A dream log home for Christmas

Lodge Style Dream Home

On a remote 11 acre parcel in the quiet woods of Montana sits a stunning modern mountain home that blends huge arched timber trusses, dovetail log walls, and traditional sheet rock in breathtaking elegance and grandeur. Tune into the My Dream Log Cabin Podcast to hear Caribou Creek clients, Tamra and Kerry, share their inspiring story. Also joining us in this episode is Jenna Magee who was their project manager and Stuart Yoder who designed the floor plan and who Tamra says, “Really brought her ‘lodge-style’ vision to fruition.”

dovetail log home with Labrador
Say 'Hi' to Penelope, the adorable yellow lab.

The Dream

Originally Tamra and Kerry were looking for a home already built. They began their home search just as home values began the staggering ascent we all witnessed recently. To get the perfect home they dreamed of, building from scratch was looking better by the day.

During their search they had viewed a tranquil 11-acre parcel on the mountain side overlooking a nearby lake. After searching for some time, and not finding the right home, Tamra remembered that property and wondered if it was still on the market. She and Kerry were in luck! It was available. They quickly put in their offer and bought the perfect lot with gorgeous views from every angle.

Tamra wanted a contemporary modern home with a lodge feel. She spent hours dreaming, scrolling magazines and websites, putting together all the ideas she loved most in the app Good Notes.

This came in handy later when she could easily pull up her catalogued ideas to show various contractors and designers.

The Log Package

Tamra and Kerry were familiar with Caribou Creek because they had driven by our office. Although they considered other log home builders, the friendly atmosphere they encountered as well as the state of the art facility made Caribou Creek feel like the right fit. 

From the beginning Stuart knew that large timers would be a necessity to create the lodge-feeling Tamra desired. The original design, which was a full log home, featured 24″ timbers. 

The floor plan design was wrapping up just as timber prices were skyrocketing and availability was becoming scarce due to the pandemic. 

Caribou Creek’s inventory manager was not sure we would be able to get enough timbers to build the entire home in log. 

As it turned out, Tamra preferred the idea of a hybrid home to the full log design. Stuart, our draftsman, went back to the drawing board and modified the wings of the house to be traditionally framed and added timber accents to help keep the rustic undertones throughout the home. This also allowed room in the budget for a walkout basement which the homeowners appreciated.

Tamra mentioned during the episode how much she appreciated the Caribou’s team help in keep the project in the budget parameters without shortcutting her vision.

Another design change inspired by Tamra was arched trusses versus the straight cross beams designed originally. In the end Stuart agreed that Tamra’s choice was the right move and the trusses absolutely turned out stunning. They are a breathtaking focal point of the home. 

Construction

“It's a work of art. It's definitely a one of a kind. ”

- Tamra T. describing her Caribou Home

Caribou Creek helped Tamra and Kerry get in touch with a contractor in their area that was experienced with log homes, Wildcat Custom Homes.

Steve Girod, the general contractor, and his team of dedicated employees and sub-contractors worked diligently throughout the next year to consistently work towards completion. Kerry was on site everyday helping to answer questions and ensure the project was moving along as planned. The contractor appreciated this because it helped keep the process moving along and meant he could produce the home that the client wanted without having to add any of his own guesswork. Kerry noted his surprise at how many decisions needed to be made during construction that most homeowners don’t realize when they embark on their own journey.

Before recording the episode Tamra gave us a grand tour.  Stuart, with his keen eye for detail, noticed some changes that were made to the original design as the house came together. It’s important that a contractor and homeowner evaluate the design as the house is built because sometimes things look different in person than they do in design. Stuart mentioned, “Within reason, I think it’s actually a good sign when a homeowner or contractor is making some adjustments during the build, because to me that says that both of them are invested in this project.”

In the example of Tamra and Kerry’s home, the dining room window was turned into one large bay window versus the smaller individual windows originally planned. The final look was perfect for the house.

We asked Tamra and Kerry what they thought of the construction process overall.  To summarize her experience she noted that she was grateful to have quality contractors that were great to work with, but that the process did take longer than she expected. Her advice to new homeowners listening in is “expect it to take longer than you think and cost more than you expect.”

Modern hybrid home with huge arch trusses and dovetail logs

Moving In

I asked Tamra and Kerry what it was like to finally move in tho their new home. Kerry noted how surreal the experience was and how quiet it the house felt especially since he was used to having contractors in and out  everyday. Tamra’s love of her new home was shared with a tearful observation as she commented on the hand hewn accents of the logs and the rememberance that every part of her home was touched by someone’s hand. “It’s a piece of art,” she said. “You can’t even describe it when you look around your house because you know somebody hand hewn every single log. And I remember Jenna sending me video as they were there doing it all by hand… all the details and all the hard work that went into this. It’s amazing and unique.”

Decorating for their first Christmas in this gorgeous home was a joyful experience. Even Penelope, the yellow lab, had on her bells for the holidays.

hybrid home interior bedroom modern design

Your Dream Cabin

Caribou Creek designs and build custom log and timber homes to be delivered anywhere in the world. Read more about our process here. Just like we did with Tamra and Kerry, we offer a site visit to help plan the location of the home and match the design accordingly. Our small town personalities are shared with all of our customers as we fall in love with your project as much as you do! 

Your Host

Lindsay Sutherland is the host of the podcast My Dream Log Cabin. After chasing her dream of living in a log cabin in the woods, she found herself in North Idaho living in a log cabin and working with Caribou Creek Log Homes! 

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