Getting Serious About the House Design

Narrowing Our Desires & Wants

to Meet Our Needs and Abilities

Our truest sense of "home" is embodied in this image.

We began a months-long odyssey of dreaming in the spring of 2010 and by fall we had narrowed our focus on what we really felt was essential. We had to build something we could afford to construct and maintain as well as pay the taxes and ownership fees.

During the Spring of 2010 we developed several sets of seriously designed plans. My hobby is drafting. Railroad equipment and structures, automobiles, sailboats, homes, etc. were amongst my favorite drawing subjects. Design was easy. Years of experience living in and remodeling other homes gave us experience in the "likes, dislikes, must haves and really don't needs". We also knew the furniture and cabinetry sizes and general needs for space in our kitchen, bathrooms and the more flexible bedrooms and living space.

We had met with folks at Log Castles of Oregon and Tennessee Log Homes. Their sales people were very helpful in offering to redesign some of their designs to meet our desires - if we agreed to buy from them. We used the Log Castles Rosebriar plan and reshaped it to our ideal for arrangement and size. Tennessee Log Homes really went 'all out' by designing three versions of a plan based on the 'ideal' design that I had worked up.

Ultimately, we had some very big misgivings with the log home concept that were based in our own misperceptions of what it takes to build one of those elaborate designs that were selected by and offered to us.

One misperception was the 'lovely' designs that were so appealing to our inner sense of the 'appearance of home'. The more intricate the exterior wall configurations became; the more they would complicate the construction.

Each extra 'bump out' for coved windows and doors and cute little room alcoves and porches was estimated to add anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 to the overall project.

Other illusions were related to "ease of construction". The Log Castle homes used full-dimension logs. The logs were shaped on site and assembled by a skilled crew of builders who simultaneously shaped and fitted each log to the specific home. The cost for cranes and heavy trucks was daunting. We reluctantly let Log Castles know we could not go their way.

The Tennessee Log Homes 'kits' ranged from a simple set of log-only materials to a complete set with all of the necessary logs and other lumber (dimensional and plywood) to be shipped from their plants and warehouses around the country. Again, expense of transport was going to 'eat our shorts'. We woud also have to arrange for fork lifts to be on site for the off-loading of flatbed trailers - on a 1-3 hour notice of delivery. I was quickly disabused of this idea, at least not in Siskiyou County. I soon learned the costs and availability of fork lifts were beyond any desire on my part to pay for.

As our odyssey approached its' end we finally settled on using Yreka talent, in the form of Brad Myers, to take my already drafted design and modify it as needed to fit California building standards.


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