Honest Abe Living, Sept.-0ct. 2015

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Sept.-Oct. 2015





Importance of Perc Test Outdoor Living Webinar Online

Log Home Maintenance

Our People Sept.-Oct. 2015

In this issue... Design Manager Fred Kendall has been with Honest Abe for 35 years dealing with engineering and code compliance, providing support to builders, estimating materials and providing the manufacturing team with critical production information.

From Retreat to Forever, p. 4 Outdoor Living Webinar, p. 10 Clients’ Homes, p. 11 Wood Maintenance, p. 12 Cooking with Lodge Recipe, p. 14 Passing the Perc Test, p. 15 Honest Abe Living editing, design and layout by Claudia Johnson, Director of Marketing

National Headquarters Sales Rep Inez Price is an Honest Abe homeowner with a decade of helping customers plan and purchase their own forever home.

Connect with Honest Abe Facebook – Like us on our Facebook fan page and join the growing community. Pinterest – Make your board more beautiful by pinning Honest Abe pictures.

For photos, floor plans and much more visit

Google+ – Join the Honest Abe circle for photos, news, ideas and more.


Twitter – Articles, resources, photo galleries and log home news, all shared here first.

Honest Abe’s manufacturing crew stopped to pose with Sales Rep Tammy Taylor as she surveyed production of a new home for one of her customers. HonestAbe.com


YouTube – Watch and learn about log and timber frame homes on our YouTube station. LinkedIn – Follow company and log home industry news on our LinkedIn company profile page. 2

Find Honest Abe Living articles, stunning photography and more information at the Honest Abe Log Homes blog and news room. www.honestabe.com/blog Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

From the President’s Desk by Josh Beasley, President, Honest Abe Log Homes Collaboration.

Due to governmental regulations, getting appraisals that meet standards while allowing a client to build the log home they've always wanted has become difficult – difficult, but not impossible.

When approaching a project like home building, one critical aspect of the process is to bring together the necessary skills and services. We do our best to help with this at Honest Abe.

Thankfully, Honest Abe is connected with service providers who want to work with log home owners. Information about those individuals and the products and companies they represent is on our website's Financing Options page.

Financing options seem to be one of the most prominent needs in recent months, and there are plenty of hurdles and hoops to go through to navigate the process successfully. While financing the purchase of an existing home may have become easier, it seems that many of our clients find the opposite to be true when building their forever home.

Do your due diligence and make sure they are a good fit. Over the years they have helped many log home customers realize their dreams.

Forever looks better from here

Manufacturers of custom designed log and timber frame

forever homes since 1979.


www.honestabe.com HonestAbe.com


Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015





By Claudia Johnson, Honest Abe Log Homes A small log cabin built as an escape has been transformed into a Tennessee couple’s forever home. “One of the first places we remember going when we moved to Murfreesboro in 1988 was the Honest Abe model,” Gary Slayden recalled. “I guess we’ve always had a desire and a dream to have a log home.” In 2006, Gary and wife Suzan purchased 25 acres of oak-studded land west of Murfreesboro, Tenn. By 2009 they had created a pond and cleared some of the land in anticipation of the 1,000 square foot Honest Abe log cabin designed as a retreat for hunting and enjoying time with family and friends. The original square log, dovetailed cabin featured an open dining room, kitchen and living room with an adjacent bedroom and bath on the first floor and a guest bedroom on a second floor landing. “The one thing that was most important was the placement of the cabin on the property,” Gary said, explaining how he and Suzan took into consideration the positioning of a driveway, which trees to keep and even where the sun would rise and set. Suzan admitted that no one would have believed her to be a “country girl,” but she grew up visiting grandparents’ farms, where she had learned to appreciate the outdoors. She and Gary frequently spent weekends at the cabin, and she found she was comfortable there among the abundant deer and wild turkeys, even growing accustomed to the unsettling howls of coyotes. “In 2014 we sold our home in town and were actually planning to move to another neighborhood, but we loved staying here so much in the small cabin, we chose to add on and move here,” Gary said, calling the 3,200 square foot addition a “labor of love.” Gary pointed out that because the cabin was extant, there was no “master plan” in determining where the addition would go but they were fortunate to have the space to add on. “There was really only one place to add on,” Suzan said. “It looks like it was meant to be.”



Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

The original cabin integrated seamlessly into the 2014 home expansion.

Built in 2009, the original 1,000 square foot cabin featured an open living room , dining room and kitchen and had two bedrooms and a full bath, with front and back porches.

The Slaydens had worked with longtime Honest Abe Murfreesboro Sales Representative Dan Smith to create the original cabin, so they called on him again to orchestrate the massive addition that quadrupled the home’s size. “It is very difficult to tell where the original cabin and the new house are connected, “ Dan observed. “It’s probably the best expansion I’ve ever seen in terms of matching wood, color and style.” A downstairs master bedroom suite opens onto a sunset-facing covered porch. The great room’s vaulted ceiling features a hand-wrought iron chandelier crafted by a Nashville artisan who created the delicate iron leaves and vines entangling the staircase and balcony balustrade. Tall windows bathe the room in sunshine. The adjacent kitchen/dining are is barrier-free, perfect for a couple as likely to host gatherings for 60 people as they are intimate family dinners. “We wanted a lot of natural light,” Gary said. “We wanted to be able to see the outdoors from the inside.” Upstairs there’s another full bath and bedroom. A combination office and den occupies the wide loft, where an east-facing window frames a pond and forest.



Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

Creating an outdoor living space was as important to the Slaydens as designing the perfect interior. Woven into the landscape are structures and features that accommodate their lives. There’s a detached two-car garage with an open covered bay and an enclosed utility area and potting shed. A pavilion with lighting and three large fans comfortably seats several dozen. A hammock swings between two ancient oaks on the front lawn. Stones from the property were repurposed into a circular fire pit. A double-seated swing is solidly placed on a small peninsula in the pond with fishing rods holstered an arm’s length away. “We don’t have a wrap-around porch, but we do have four porches,” Gary said. The outdoor grilling station with easy access to the kitchen is safely situated on the open end of a spacious outdoor room just off the dining room. Appointed with comfortable furniture and a large-screen TV, the Slaydens are cooled by a 72” fan or warmed by a wood-burning fireplace, depending on the season. “It’s gorgeous out there – the trees, the sounds of the wildlife – gorgeous and peaceful,” Suzan observed. The Slaydens said the lessons they learned from having built four custom homes helped them create the home they expect to live in forever. “We finally learned to pay attention to what’s important,” Gary said. “In the past we didn’t pay enough attention to sunsets.” HonestAbe.com


The original cabin ended just before the double doors and inset porch, creating a smooth roofline that ties in well with the new great room.

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the great room bathe the space with light. Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

The rear of the home overlooks a man-made lake, which can be viewed from a covered porch, an outdoor room with a fireplace (below right), a fire pit on the lawn or a double swing (below left) on a peninsula.

Garage & Potting Shed HonestAbe.com

Entertaining Pavillon 7

Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

Entertaining is important to the Slaydens, so a roomy kitchen opens onto the outdoor grilling station , while the living space is expanded beyond the dining room into an outdoor room complete with fireplace, a wall-mounted television, a dining table and a cozy sitting area.



Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

The downstairs master bedroom suite opens onto a sunset-facing covered porch. The bathroom features double sinks, a copper tub and a walk-in shower.



Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

Honest Abe Home Featured in Log Cabin Homes Magazine An Honest Abe log home overlooking beautiful Center Hill Lake is featured in the November issue of Log Cabin Homes. Pick up a copy and read about this amazing home and major expansion.

