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Designing to Fit Your Location

In past articles we’ve talked about visualizing the way your future log or timber frame will look when it is completed, but what do you see when you picture the surrounding land? Do you envision your home tucked away at the base of a rugged mountain range? Or perhaps your ideal wood house is seen on the banks of a lake or river, or amongst open, rolling valleys. Whether your choice is to build by land or sea, every home plan needs to be designed specifically for its location. Here are some design aspects to consider when building in different locations.

Log Home in the Mountains 

If your desire is to build a log mountain retreat where you can enjoy the snow and winter activities, there are many aspects of your design to consider. The roof system of your home in particular will be affected by the winter season. For example, the snow load of your roof will need to be calculated in order to determine the appropriate roof pitch to control snow run-off. If you are building in a location like Alaska, where the snow load is especially heavy, a cold roof system might be something you consider with your architect. Many of our clients who build in these high snow areas do so because of the recreational opportunities. By including a ski-in ski-out space or extra storage for winter toys, you can take full advantage of your home in the mountains.

Log Home on a Waterfront 

Having that picture perfect log home on the lake is something may have dreamt about, but that beautiful waterfront view has its own unique considerations as well. Instead of snow loads and roof pitches you will need to assess water levels and flood plains. For many lake, river or ocean front locations, the home can also be subjected to erosion. Reviewing a variety of building materials like siding that can weather salt water or a foundation that is raised or on stilts can help ensure a safely built and long-lasting home.

A Log Home’s Surroundings 

With fires damaging or destroying homes across the West from Washington to Texas this season, make sure you are smart about your landscaping design. For example, trees should be sufficiently spaced and pruned to a certain height. For more suggestions you can visit the Forest Service website. When you prepare for fires coming through your land, you should also prepare for water run-off flowing towards your home. Whether you are high on a hill or down in a valley, water run-off can cause erosion or flooding. By building retaining walls or planning strategic vegetation around the home, you can deter run-off away from your log or timber structure.

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