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Lakefront Log Home Project: Log Home Diary Entry #6, Developing a Floor Plan Pt. 1

How to make your design match your land
by George and Marlyn Curnow
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Developing a Floor Plan — Part 1

Log Home Diary Entry #6
Southwestern Virginia log home project | Open Space

Developing a floor plan was an interesting, fun and ultimately surprising process for us to undertake. With a lakefront property, we naturally wanted to take advantage of the best view of the water we could get. Even before picking the log-home company and builder, we had begun to develop our floor plan in our minds from the hundreds of floor-plan designs we saw over the years.

Prior to 2008, our floor plan mindset was something no greater than 3,000 square feet. (To be more accurate, George’s mindset was around 3,000 square feet; Marlyn’s mindset was a bit smaller.) Then the housing crisis hit, and the stock market caved in. Like most everyone else, our 401K became a 201K, figuratively speaking. This was a rude wakeup call that required some rethinking and adjusting of our retirement plans/dreams.

There is no point in “crying over spilt milk;” rather, we focused on how fortunate we were to be able to continue with any retirement plans. So we scaled down our thinking to something more in the low-2,000-square-foot range, which is certainly a very livable size and not overwhelming to maintain as the years roll by.

We focused on designs we saw primarily in log-home magazines that were two levels with a great room in the middle of the house and a loft area overlooking the great room. We envisioned the great room incorporating the main lake view. We wanted a master bedroom on the main level and two other bedrooms on the upper level. (We learned over time that it is more cost-effective to build up, not out as in a flowing ranch style.) Southland Log Home’s popular Grand Lake — previously called the Greenwood, we think — model was a good starting point from which to work. Or so we thought.

After meeting and speaking with our future builder and doing a site visit with him, we spoke about options. For us to get the orientation of a Grand Lake-style home on our sloped property, it would have required more foundation engineering than we wanted to undertake. Our builder suggested another Southland design called the Coosa. It has a great room at the end of the house and could have everything else we wanted. The big advantage is that the house and foundation would be a better fit on our land, considering the slope. Our builder was correct, so we started to focus on the Coosa as a starting point for a design.

We mentioned in the last blog that the decision surprised us both. The Coosa was the very first Southland Log Home model that we saw east of Atlanta about 10 years ago and was the real catalyst of our log-home journey that was now coming into reality. We’ve now gone full circle.

The real learning here is that compromise is only needed if you’re on a budget. Anything we originally wanted to do could have been done. It just takes money.

Now, the design modification work needs to be done. That comes next in Developing a Floor Plan — Part 2.

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