Inspiring Webinar by Honest Abe About Creating Outdoor Living Spaces Free Online If you’re wondering how log home and timber home owners create beautiful, functional outdoor spaces and how you can do it too, take a look at “Creating Outdoor Living Spaces for Log and Timber Homes: How three log home owners did it!” You’ll see numerous photos, get helpful tips and best of all actually hear audio experts from interviews with three couples, all owners of Honest Log Homes, discussing their outdoor spaces. Among the types of spaces these homeowners have created to compliment their lifestyle and their log home or timber frame home are outdoor rooms, fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, lakes, boathouses, swimming pools and bathhouses, gazebos, pavilions, potting sheds, detached garages and more. You can watch the webinar on your phone, tablet or desktop, so grab a snack and a cup of coffee, get comfortable and be prepared to imagine yourself in the outdoor spaces around your own log or timber home. Visit www.honestbe.com for more information and to access the webinar. HonestAbe.com


Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

Honest Abe Receives Photos from Customers Everywhere Tennessee

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Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

Advice from an Expert The Truth about Log Home Maintenance By Greg Crider, owner/operator of Renew Services LLC, Guest Columnist There is much to be said in terms of variables associated with the endless scenarios of what makes good or bad maintenance and how to best go about it. Remember, the most important point is to stay current on the preservation of your logs and timbers. I’ll touch on a couple of things that will help you understand how wood reacts to the environment it is placed in, what to do or not to do and what your contractor may be considering when he or she looks at your home. Lets explore the life cycle of your home a bit to establish a timeline. When your home is new, no matter of the log species, a good log supplier will dry the timbers first – air dried and then finished in a kiln to an acceptable moisture content. After the drying they are milled to a specific log style like D-log, round, square, etc. At this point, how the logs are handled is very important. You certainly don't want them to get wet and go through a wet-dry cycle while stacked on a skid. You will have a bad case of mold and water staining to deal with. After milling, the logs are cut, shipped and stacked into your home. This is where the maintenance starts from the owners’ perspective. Since the logs are already dry, it becomes very important to get a sealer applied as soon as possible. The longer it goes from the time a log is exposed to the weather, the more involved the cleaning process will be to prep for stain and sealer. Lets take a detour and explore a home our company was directly involved with – lovely new log home with hand-hewn chink style logs. It was a DIY project by a very capable owner-builder. However, with his job and family constraints it took too long to get the roof on the stacked logs. After a number of wet-dry cycles, mostly wet I think, the mildew and tannin stains were very pronounced. We were able to remove about 99 percent of the staining, but it could have been avoided by simply covering the logs with tarps to keep them dry.

Over-application of stain results in this.

The stain is the first line of defense. The sealant around windows and doors or any place the logs have moved is vital to keeping your energy consumption as low as possible. – Greg Crider

Keep it clean! HonestAbe.com


Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

Back to the stain finish. Logs are stacked, home is dried in and then the stain and sealers are applied. The initial coat is the most important, but the second (maintenance coat) when applied on schedule and on time provides even more life than the first coat, because the maintenance coat has the base of the first coat to build on. Here I will leave a word of caution: be careful not to over apply the stain. With most penetrating stains, over application will leave a high build up of color pigment, and the logs will darken dramatically. With some of the newer coating technologies, they will build up on the log surface and peel when over applied. The old adage “A little is good, a lot is better� doesn't hold true for log finishing! Always follow the manufactures’ guidelines. The stain is the first line of defense. The sealant around windows and doors or any place the logs have moved is vital to keeping your energy consumption as low as possible. (Never use silicon caulking on a log home). Consult your log home supplier for what is best in your application. I have found Perma-Chink Be careful with that awesome pressure washer you wife bought Systems to be a great company to call on with you for Christmas! It will do a lot a damage very quickly! great customer service. Checking (which are the cracks that show up in the face of the log) needs some attention. The more the checks are filled) the better performance of your stain system. This holds especially true for the check that faces up and will not drain when filled with rainwater. Use the proper backing material. Don't just pump them full of whatever was left over from the bathtub installation! So it all boils down to staying current with the stain system and keeping the joints and checks properly filled. At least once or twice a year, wash your home. There are cleaners available to help make this less of a task. And while washing will give you a clean home, it will also give you the opportunity to inspect your finish and sealant. Vacation in your own Honest Abe Log home today and live happily ever after! Greg Crider may be reached at (717)-532-7770 or Greg@RenewServices.net. Visit his web at www.RenewServices.net. Greg is also an Independent Dealer of Honest Abe Log Homes.

