THE HOMEOWNER’S STORY
Having spent most of her life as a city slicker in Atlanta, Betty Hemrick had a hankering for the great outdoors. As a child, she’d visit her relatives in the mountains or go to her family’s farm in the country and think, “I belong here.” As an adult, she spent much of her time hiking in the woods. So family and friends weren’t too surprised when Betty bought a vacation cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. But some did raise an eyebrow or two when she decided to live there not only full-time, but solo at age 63, with her 17-year-old cat as her only companion.
They needn’t have worried; Betty loved being so close to nature and the peaceful solitude of the mountains. But she quickly found that her “itty-bitty cabin” was too small for year-round living, not to mention trying to accommodate visiting grandchildren. So she shopped around for a larger log home and ended up selecting one by the same manufacturer that had built her old cabin, the Blue Ridge, Georgia-based company, Sisson, Dupont & Carder. “They gave me the most for my money, and I trust their product and their people,” Betty says.
Her 1,626-square-foot log home, a modified version of a standard floorplan, was built in just four months, and it’s even more than Betty had hoped for. “I love everything about it: the loft, where I read on sunny mornings and look out on the moon and stars at night. The great room, with its huge bank of windows that makes me feel like I’m outside. And the spacious front porch, which is like an extra room.”
Betty also loves that the home is sited on the edge of the mountain and amongst the trees, providing both privacy from neighboring houses and great views. “Though it looks and feels like I’m living alone in the woods, I have the secur-ity of knowing I’m not,” Betty says. “I’m very happy here.”
THE LOG COMPANY’S STORY
Betty Hemrick knew exactly what she wanted in her new log home. That, combined with her design sensibilities, made designing and building her cabin a genuine pleasure for Sisson, Dupont & Carder, despite the compressed timeline they were working under.
The family-owned company, in business since 1960, manufactures logs, log home packages and other wood products. They also build 35 to 55 log homes a year, mostly in the rural community of Blue Ridge, Georgia. Still, working with Betty was a unique experience. After all, few single women in their sixties build log homes in the woods.
“Things went very smoothly with Betty’s home,” says Cheryle Dupont, of Sisson, Dupont & Carder. “They usually do when homeowners figure out what they want room by room, instead of item by item. Betty also made sure everything fit together upfront.”
The open-beamed great room and catwalk of the “Hidden Lake” floorplan appealed to Betty. But she wanted more windows, a fireplace in the corner rather than in the middle of a wall, a bigger laundry area, a larger front entry and more square footage overall. Cheryle’s sister, Caroline Carder, also with the company, translated Betty’s wish list into a customized 1,626-square-foot plan.
Betty went with 6-by-12-inch dovetailed logs. And, like all Sisson, Dupont & Carder logs, they’re kiln-dried white pine. To create a weathered look on the exterior, Betty upgraded to a hand-hewn finish, stained with an undercoat of Sashco Transformation stain in gray and a topcoat of dark brown. The interior walls are tongue-and-groove white pine, sealed with the same chocolate-tinged Sashco Symphony stain used on the ponderosa pine floor.
Thanks to a good plan, good teamwork and good weather, construction moved forward without a hitch, and Betty settled into her new log home in the woods two weeks ahead of schedule. All the more time to enjoy her perfect new abode in the tranquility of nature.
The full story was featured in the April 2007 issue of Log Home Design.