Compiled by Griffin Suber
Photos courtesy of Mary Andrews
On the snowy shores of Big Stone Lake in South Dakota, Jim and Mary Andrews’ 5,000-square-foot-log home sits as yet another sterling example of a lifelong wish turned reality. Their four-bedroom dream home is built using 10-inch-thick pine logs with exterior tongue-and-groove. In summer, the Andrews clan loves to cruise the 27-mile-long lake in their pontoon; in winter, they enjoy all the activities a frosty location like this has to offer. But it’s the fifth season — the holiday season — where this cozy family compound really shines (and where its size comes in handy). This year, Jim and Mary have a very full house, hosting 30 children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces.
Mary Andrews: Owning a log home has always been my dream. I’ve been buying log home magazines for probably 40 years – I didn’t think it was ever going to happen, but then my husband went to a log home auction and just bought the logs. We took it from there.
Jim and I touched every piece of wood in here. We did everything in this house except build the cupboards and cabinets, which were custom made, and a contractor laid the carpet. But other than that, we did it all, every log stained and varnished. It was about a five-year process before we finished.
My favorite things about our home are my see-through fireplace in between the dining area and the living room and our large deck that overlooks the lake.
We have a full basement, too, which has two bedrooms, a large family room and this little kitchen area. Our master suite is on the top level — the whole floor. In the middle is our TV room, then we have a large bedroom with a full bath and a huge walk-in closet.
Building your own log home is a lot of hard work, but once you’re done, it’s like a dream come true. It’s so rewarding. I’ll look around here and see every piece that I’ve touched. Everybody that comes into our home, they’re just amazed with it. It’s so comfortable and cozy.