When it comes to log cabins, you will find quite a few scattered
throughout the Logan County countryside.
A log cabin can be built from actual logs or may be a structure
that is sided with real or synthetic wood. If you are looking to
build, there are numerous styles and sizes to choose from, ranging
from a simple small cottage to the large Aspen-style grand lodge
look that is multistoried, perhaps featuring full faces of windows,
sweeping porches and decks, even exterior balconies.
You can buy do-it-yourself kits, preformed modular, or get full
building designs and purchase the raw materials to build it
A-frame homes are less prevalent in the Logan County landscape.
But, like the log cabin, they are often a secret obsession of those
who usually fall in love with the style the first time they see one.
The A-frame's steeply sloping sides are well suited to places like
the north woods and anywhere with heavy snowfalls.
Like the log cabin, the A-frame style, materials, size and other
options can be varied to fit the space available and your
Again, features typically include a lot of natural wood, a
fireplace and often a full bank of windows to one direction to
capture that great outdoor woods view.
Inside an A-frame, unless there is a basement or some
standard-type addition, or if the basic structure is really tall and
wide, there may be less storage space than standard home structures
provide. This is not always a drawback, as it enhances the perceived
attributes of a simplified, unencumbered living style for a peaceful
One of the common features of an A-frame and some log cabins is a
loft space. The loft is usually open to a space below. The upper
room most often renders a romantic or comforting feel for a bedroom
space, reminiscent of favored children's tales like "Heidi."
Skylights or sky windows and low ceilings over the bed will beg
imagined stargazing, as well as offering a greater sense of
The ground level of an A-frame most often features an open floor
plan and sloping walls and ceiling of natural wood, for solid,
earthy charm. Naturally clean lines instill an ideal of efficiency
and the life attitude "Live today, live fully."
Whatever you decide on, if building new or renovating an existing
structure, it is highly recommended that you work with a local
contractor who can advise you on local building regulations, permits
or certificates, fees, material availability and costs, ways you
might save money, and possible unforeseen costs. For example, it
might be that some materials would not be available locally, and
there would be added shipping costs and possibly a delay to hinder
the building process.
There are numerous options and a wide range of costs when it
comes to choosing construction materials, even when it comes to
roofs, walks and driveway materials. You'll want to set your budget
and learn everything you can before making any decisions.
In addition to the building materials, you will want to consider
ancillary and ongoing costs, such as periodic maintenance and taxes.
If the property is inside the boundaries of a municipality, you
will need to pay a visit to that community's zoning office.
For unincorporated areas of Logan County, you will want to make a
trip to the county zoning office to speak with Will D'Andrea.
D'Andrea can provide you with building permit requirements and other
regulations, including what would be needed to meet health
department requirements for well and septic systems.
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You will also want to find out how the property assessment might
change due to improvements. This is an annual cost that needs
serious consideration. Different sizes and types of structures;
add-ons, including garages, patios, porches, sheds and outbuildings;
as well as other land improvements, including materials used for
driveways, fences, etc. — all are taxed differently. You can gather
that information at the assessor's office in the John Logan Building
When looking for a contractor for your project, ask for
references and check a few of those. Ask the references about their
experience in working with the contractor: Were they pleased with
the quality of workmanship? How was the company to work with as the
project progressed? How well did they work with other
subcontractors, such as electrical and plumbing, heating and
cooling? How good was the company at meeting terms of the contract
on timeliness, regular cleanup and staying within budget?
Don't forget to leave something in your budget for landscaping
and porch or deck furniture, trees and flowers, bird feeders, and
maybe even a small goldfish pond.
A local contractor, Matthews Construction, is in the final stages
of an entire interior makeover of a log cabin home near Lincoln.
Walls, ceilings, cabinets and floors have all been transformed using
various types of wood. Logs cut from the couple's previous home
property in Atlanta have been treated and used to appear as
structural beams and as accents. The craftsmen from Matthews also
took some walnut cut from the couple's property, planed and sanded
it smooth, trimmed it in barked saplings, and gave it a durable
clear-coat finish. It serves as a stunning focal point in the
Carolyn Gaston said her husband had a vision when the couple
bought the home about 14 years ago, but she didn't see it back then.
It was just an ordinary house with a nice view. They added the
beautiful log cabin look to the exterior a few years later. The
interior work just began in November. And now, with the interior
nearly completed, she is so thrilled, she says she has to pinch
herself every day to believe where they are living.
Gaston had nothing but praises for the quality of work done by
the Matthews company. She said that working with Brad and his crew
has been wonderful. They brought ideas that fit just what she and
her husband had in mind for a country living feel.
Gaston loves the innovative crisscross pattern Matthews created
for the doors so much that they decided to carry the motif
throughout the home. All the doors — from kitchen, to storage, to
cubbyholes, to the sturdy-looking double-hung closet doors that
mimic barn doors on a track, and the standard doorway doors between
rooms — carry through the country feel.
The home's interior now matches its exterior appearance: a
natural beauty full of charm.
If you are looking for ideas, you can do an Internet search for
log cabin or A-frame homes. But it is always wise to work with a
You can find contact information on Matthews Construction and
other local contractors in the
LDN Business Directory.
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]