Design: With beating summer sun and howling winter winds, prairies are notorious for extremes. Experts say low-rise ranch-style homes are a popular design choice for the way they contour to the land and blend in with the environment. “In order to have a certain amount of presence, the scale of the home has to be a little bit larger,” says designer Jason Cytacki with BK Cypress Log Homes in Bronson, Florida. The views are also important, but the mistake many people make is building on the most beautiful spot on the property. “You want to build facing that beautiful spot so you can enjoy it, not destroy it,” he says.
“In a prairie with a vast amount of open space around you, it’s easy for the home to become overpowered by the roofline,” Jason says. For that reason, it’s important to increase the log wall heights to a height-width ratio that matches the roofline.” Lower roof slopes will help keep heating costs down in winter.
Log Species: When it comes to species, everyone has a favorite. Rand likes the strength of Douglas fir. Designer Brian Delwiche puts cedar at the top of his list. Cypress is Jason’s first choice. No matter if you’re building on a grassy plain, at water’s edge, on the top of a mountain or on the desert floor, industry insiders stress what might be the most valuable consideration: aesthetics. Advanced building materials and innovative engineering allow for preferences to play a dominant role in the design process, and regardless of terrain, there should be no place like home.