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September 2011

Log Home On Lake Gaston Becomes A Reality Keith and Katherine Joyce of Apex, North Carolina, began their journey to build their dream log home over 25 years ago when they first met at UNC-Chapel Hill and then married in 1986. Keith already had a strong love for bass fishing, and therefore a strong desire to live near the water, and he already had a log home in mind. Katherine had developed a love for log homes while growing up in the foothills of the North Carolina mountains. She was now just a stone’s throw away from the Blue Ridge Parkway, where beautiful log homes dot the landscape and appealed to her as a child. Finishing their education, working on their careers and then having their son, Kyle, all kept the log home in the dream phase for the Joyces until they found and

purchased an ideal lakefront lot on Lake Gaston in Bracey, Virginia in June 2005. The lot already had an aging modular home in place, but the Joyces looked past that structure to envision the perfect spot for their dream log home with a wall of glass for looking out at the beautiful lake nearby. They soon turned their original Lake Gaston house into their weekend getaway and central location for log home planning. The Joyces began going to log home shows, digging through log home magazines, surfing the Internet and doing everything possible to learn all about log homes and making them a reality. They visited many different log home dealerships, talked to several builders, and toured log homes that were both in progress and completed.

In the summer of 2009, the Joyces connected with local builder Keith Carter, who lived just a couple of miles away in a neighboring subdivision. They had viewed some of his projects, and were especially impressed with his previous work with log home building through an Honest Abe dealership near Lake Gaston. Carter helped the Joyces begin refining the plans for the layout of their log home. They started with a stock plan in the Honest Abe catalog and began tweaking it to meet their specific needs. They ultimately decided to purchase their log home kit through Honest Abe after going with Carter to visit the log home of Jay Gittman and Carol Murley, who operate Log Homes of Southern Virginia, an Independent Dealership of Honest Abe Log Homes.


September 2011


September 2011 The look and feel of Gittman and Murley’s home was a good fit for the concepts the Joyces had in mind for their own log structure, and the décor helped them see what they could do with the finished product. Soon thereafter, the Joyces donated the original home from their Lake Gaston lot to a nearby Habitat for Humanity, and had it removed from the property in September. Then on October 10th, a large crane drove onto the property for the first phase of building, setting the Superior Walls for the log home’s basement. The Joyces live an hour and a half away from their Lake Gaston property, but visited once or twice weekly throughout the construction and talked to their builder numerous times each week. They watched and photographed every phase of the construction, and were astounded to witness their dream home really coming to life. Since the Joyces plan to retire in this home, they made sure that their main floor would have everything they will need in later years when they may not be able to climb up and down the beautiful half-log open stair treads that help give the home its open feel from top to bottom. They adjusted the kitchen design to incorporate an island and a larger pantry and then added a jut-out laundry room off the kitchen that will serve as a future connector to a garage they hope to add in a few

years. Their master suite is on the main floor and was altered to accommodate a walk-in “power shower” in the bathroom as well as an enlarged walk-in closet that was accomplished by eliminating the access door from the bedroom and having the closet accessible only through the master bath. That

simple change added more wall space in the master bedroom as well as storage space in the closet.

Other unique features are scattered throughout the home to reveal the Joyces’ personalities, style and love for the outdoors. They found a local artist who specializes in chain saw carvings and took a chance on having him come into the home and work his magic on the stair banisters and support posts. His carvings feature squirrels, bears and a bass, but Katherine’s favorite is a raccoon that appears to be climbing through a tree, with its face visible on one side of the log post and its tail visible on the other. Keith brainstormed and helped design a wrought iron insert that adorns the loft banisters overlooking the great room. The scene features some fishermen landing a bass in the lake, while a deer watches from the nearby shore. He also helped a graphic artist create


September 2011


September 2011

a similar scene for clear decals that cover the glass in the home’s front door and sidelights, thereby giving the impression that the design is etched into the glass. The Joyces were heavily involved in every step of the process, from the design to the finishing touches that included selecting paint colors, flooring, granite for counter tops and even wooden outlet covers. They enjoyed shopping for their décor and found many special touches on the Web,

including the antler chandelier that is a centerpiece in their great room. They filled their Apex garage with their “log home treasures” during the building phase and spent several hours working to enhance some of those, such as the log bedroom furnishings they found through Craigslist.com that they refinished themselves.

breaking weeks doing their own landscaping and sod installation in the hot summer heat. Their talented friend, Doug Washburn, completed the landscaping by installing a much-needed irrigation system and laying hand-cut flagstone walkways that match the rocks covering the log home’s foundation.

