This reader proves doing your homework pays off!
Photos courtesy Sue Creasap
A decade of consistent research using Log Home Living meant Sue Creasap and her husband John Hennen sailed through the designing and building of their 2,000-square-foot dream log home in Virginia. “I didn’t feel blindsided by anything,” Sue says.
A reader since 2003, Sue saved every issue, using the magazines as reference material to guide her in every facet of the project. “I used it for budget planning, for what companies to even look at, to floor plans, to understanding terminology,” she recalls. When the time came for Sue and John to make their dream of a log retirement home a reality, they felt comfortable talking to their builder and log home producer because they had done their homework.
Sue, who traveled often in her role as associate director of bands and professor of music education at Morehead State University (she has since retired), routinely visited model homes and log home companies wherever she went. Model home directories in the magazine and internet searches allowed her to find places to visit along her routes.
After meeting with Natural Element Homes (formerly Tennessee Log Homes) in Sweetwater, Tennessee, and discussing her project with one of the company’s representatives, she knew it was a perfect fit. Natural Element gained Sue’s confidence by quickly revising a stock floor plan to make it work for the couple’s budget.
Construction on the home wrapped up in 2014, but Sue stills refers to the magazine for decorating tips.
While her schedule didn’t allow her to attend any weekend log home shows while they were in the planning stages, Sue did take advantage of online webinars to gain more knowledge of project planning and home design.
“The magazine was my starting point for pretty much everything,” she explains. When choosing a stain, for instance, Sue wanted a product that was environmentally friendly and searched the magazine ads for options.
While the home package they purchased from Natural Element was comprehensive, Sue and John did have to choose their own flooring and interior doors. In the end, their builder helped them choose flooring, and they contracted with Solid Wood Doors by Don Jensen for their interior doors. “He always had an ad in the magazine for knotty pine doors,” Sue says.
“I read all the articles about financing,” she recalls. When it came time to obtain a mortgage for their home, Sue first consulted Log Home Living’s list of log-home friendly financing options. She and John were disappointed that there was no lender in their region. Instead they applied for a loan with a local bank recommended by their builder.
“Thanks to Log Home Living—and a terrific builder—we had a stress-free, exciting construction process,” Sue says. As she and John look forward to retirement, they spend as much time in their log home as possible, enjoying the quiet and the amazing views.