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Labor of Love | Log Cabin Construction

A New Jersey cabin was painstakingly built by its owner and her family.
by Cynthia Ward Vesey | Photos by Joseph Hilliard
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A red steel door from Lowe's sets off the front porch. The door coordinates with red decking and a red metal roof, chosen by Stacey to make the cabin stand out.

A red steel door from Lowe's sets off the front porch. The door coordinates with red decking and a red metal roof, chosen by Stacey to make the cabin stand out.

When you think of New Jersey Pinelands near the Jersey Shore, rustic log cabins probably don’t jump to mind. But Stacey Rundio, a longtime New Jersey resident, didn’t want a typical cottage or cape.

“I’ve always liked log homes — I thought they were different. I’m all about trying to have something that’s not like everything else,” she states.

Stacey, who grew up in New Jersey’s Mullica Township and lived in nearby Egg Harbor City for 15 years, started looking in the area four years ago. She was thrilled when a 3.6-acre lot became available in Mullica Township near homes of her parents and her sister Rhean Zippilli.

Located 15 miles from the beach, the property was heavily wooded, so Stacey hired a crew to clear about one acre for the house in March 2009. The foundation and floor decking went down in May 2009, and log stacking began in June. Stacey purchased white pine logs for the interior and cedar logs for the exterior from Hiawatha Log Homes through then-dealer Robert Heise.

With the assistance of family and a close friend, the log cabin construction process took about one year to complete, allowing Stacey and her sister Melissa to move into the cabin in April 2010.

Helping Hands
Stacey enlisted the help of several family members to build her cabin, including her dad, Henry, who has extensive home-building experience. He had previously helped friends with their homes and built Stacey’s childhood home in Mullica Township, as well as the log home in which he and his wife currently reside.

“He told me he had one more house in him,” she laughs.

A family friend, John Rupp, and his friend George Haberstroh — both possessing a wealth of construction experience — also assisted.

Additional tasks included:

  • Stacey, her sister Melissa and Stacey’s friend Gail Wilson sanding every log in the cabin, and sealing every piece of wood, including the tongue-and-groove interior sections, with two to four coats of polyurethane.
  • Stacey’s mom, Betty Ann, cleaning up project messes and assisting with other miscellaneous tasks.
  • Stacey’s sister Rhean developing the log cabin landscaping and, along with Melissa, digging holes for every tree.
Stacey focused heavily on the design of the kitchen. A key element is the peninsula, which Stacey saw in a magazine. The island is anchored to a wall and provides an area for working, eating and cooking.

Stacey focused heavily on the design of the kitchen. A key element is the peninsula, which Stacey saw in a magazine. The island is anchored to a wall and provides an area for working, eating and cooking.

Despite all the assistance, one uncooperative element occasionally hampered the process: the weather. “We had a lot of rain. Every night after work, I would take a push broom and push the water away from the cabin,” Stacey recalls. A brisk, snowy winter required workers to don their coats at all times, as the cabin wasn’t heated.

Although the yearlong process was an arduous one, having family and close friends intimately involved with all aspects of the project made it a true labor of love.

“It meant a lot to me that they all pitched in. I couldn’t have done it without them,” Stacey says. “I’m very proud of the house and everything I picked out. I’m proud me and my family and friend did it. Not many friends would do that.”

Resources:
Square footage:
2,300
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Chinking: Sashco Conceal Textured Sealant (800-767-5656; sashco.com/log)
Designer; log provider; railings; stairs: Hiawatha Log Homes (877-275-9090; hiawatha.com)
Roofing: All Metal Roofing (717-479-5199)
Sealant: Sashco Symphony in satin sheen (800-767-5656; sascho.com/log)
Stain: Sascho Transformation Log & Timber in gold tone medium: (800-767-5656; sashco.com/log)
Windows: Pella (877-473-5527; pella.com)

Published in Country's Best Cabins
Comment Feed

4 Responses

  1. Gorgeous and Beautiful!

  2. Thank you Stacey, Ruppy and Geo. we enjoyed the project, and as your father said we had 1 cabin left in us. You mean it took us 1 year ???????? Missey was the pusher on the home, how many sanders did we burn up????????

    John K. Rupp JrJanuary 26, 2013 @ 7:56 pmReply
  3. This is in response to your article “Picture Perfect Portals” in Apr 2011. I look at your magazine yhat I’ve gotten over & over because I KNOW that I don’t see everything each time I look at them. Sure enough, 2 days ago, I was looking at this article again & saw the HORSE SHOE BARN DOOR HARDWARE on the door in the first picture. I jumped up yelling & screaming for my husband because we’re have TWO of them hanging on the wall but never knew what there were till now!!! I found them on his families’ home place in Ashby, NE, & knew they were special but never could find someone who knew. Of course, holding them upside down didn’t help either. So, thank you SO very much!!! Ruth Bass-Burgess Bee Branch, AR

    Ruth Bass-BurgessJune 5, 2013 @ 7:15 pmReply



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