Keith and his brother-in-law Phillip Bowen used some of the left-over log pieces to build a bar that is the centerpiece of the game room in the basement. Katherine shopped for the home’s final touches that give it a warm, inviting feeling and include several great bargains she found at a second-hand furniture store and others that are family treasures.

This summer, the Joyces are happy they can sit back, relax and really enjoy the beauty of Lake Gaston in their own Honest Abe log home, where their dream has become a reality.

The Joyces moved into their dream log home in June 2010 and spent a couple of back-

Article By: Katherine Joyce, Honest Abe log home owner. Editors Note: Jay Gittman & Carol Murley of Log Homes of Southern Virginia contributed to the content of this story. Photography courtesy Keith Carter of Carter Construction of VA, Inc.


September 2011

Fall Tour of Homes Set for October 8th Honest Abe will hold its 26th annual Fall Tour of Homes on Saturday, October 8th. Originating in 1986 as the ‘Fall Foliage Tour’, this event was created to showcase finished Honest Abe Homes as well as the scenic beauty of the local landscape. Folks from all over the country flocked to middle Tennessee to see the many beautiful log homes on display. An autumn tradition was born! Today, the Fall Tour is a national event, with Honest Abe homes all across the U.S. open to the public. This self-guided tour provides potential Honest Abe buyers the chance to see completely furnished, and ‘lived in’ log and timber frame homes. Perhaps more important is the opportunity to converse with actual Honest Abe homeowners, who are eager to share their own unique stories of their home-building experience. For additional information on homes available to tour in your area, contact your local Honest Abe Independent Dealership, sales associate or our Moss headquarters. We hope to see you there! Article By: Randy Fudge, President of Honest Abe Log Homes.

Join Us For A Log Raising! These demonstrations allow you to see first-hand how an Honest Abe Log Home is built. We’ll show you how to stack the log walls, install beams and ceiling, and apply the roof system. Tour our manufacturing facility, and have the opportunity to speak with the people involved throughout the process. Honest Abe staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. So join us at our National Headquarters in Moss, Tennessee on September 24, 2011. Seating is limited, so please call for more information and reservations at 800-231-3695. View a YouTube preview by clicking below!


September 2011

2011 Honest Abe Convention a Success “Thank you so much for a great convention! The information and speakers were very helpful and motivating, but most of all it was like a family reunion! It was great to see everybody!” -Deanna Snyder, Woods Hill Log Homes - Independent Dealership of Honest Abe Log Homes Honest Abe Log Homes staff, sales representatives, independent dealerships, material suppliers and trade associates from across the country converged on Nashville, Tennessee in August to attend the 2011 Honest Abe Convention. Speakers included a variety of professionals from within the industry, along with Honest Abe’s leadership. A long tradition with Honest Abe, the annual convention brings the latest topics on log and timber construction, along with training in sales and professionalism. During the two-day convention, a trade show is hosted, putting dealers and sales staff in direct contact with many of the company’s material suppliers. Randy Fudge, President of Honest Abe notes, “Now more than ever, it is important for us to continue to educate our staff and dealer network, for the benefit of our customers.” Article By: Josh Beasley, Advertising & Marketing for Honest Abe Log Homes


September 2011 Robert & Patty Moss have dreamed about building a log Under home for a while, and now they have turned that dream into Construction: reality! in Buffalo Valley, Tennessee, Robert and Patty already Moss Residence Building had their land and foundation when they decided to visit a

job site with Honest Abe Sales Associate, Greg Watson. That visit seemed to confirm two things: First, they wanted a log home sooner rather than later; Second, they really liked the craftsmanship of the crew that was building it. They determined that Isenberg Log Home Builders, one of Honest Abe’s crews for over 25 years, would construct their home. With their foundation already in place, things took off!

The Moss home is a 32’ x 48’ one-story house (1536 sq. ft.) with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a utility room on the end. The center portion is very spacious with the living room and kitchen spread out within a 600 square foot area, with a door on each side leading to the wrap around porch that envelops the house. They chose floor trusses for their sub floor, which allowed longer spans and in turn gave them more usable area in their full size basement. They chose the 6”x12” Genesis log profile and used a combination of scissor (vaulted pitch) and fink (flat pitch) trusses for their roof. The beautiful wrap around porch is worth a second mention because you can never go wrong with more porches. It’s just a smart design choice in every category, protection (against weathering), efficiency (easier to maintain), comfort (nothing like a porch swing), and cosmetic (it just looks great)! The only real downside to a wrap around porch is less natural lighting. Robert and Patty took this into consideration by designing two open dormers that Isenberg and crew framed in while setting the trusses. This allows Robert and Patty to enjoy their porch and still have plenty of access to a natural light source. Joe Isenberg, crew chief of Isenberg Log Home Builders recently completed the dry-in of the Moss home and it looks great! If you are interested in viewing this house or any other Honest Abe home, contact your local sales rep. Article By: Josh Watson, Construction Coordinator for Honest Abe Log Homes


September 2011

Creating a Dream

You rarely hear these days “money is no object.” No matter what your net worth, chances are you’re interested in making smart investments and getting the most for your money. Building a log home is no exception. There are dozens of ways offered by designers and builders to cut costs. Each person must decide for themselves where they want to save money and what is important to them in a home. Here are a few tips where you can save: • Use Proven Design - Opting for a stock plan from our log home catalogue, instead of a custom design can save both time and money. • Think Rectangular - More than four corners equals more coin.

