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Worth the Wait

An open floor plan and wraparound porch complete a dream 30 years in the making
by Ronda Mollica | Photos by James Ray Spahn

The front porch swing is one of Ken Hecker's favorite sitting spots where he can spot wildlife that come to drink at the nearby lake.



The Hecker family’s dream of a log home was 30 years in the making. Ever since Ellen Hecker visited her aunt’s log cabin in Ohio, Ellen has wanted to recapture the relaxed country feel that she experienced.

When Ken and Ellen married in 1976, Ellen expressed her desire for a log home and the thought was filed in the “someday” mental folder.

They bought a starter home instead and eventually moved up to an older farmhouse as the family grew.

The farmhouse featured smaller single-purpose rooms, which gave Ellen inspiration to begin drawing out her dream-home floor plan with an open concept as a priority — a multi-functional space that would allow the family to interact before, during, and after dinner.

“Our farm house served its purpose,” Ellen explains, “but the rooms were so small that when Ken would recline in his Laz-e-boy chair, he would be halfway into the kitchen.”

Other items on her list for the dream home were a wraparound porch, a first-floor master suite, a home office, and several fireplaces. This was to be built on a large country lot, made of sturdy logs, just like her aunt’s home.

As commercial growth caught up to the area, the Heckers found the time right to leave the farmhouse. Ken was a little reluctant, but knew that Ellen had done her homework. They met with a log home company and put money down to begin the process.

As it turned out, the land they purchased would not support a septic tank for the size home they wanted. This put a hold on things until they could find another piece of property.

In the meantime, the Heckers had visited a nearby log home show and met Leon and Lisa York of Landmark Log Homes. In a short time, the Heckers knew that Landmark’s log home system struck a cord that Ken could go along with. “Their wall system blends half logs with standard stick framing and dovetail corner notching for an authentic look,” says Ken. “They then took us on a tour of their own home, which sold us on the hybrid home idea. Soon after, we reversed our plans and put a deposit down with Landmark.”

A large home office was important to the Heckers, who own there own business. The office has an open-beamed ceiling to allow light from the dormer window and allow the dramatic cathedral ceiling to be seen.


Everything Ellen had dreamed about took shape: the pine logs, the wraparound porch and open, central room. “Leon offered a few suggestions that I was very happy with,” says Ellen, “including removing a useless hallway and opening up the kitchen even more. We can all be together after a long day and re-connect, even if we are sitting in the home office.”

One area of the home that turned out even better than expected is the master suite. “I had the idea to connect the master suite with the laundry room to make life a little easier,” says Ellen. “This arrangement — along with the walk-in closet, spacious bathroom, gas fireplace and access to the deck — makes this space feel like we’re on vacation.”

More about this home, including more photos and a floor plan, ran in the September 2008 issue of Country’s Best Log Homes magazine.


Home Details:
Square footage: 2,800
Log producer: Landmark Log Homes
Dealer: Ken & Ellen Hecker
Roofing: Corning Architectural
Windows: Weathershield
Wood flooring: Australian cypress
Masonry: Coronado Stone
Lighting: Keller Lighting
Appliances: Whirlpool, Jenn-Air
Faucets: Kohler
Ceramic flooring: Skip Mumaw
Cabinetry: Haas Cabinets
Landscaping: Flanagan Landscaping
Pool: In-ground by A & B Pool

Published in Country's Best Log Homes
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