Log Home Design - July 2007
Laurie and Doug Pooch are no strangers to log homes. In
fact, ever since she could remember, Laurie knew she was destined
to own one someday.
"I would get magazines and drool over how warm and inviting they
looked in the photos," she says. Despite her passion,
however, Laurie hesitated. Concerned about the maintenance
and settling, she wasn't sure if she was ready to take the
plunge. "Then I read about half-log construction," she
Laurie and Doug learned that half-log homes are conventionally
built and insulated, then the exterior is encased in logs that
literally are split in half, while the interior walls can be
covered in log or other materials, including drywall. Laurie
was intrigued. To her, this meant she could live her log home
dream with the design flexibility she craved but without the
maintenance that she was unsure about.
With their zeal for log homes renewed, in 1992, the couple built
their first half-log home, a two-story, three-bedroom house in
Waukee, Iowa, that was well-suited for their young family.
But with their kids now grown, the couple dreamed of something
different, and Laurie set to work sketching plans for a new house
that would better fit their newfound empty-nester lifestyle.
That design consisted of a number of essential elements -
particularly a master suite, laundry, kitchen, office, sunroom and
greatroom all located on the main level; a loft; and two guest
bedrooms as well as a family room on the lower level. They
were so satisfied with their first half-log home, there was no
question that they would build that way again. Laurie calls
it, "The best of both worlds, because you can use as much log as
you want." This time around, they chose a handcrafted,
kiln-dried log package from Oostburg, Wisconsin - based Expedition
"Often, people think of half-log construction as veneers.
That's not what we do," explains Jan Koepsell, owner of Expedition
Log Homes. "We start with a full log, which we debark and
then cut in half, keeping the log's heart center because that
maintains the integrity and strength of the wood. The log is
completed with a handcrafted finish using a drawknife to showcase
its natural characteristics." The Pooches chose pine logs
with a consistent 8-inch stack height. On the exterior, the
corners are 10 inches in diameter and finished in the full-round
Under the auspices of their newly established building company,
Cabin Fever Construction, and as dealer representatives for
Expedition, the couple broke ground for their new home in 2004 and
never looked back.
With the Works
The Pooches' home is highly energy efficient. Expedition's
log packages meet the Energy Star requirements for Wisconsin, and
combining the high thermal mass value of half-logs with R-30
insulated walls (R-40 in the roof) and Pella windows increased the
home's efficiency. Laurie and Doug also chose Energy Star
appliances, as well as a geothermal heating-and-cooling system that
uses buried lateral loops and a compressor to extract warmth from
the earth in winter and coolness in summer. The result?
Cabin Fever's first certified Energy Star Home.
Not only is Doug and Laurie's home literally warm, the design
and décor is snug and inviting, as well. "Some log homes have
very tall ceilings and huge expanses of glass, but this home is
open and sunny without going over the top," notes Jan. "The
flow is wonderful, and the home is very relaxing and livable."
But remember, this house was designed with visitors in
mind. It's spacious enough to host 40 comfortably, and the
couple enjoys entertaining church and community groups as well as
their family. "Everyone wants to have Thanksgiving and
Christmas here," Laurie says. "This house has a cozy feel,
but there's still plenty of room for everyone to stay."
Let us be your guide.....
Blaze your own path with the help of an experienced guide.
Expedition Log Homes® is here to help you map out your very own log
Expedition Log Homes is a PROUD MEMBER OF the Log
Homes Council, National Association of Home Builders, Wisconsin
Builders Association and an Energy Star Partner