Design Your Own Log Home


When came to buying their log package and hiring a builder, the couple went with Strongwood Log & Timber Homes. The Waupaca-based company is both a custom home builder and a log manufacturer. “Now I only had one throat to choke,” Tom says with a chuckle.

Being local also meant that Strongwood was able to help 1‘om and Barbara navigate Waupaca’s tight zoning restrictions and required setbacks from the water. “We have a narrow lot that’s about 0.6 of an acre, and diey [Strongwood] did a good job of using the property; the whole thing is about the view and a relaxed atmosphere,” Tom says.

Barbara points to the patio on the lake side of her home and says, “That’s as close as we could get to the lake with our patio. And on the sides of our house, the retaining walls had to be a certain way … It was kind of tricky.

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Preparing the construction site was also tricky. In order to build, Strongwood had to drive 30-foot log pilings into the ground.


The design process was collaborative between the homeowners and Strongwood. “They designed around the property, and we gave a lot of input,” notes Tom.

The couple ensured their dream home on the lake would serve them well in later years. “Basically, when we built the house, we knew it was going to be for retirement, so we wanted everything that we could on the first level so that we don’t have to use rhe upstairs, Barbara says. And in case they need wheelchair accessibility sonic day, doorways arc all an extra-wide thirty-six inches.

They also wanted an open-concept design. It just worked out well because the view lets you see water on three sides. 180 degrees, says Barbara. She and Tom agree that their favorite part of their lake home is the four-season room with its six windows providing an excellent view of the lake. “We really like this, how it’s bumped out instead of the wall going straight across, says Tom. “We worked with the builder on it. By having it angular, you can have more windows and a better, more panoramic view.

The couple made choices along die way to stay within budget, like choosing laminate countertops over granite. But they didn’t scrimp on space in high-use areas since this is their primary home, not a vacation retreat. ‘‘We wanted a big kitchen so that we can entertain a lot. says Barbara. The kitchen also includes a sizable pantry. Tom requested oversized dormers upstairs, which he estimates added about 600 square feet to the second floor.

In other areas, the couple economized on space. For instance, the washer and dryer are stacked in the mud-room. Tom’s desk is built into a loft wall. And pocket doors were installed in the mudroom and the powder room.

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