Log Raising Dates for 2016 Details & Registration are available at www.honestabe.com/events.

Jan. 23 @ 9 a.m. -12 p.m. April 30 @ 9 a.m. -12 p.m. July 16 @ 9 a.m. -12 p.m. Sept. 17 @ 9 a.m. -12 p.m. HonestAbe.com HonestAbe.com


Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

Apple-Pecan Clafloutis 3/4 cup pecan pieces 1 1/2 pounds firm, semi-sweet apples, like Fiji or Pink Lady 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 4 large eggs 1 cup whole milk 1 tablespoon apple brandy 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract Pinch of salt 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour Serves 6 to 8 1. Preheat the oven to 375. Pulse the pecans in a food processor until finely chopped; be careful not to process into a powder. Set aside. 2. Peel and core the apples. Slice the apples in half, then cut each half into 1/8-inch-thick half moons. 3. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat; add the butter. When melted, swirl to coat the bottom. Add the apples, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the cinnamon and cook until the apples soften, about 10 minutes, stirring a few times. 4. While the apples cook, whisk the eggs, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, the milk, brandy and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the pecans and salt, then slowly whisk in the flour to avoid lumps. Pour the batter over the apples in the pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 375, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 and cook until the clafoutis is nicely pued up and browned on top, another 35 minutes. Serve immediately.

With 200 recipes curated from Lodge's network of chefs and fans, Cast Iron Nation boasts a diverse array of recipes, stories and spectacular photography. Get it at www.lodgemfg.com.



Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

Passing Perc Test Makes Home Possible One very practical matter that must be considered regarding placement of a log or timber frame home can be summed up in four words: no perc, no house.

Most soils fall somewhere in the middle with a mix of course sand and gravel particles, small silt particles and minuscule clay particles. To get a rough idea before investing time and money in testing, Birdwell suggests digging below the top few inches of topsoil (loam) to the lighter soil beneath. “If you can take a handful of the damp subsoil and roll it into a thin, flat shape or worm shape that holds together, and it has a sticky firm texture, the soil has a high clay content and will probably fail a standard perc test,” he said. “Of course, if this is the property you love and want or property you already have, there are alternatives.” The local health officer will be able to discuss options and can often provide contacts for experienced earthworks contractors, civil or geotechnical engineers and other professionals who can help overcome this initial challenge to prepare for the building project. Plus, new types of Perc Testing septic systems are being introduced into the market as developers strive to meet the demands resulting from people’s desire to build in more rural local. Birdwell said that he or any of the sales representatives at Honest Abe’s model homes as well as Honest Abe independent dealers across the country are available to help navigate the permitting process. “Give us a call,” he said. “We’ll help you determine what to do in your county to meet this requirement.”

To test dig a little hole by hand with a post hole digger (about 8” diameter) a few feet down, water is poured into the hole from a 5-gal. bucket to observe at what rate the soils will – at that depth – accept liquid or how long it takes the level of water to go down. It is measured by “minutes per inch.” “That’s why it’s extremely important to be sure the land you’ve selected for your new log or timber home will pass a “perc” test,” said Ethan Birdwell, sales representative at Honest Abe Log Homes’ National Headquarters in Moss, Tenn. Birdwell explained that a test to determine whether land will percolate is required for all buildings not connected to a municipal sewer system. “If you have selected land but you have not already contacted the regulatory entity in the county where you plan to build, it’s definitely time to do that,” Birdwell said. “Usually, permits are issued by the local health department, so that’s a good place to get started.” Why is percolation such a big deal? Traditional gravity-fed septic systems only work if the soil in the leach area is sufficiently permeable to absorb the liquid flowing into it. In general, soils with high sand and gravel content drain the best, and soils with a high clay content or solid rock are the worst. HonestAbe.com


Honest Abe Living Sept.-Oct. 2015

Forever looks better from here

800-231-3695 www.honestabe.com Manufacturers of custom designed log and timber frame

forever homes since 1979.