Former engineers George and Donna Latendresse knew building a log home together would be their toughest project. Located in the Rocky Mountains of Blackhawk, Colorado, the terrain can be unforgiving, and flat land is hard to come by.
Square Footage: 3,252
Engineers are practical people and George admitted he had no good reason to build a log home … besides the important fact that it was his dream. That’s why he and Donna were so hands on with the construction. For the Latendresses, the challenge and private location of their future home were primary motivators. “We can’t see any other lights from our home,” says George. “We get fantastic stars.”
The #1 thing for the Latendresses is their home’s size. It’s not a giant house: The first floor is an accessible and comfortable 2,000 square feet that contains a harmonious ecosystem of rooms. “We hardly ever need to leave the first floor,” says George. With an interior trim made from rough-sawn lodgepole pine and hand-picked finishings, countertops and balusters, they certainly made the most of every foot.
Montana Log Homes co-owner Brad Neu worked on the Latendresses’ job site and remembers, “The biggest challenge was getting to the site.” A narrow driveway required that they hire a crane big enough to pick up the trucks as they were backed in and then “walk them around.” Torrential rains almost swept one of their trucks into the creek. To withstand the elements, the team constructed the home with 15-to-16-inch logs.
Knowing the specific challenges of a site can make things easier in the long run. Here are some tips from people who have been there before:
Scout it out. Get a builder on your site before you sign on the dotted line. People have sold properties that ended up being too costly to build on.
Be prepared. High wind and snow areas will affect a home’s engineering.