Log Cabin Homes - May 2017
Rick and Mary Hollstein have very little down time. Owners of
a highly successful commercial roofing business, the couple
operates at a pace not many individuals could keep up with.
"Back in 2003," says Rick Hollstein, "we decided as a family to
look for a getaway home that would make us feel like we were really
on vacation, even if it was just for the weekend." The
Hollsteins found and purchased a log cabin on Pine River Pond in
Wakefield, New Hampshire. "Quickly hooked on log home living
in the north woods" Rick continues, "several years later we
discussed how nice it would be to build a brand new home on a
Rick had attended Bridgton Academy in Bridgeton, Maine, during
the late 1970s. "As a young man there," he recalls, "I
developed a passion for the area with its many lakes and feeling of
wilderness." He and Mary began looking for property near
Bridgton, specifically along the shores of Long Lake.
"I think we spent a full year looking at nearly every available
property on the lake," says Mary, "and eventually we found a
perfect parcel with a gradual slope down to the water."
With their lakefront property purchased, Rick and Mary began to
research log home companies. "We had been so enchanted with
our first log home," says Mary, "that there was no question our
dream lake house would also be log." After six months of
diligent research and product comparisons, the Hollsteins decided
to contract with Expedition Log Homes, based in Oostburg,
"We began the design concept for our home with Expedition's
"Hillview" model, says the couple, "but the design morphed
considerably over a period of three months. "Expedition Log
Homes' Greg Grimes assisted Rick and Mary with the design changes,
interpreting their wishes via numerous telephone
conversations. The final design has found its way into
Expedition's current model offerings, and is seen on their website
as the "Palisade."
The homeowners selected Expedition's 8-inch half log with
Handcrafted Saddlenotch corners to get the "log cabin" feeling they
were after. They initially wanted stacked full log walls, but
in the end were convinced the hybrid style was the best option for
them. It enabled them to use spray foam insulation that keeps
the home warm and cozy during Maine's cold winters. The
Hollsteins also upgraded from pine to cedar exterior logs, which
they feel was well worth the money.
Greg Grimes says, "During my first phone visit with the, Rick
shared that he and Mary owned a full log vacation home in New
Hampshire. During and after his log home was built, Rick
often said his half log home was 'more of a log home' than his full
log home ever was. Some of our full log customers look at
half log as a compromise, 'less than' or 'fake' … sort of an
artificial Christmas tree versus a real tree. We've never
felt that way, nor do our half log customers. I just found it
very interesting: here's a client who has had both, but feels
his half log home is more authentic."
build their log home, Rick and Mary went with local general
contractor Wayne McInnis, recommended to them by Expedition.
"We had several discussions with Wayne," says Rick, "and his
apparent knowledge and experience in building log homes won us
over." The Hollsteins turned the building process over to
Wayne and his son, Ben. Wayne made recommendations for all of
the subcontractors, who Rick and Mary interviewed and then
hired. "From that point on," recalls Mary, "Wayne and Ben
supervised all phases of the building process. Rick and I
felt very secure putting the job in their hands." The
father/son team installed every piece of wood in the Hollsteins'
home, from framing to finish.
The property's slope to the lake lent itself perfectly to the
creation of a daylight basement, to be used as an entertainment
area. The basement walls were raised to 10 feet to achieve a
spacious ceiling height. With the addition of sliding glass
doors and several large windows, all facing the lake, the space
doesn't feel like a typical walkout basement. "We added stone
retaining walls to both ends of the house," explains Rick, "so the
exterior elevation was consistent from one end to the other.
We also installed patio pavers. This area of the home has
great access to the lake and is the main gathering place when we
are hosting family and friends."
Rick reports that the building process went much smoother than
he had anticipated. He says, "Wayne paid close attention to
detail and didn't rush through any portion of the project.
There were things that needed to be modified during the course of
construction; some were our changes and some due to Wayne's
recommendations. We really appreciated his willingness to
accommodate our ideas and also offer his own. It was a very
collaborative endeavor and particularly rewarding to Mary and me
because we are in the construction business."
A three-hour drive from their home in Marshfield, Massachusetts,
Rick and Mary manage to retreat to their Maine getaway three out of
four weekends a month, year round. "It's so worth it to us,"
says Mary, "for the benefits of distressing from work. We
head up after work on Friday afternoons and turn around on Sunday
to go back home. During holidays and long weekends, no matter
what time of year, you will always find us there with family and
There's nothing the homeowners would change about the design or
location of their Maine getaway. Nor do they feel a burning
desire to take on a building project like this one again.
"It's exactly what we envisioned for ourselves," say Rick and
Mary. Once the log home was completed the couple hired Wayne
to build a woodshed, then a detached garage with living quarters
above. They continue to try to come up with a fitting name
for their retreat but so far the only one that feels right to them
is "The House That Wayne Built."
"Wayne McInnis is one of our local field reps, and a log home
builder with 30 of experience under his belt," says Greg
Grimes. "Throughout the design and construction phase Rick
and Wayne developed a strong bond. They're both very
professional but refreshingly down to earth. Even with the
best client-builder relationships most owners are happy to see
their building project completed. Not Rick; he kept
looking for ways to keep Wayne busy with additional projects on the
property. You get the point; what began as a customer-builder
relationship turned into much more than that: a solid
friendship, built on respect and trust."
Click to see the floor
plan and more images