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How to Expand + Renovate a Log Home

Sometimes, you need a change of plans... floor plans that is. Find out all you need to know about expanding a renovating your log home.

Written by Janice Brewster
How to Expand + Renovate a Log Home
Photo Credit: Greyson Joralemon/Unsplash

After they built a log home overlooking Center Hill Lake in Tennessee in 2004, Cynthia and John Fitzmartin didn’t just sit back and call it a day. In 2006, they added a garage and a front porch, then in 2014, they decided their 10-year-old home needed a makeover.

Why a log home:

The Fitzmartins like the strong look and solid feel of log walls, not to mention the fresh aroma of the wood. Using logs for the addition was just a given for them.

Most important features:

The addition needed to enlarge the great room and provide a more formal eating space. The couple wanted more outdoor space to enjoy their view of the lake. The cast-iron stove felt cramped in its spot under the stairs, so they wanted to move it. And the kitchen and master suite needed help, too.

Cynthia & John Fitzmartin

The Lowdown

The Fitzmartins went back to Honest Abe Log Homes in Moss, Tennessee, the company that had produced the logs for their original home. Together, they devised a plan to add a dining room, shift the wood stove to one end of an expanded great room and add outdoor living space on both the lake side and the road side of the home. A bedroom was added to the finished basement and the kitchen was reconfigured and updated.

The Inside Scoop

Adding on to a log home is similar to adding on to a conventional house. If you plan to expand, here are some things to consider:
  • Will new logs look like the old? The Fitzmartins solved this issue by re-staining the original logs in the same dark color that was to be used on the new logs. Of course, you could also decide to keep the new areas distinct, maybe using a completely different log profile to give your home the look of evolving over time.
  • How will new windows compare? One way to blend the new section with the existing one is to use all the same style of window. That could mean replacing windows in your home’s older section, adding to the total cost of your project.
  • Who will do the work? If your original contractor can’t take on the project, maybe he or she can recommend a trusted remodeler.
  • How will your home’s systems be affected? A big increase in square footage could mean you’ll need to upgrade your home’s heating or air-conditioning systems.

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