Florida resident Steve Dettor had a life-long dream—to own a home in the mountains. Because he knew his wife Lee loved living near the ocean, he kept his dream to himself. But he couldn’t keep it inside forever. Finally, five years ago, Steve told Lee his heart’s desire.
“Talk about communication,” Lee says with the kind of playful sarcasm that comes with 30 years of marriage. “I’d never heard him once mention he wanted a mountain home, then out of the blue he says it’s time to look for property and build a house!”
Before he spilled his secret, Steve had already found a spot to build his vacation getaway—Waynesville, North Carolina, where friends had convinced him to join a country club to have a place to golf that avoided Florida’s heat and humidity.
When he joined the club, Steve had never laid eyes on Waynesville. Before he teed up for his first shot, he told Lee his dream, and together they paid the town a visit.
They stopped by a striking log building that housed the town’s Chamber of Commerce and served as the office of Distinctive Log Homes/Honka Log Homes. By fall, they’d found the perfect piece of land and, in Honka, the perfect log provider.
“We looked at a number of local log houses and several different types of log construction, but we felt that Honka produced the kind of home we were looking for,” says Lee. The catch? They didn’t want a “rustic” log home.
“The Dettors desired a contemporary look, which is an unusual request for a log home,” says Tom Hines with Distinctive Log Homes and Honka. “Plus, their site has spectacular views, but a very steep slope, making it hard to build on. They needed a custom home, and fortunately, we were able to give them just what they wanted.”
Tom began the work by doing some heavy-duty earth moving, re-grading and foundation pouring at the site. While that took place, the Dettors’ home was cut and pre-built in Finland to make sure all the pieces fit snugly. Then it was dismantled and shipped to the site for permanent assembly.
The main floor of the house is constructed entirely of 8 ¼-inch-diameter polar pine logs, with a Swedish cope profile that produces weight-bearing contact over the entire length of the log offering a stable shell with a weather-tight fit. “As with all Honka packages, the complete kit includes all windows and doors,” Tom explains.
The three-level, 4,500-square-foot home includes a living room, dining room, kitchen, walk-in pantry, laundry room, powder room, guest bedroom with a full bath, a deck and two-car garage on the main level. A clever glass railing on the deck allows for an almost unobstructed view of both the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountain ranges.
A luxurious master suite, including separate his-and-hers bathrooms (Steve’s boasts a steam shower) is upstairs. On the lower level, there’s a TV room with a wet bar and a separate billiards room, plus two guest bedrooms, each with its own bath. Numerous decks and balconies extend the home’s living areas to the outdoors, taking advantage of their gorgeous mountaintop locale.
Today, Lee is glad that Steve finally had the courage to tell her he longed for the mountains and wanted a change from Florida’s flat landscape. They love their vacation log home and so do their five sons, their spouses and two grandchildren. In fact, Lee now looks at the endeavor as a dream come true that she didn’t even know she’d had.
Square footage: 4,500
Builder: Distinctive Log Homes
Log Provider: Honka Log Homes