Having spent a lot of time around the crystalline lakes of Minnesota, Chuck Hill fell in love with log homes. Owning one had always been his dream. It was his wife, Diane, who had doubts.

Even though the couple spent 18 months developing their own floorplan before taking it to Bronson, Florida-based BK Cypress Log Homes, she still had an image of log homes as dark places. Listening to her talk about their log home now, you’d never know she once had reservations. “Their design team changed my mind,” she says. “This is our dream home, and we enjoy every minute of it.”

Choosing BK Cypress to build their home was as carefully orchestrated as the floorplan itself. Cypress, Chuck had determined, was the best wood species for his home due to its durability, low-maintenance qualities and natural resistance to rot, decay and insects. BK Cypress specializes in this species, and the fact that it’s a family-owned business was appealing to the Hills. Since working with them, Chuck says, ÒWe realized they had a true talent for incorporating our ideas into the plans – and, many times, making them better.”

Not only did the folks at BK Cypress supply the logs and help refine the floorplan, they also helped Chuck and Diane navigate through the mire of securing a mortgage. In spite of a longtime relationship with a national bank, the Hills discovered they needed the flexibility only a log home mortgage company could offer.

Eagerness made the yearlong construction process seem to go by slowly, but the Hills laud the craftsmanship of their contractor, Lin Ramsey Construction in Eatonton, Georgia. “I would come here sometimes just to watch them work on the logs,” Diane recalls. She also remembers the adventure of checking on the progress of the top story of the home’s three-level design. “The stairs were one of the last things to go in. I had to climb a ladder to see what was going on,” she says with a laugh. “Finally having the stairs installed was wonderful.”

Diane’s newfound enthusiasm for log homes is contagious, and she’s willing to share her experience with anyone interested in listening to her tale. “We open our home to the public so people not only can see how beautiful it is, but also realize that they can do this, too,” Diane says. “It takes a certain kind of person to live in a log home. You have to appreciate its warmth and natural beauty.”

To hear the log home company’s side of the story, check out the March 2007 issue of Log Home Design.