• Open Flexible Floor Plan - Keep square footage down with an open floor plan that eliminates unnecessary hallways. Look for creative ways to use traditionally wasted space such as adding a closet or shelves under a staircase.

• Trim Your Width - Keep your home’s width under 30 feet. Anything over that means more beam support, therefore, elevating costs.

• Think Long Term - Plan your construction over several years, which will give you some financial wiggle room. Ex. Year 1-Log Home, Year 2-Garage w/ Breezeway, Year 3-Add Out Buildings (guest house, barn, etc...) • Clearing Land - As much as 35% of your budget will go to clearing your home site, excavating a foundation, creating a driveway and installing utilities. Save money by doing some of it yourself or hiring workers and supervising their efforts. • Full Basement - Gives one of the most affordable ways to add extra living space to your log home. • Stacked Baths -A person can save substantially by putting two bathrooms back to back or above and below in a two-story design.


m Home for Less!

September 2011

• Mix & Match Exterior Finishes - Opting to incorporate a variety of exterior materials such as stone, board and batten, cedar shake and even stucco.

• Consider Solar Tubes - Solar tubes bring in natural light and cut down on installation and material costs in comparison to skylights.

• Driveway Strategy - Keeping your driveway short can save thousands in grading and compacting.

• Hunt for Bargains on Appliances - Check out “scratch and dent” sales centers run by manufacturers and retailers. Many times you can save up to half price on new units!

• Simple Roof Line - Keep your roof simple with a single ridge line instead of “hips and valleys” or multiple roof planes. • Ceiling Height - If you love cathedral ceilings, go ahead and enjoy one in your great room, but keep ceiling height in other rooms lower (in the 8-ft. realm). This not only saves in construction costs, but in heating and cooling. • Opt for Conventional Roof System - You can reduce your costs by a third without sacrificing appeal by using conventional truss or rafter roof system in attic, with smaller, decorative timbers and non-structural tongue-and-groove decking vs. large, structural timbers with tongue-andgroove decking overhead in the great room.

• What Hasn’t Worked in the Past? Now’s the Time to Fix it! - Often it’s the little things such as extra lighting in the master closet, a quiet exhaust fan in the bathroom or a computer workstation in the kitchen that make life easier and more convenient. Think about what hasn’t worked in your past home-along with how and where you want to spend time in your new one. Invest a little more in the spaces that mean the most to you! Article Submitted By: Ed White & Greg Watson, Sales Associates for Honest Abe Log Homes. Article adapted from: Log Homes Council. (n.d.). 16 Secrets of Affordable Log Home Design, You Can Create Your Dream Home for Less!. Retrieved August 29th, 2011 from: http://www.loghomes.org/content/16secrets-affordable-log-home-design


September 2011

House of the Month: The Castlewood

The Castlewood is a classic Honest Abe Log Homes floor plan which appeared in our catalogs for many years. The article “Appalachian Inspiration” in last month’s edition of Honest Abe Monthly featured this home, so we thought we would present it back to you. The plan has 2348 square feet and is designed to have two full stories of log or timber framed walls as seen in the rendering below. Three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and a study provide spacious living areas. The plan features an abundance of porch.


September 2011

Brown Sugar Cake

Prep: 10 Min | Total 1 Hour, 10 Min.

What you need: 1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix 1 pkg. (3.4 oz) Jell-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding 4 eggs 2/3 cup sour cream 2/3 cup water 1/2 cup oil 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 cup chopped pecans 2 tsp. powdered sugar Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat first 6 ingredients with mixer 3 minutes, or until well blended. Add brown sugar and nuts; mix well. Pour into 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick insterted near center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of pan; invert onto wire rack. Remove pan; cool cake completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving. ENJOY!

Recipe By: - Anna Isenberg, Accountant - Honest Abe Log Homes


July 2011

Honest Abe Monthly, September 2011  

Honest Abe Monthly is a publication of Honest Abe Log Homes Inc., which designs, manufactures and builds energy-efficient, custom log homes,...

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