’s look, sense of scale and planning possibilities are based on whether you go with  handcrafted logs or manufactured logs. So research the different building systems and choose the best fit for your plan.

10. Stay Focused.

Professional guidance and recommendations are crucial throughout the entire home-building process. But remember, this is your home, so make sure you discuss every suggestion thoroughly, and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.