Small, practical, resourceful — these are the buzzwords surrounding today’s homes. New structures are constantly popping up as the latest and greatest in green building, with tiny exteriors to match their decreased energy consumption and costs. As great as such efficient living may sound in theory, however, how exactly does something so compact live in reality? JR Thompson of Mt. Lassen Log and Timber Frame Homes, a Real Log Homes dealer, can show you.
With a footprint of barely more than 500 square feet, “Kirk’s Kabin” — the affectionate moniker of JR’s demo structure, named after one of the regional sales managers — fuses green-building techniques with the traditional appeal of log homes to showcase the capabilities for today’s cabin. “We’ve taken the old-world traditions of log homes and married it with new technologies,” JR states.
New technologies here currently include Energy Star appliances, light-emitting diode (LED) lighting and low-flow fixtures to reduce consumption to the lowest point possible, with the hopes of creating a zero-energy structure — one that produces all the energy it needs through on-site power generation — by installing solar panels.
The purpose of constructing this cabin was twofold. On one hand, it served as an educational tool for JR and his associates in creating a better, more efficient structure; on the other, it provides a real-life example of a smaller home for those contemplating a downsized abode. “I’ve had a lot of clients doubting living in a smaller space,” JR explains. “I put them up overnight in the cabin and tell them, ‘See if you can work with this space.’”
The home, a custom version of the Expedition package in Real Log Homes’ Real Log Cabins series, was designed to live larger than its overall square footage implies. A roughly 100-square-foot loft level opens up the overhead space in the main living area, while ample outdoor spaces increase the home’s livability with less environmental impact.
The cabin also comes complete with higher-quality amenities, such as granite countertops and double ovens, than many consumers might expect from such a structure. “It teaches them that you can have all the amenities,” JR says. “You can get all your wants and needs on a budget.”
JR’s primary residence, which is also located on the property and serves as a model home, showcases many of the same amenities and energy-efficiency features on a larger scale. Check out the June 2011 issue of Country’s Best Cabins for more on that project.
Home Plan Details:
Square Footage: 628
Log species: pine
Builder; dealer; interior decorator; landscape designer: Mt. Lassen Log and Timber Frame Homes, Chester, CA (530-258-2379; mtlassenloghomes.com)
Cabinetry: Morning Star Cabinets, Gardena, CA (310-324-4735)
Countertops: Granitech, Chester, CA (530-258-3313)
Flooring: Flooring Brothers, Chester, CA (530-258-3778)
Log provider: Real Log Homes, Hartland, VT (800-732-5564; realloghomes.com)
Roofing: GAF-Elk, Wayne, NJ (877-423-7663; gaf.com)
Sealants; stain: Perma-Chink, Redmond, WA (800-548-1231; perma-chink.com)
Windows: Andersen Windows & Doors, Bayport, MN (800-426-4261; andersenwindows.com)