Rustic Home With Log Accents

This rustic log inspired hybrid home is based on the floor plan of my model home and was modified to fit the lot and life style of the homeowners. Ground was broke fall of 2015 and this rustic lake home was completed spring 2016. The term “hybrid home” can mean many things but I feel this home is the perfect example of many building materials coming together to make an awesome lake side home. Some people love the rustic look without being 100% log and this home design is excellent for that. The exterior siding looks great with the natural cedar shakes in the upper gables along with the vertical log corners and log trim around the doors and windows. The front log porch really makes the view from the road pop. The interior is a mix of our rustic 8″ hand peeled half log, knotty pine and drywall. The fireplace chase will have thin cut natural stone on it to bring the the beauty only natural stone can provide. This lake side rustic home in northwestern Wisconsin will make a great retreat.

Below are a few photos of the home under construction and completed.

Rustic Hybrid Home
The shell is up and the log trim is installed
Log Hybrid Home
Exterior siding is complete and the deck will be built soon
A view of the front of home facing the road
A view of the front of home facing the road
Log siding Wisconsin
The hand peeled 8″ half log is being installed in the great room.
Log great room
The completed great room
real stone fireplace
Real stone on the fireplace
Rustic Dining Room
A great mix of colors to accent the dining area
Looking into the kitchen
A spacious kitchen for entertaining.

Log Home Show Schedule for February and March 2015

The show season is in full swing here in the upper midwest. We have two shows left this year. Shows are a great way to research your log home or log cabin. With many log home companies and builders under one roof it is easy for you to meet us all and get to know us. It is a great way to see photos, log samples and talk plans to help in your planning process.

Show Schedule:
February 20-22, 2015 – Lake Home and Cabin Show – Booth # 434 & 435
Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL

March 27 & 28, 2015 – Log and Timber Home Show – Booth # 6 & 7
Earle Brown Heritage Center in Minneapolis, MN




Happy New Year

Hello and Happy New Year. Hopefully you had a great holiday season with family and friends and 2015 is off to great start. Even though the upper midwest is in the deep freeze as I write this, summer will be here before we know it. The time slips away pretty quick with everything going on so now is the time to get serious about planning your log home if you are thinking of a spring or summer start. It takes some time to get the plans and plan revisions taken care of. From there the bidding process starts and before you know it spring is right around the corner. The permit process, lot clearing, driveways and utility installation will take up the rest of the planning time. Are you thinking half log construction? Maybe full log? It can get overwhelming going through the choices and we are here to walk you through that process. The best thing is set up a time to stop in at our model and at that time we can go over which construction method might be best for you. We can look at other options such as interior log, T&G knotty pine, drywall and flooring options. Thanks for stopping by our website and feel free to call or email with any questions you may have.

Log Home Show in Minneapolis January 10th-12th, 2014

It is getting to the time of year to start thinking about log home shows. The first one of the season for us is The Log and Timber Home Show at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, MN. The dates of the show are January 10-12, 2014.

Log home shows are a great way to meet with all the log home companies under one roof. It is a great way to see their logs in person and be able to ask questions in person. These shows are a great tool in your log home research process. It is a great environment to get to know the reps and ask general questions. One thing to keep in mind is a show setting isn’t the place to try dialing in on specific costs and plans. There is a lot that goes into that process and it is best to set up an appointment sometime after the show to go over costs and options that are specific to your project.

I’ll be in the Stevens Point Log Homes booth so stop by and say hello.

Happy Thanksgiving

I may be a day late but Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hopefully you had a great day with family and friends yesterday. As usual, this fall was a busy one around here.  A couple of projects wrapped up and we have two recent starts to carry through the winter.

This is the time of year that planning for next years building season starts to kick in. After Christmas and New Years it really gets going. Right now, quite a few are spending time online reading about log homes and emailing for more information. A few others are going a step further and making a few phone calls and visiting models. One main question is what are build costs going to be next year? I wish I had an answer but no one really knows what ’14 will bring. I can say that we will do everything we can to keep your build costs as low as possible. While some log home companies are trying to get your money now to save 10% or so next year we won’t be playing that game. Yes, we will need a payment to get plans started but that is a small fee of $0.75/square foot and nowhere near the 10% of your total package some companies are asking for. What we have found over time is our competitive pricing and using local suppliers results in lower build costs for you AND you get to keep your money until it is time to get your project underway. We won’t be asking for the kind of money the other log home companies are asking for until you know the cost of your project. The cost is delivered after plans are completed and firm bids are received from our suppliers and contractors for materials and labor. I’ve said in previous blogs that too many people get caught up in researching “log home packages” and forget that there are build costs associated.

The main thing is to research thoroughly over the next few months and feel comfortable with the log home company and builder that you select.

Have a great holiday season and feel free to call or email with any questions.

The End of Summer

Wow! Where did the summer of 2013 go? It seems like a few days ago it was only Memorial Day and here Labor Day weekend is next weekend already. It has been a busy summer here at Wild River Log Homes and now going into fall we have a couple of plans being wrapped up and getting ready for some fall starts. Fall is always a great time to get started. Cooler temps and less rain makes for great building condition. On top of fall starts some are already looking ahead to spring by visiting websites, models and getting ballpark estimates. Now is a great time to think about next year. As we all know, time flies and it is never too early to get starting with the planning process.

Earlier this summer we launched our new website. There will be more project photos and other information added over time so keep an eye on the Wild River Log Homes website.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and feel free to call or email with any questions.

Log Homes and Internet Access

As we all know, most log homes are built in secluded and rural locations. As more people become connected and others telecommute, internet access is becoming more of an issue and is something to be considered in your log home research.  Some remote areas do have DSL and some even have fiber ran for access. I’ve been surprised at some of the areas that have broadband access through DSL, cable or fiber.  However, the norm for Minnesota log home locations is spotty DSL at best. Keep reading for a quick run down on some internet access options for rural areas.

Satellite Internet                                                                                                                               The two providers of satellite internet are Hughesnet and Wildblue. You are going to be starting at around $50.00/month for their basic services with a contract. Even with the improved satellites there is still a lag time (latency) in the transmission of data between the satellite and your computer. That latency makes using Skype and Facetime somewhat difficult. On top of that, the satellite providers have a Fair Access Policy which restricts your usage daily or monthly depending on which provider you use. They will throttle you back or charge you more if you go over.  Rain, snow and tree cover can slow down your speeds or completely stop it depending on the situation. During high volume times you may also see reduced download speeds. 

Mobile Broadband                                                                                                                Mobile broadband is gaining in popularity. Quite a few areas are currently covered by 3G service right now with 4G LTE coverage being expanded quite rapidly.  Quite a few smartphones can be used as hotspots to tether to your laptop or device. Another option is using a separate hotspot. Most can be switched between 4G and 3G and if you have strong 4G signal you will see great download speeds. Personally, I’ve seen some reduced speeds due to weather and high web traffic times but overall have been impressed with the performance of the device. Data plans come into play. The Verizon hotspots are usually a 5 gig per month plan and can get expensive if you go over the allowance. The advantage of mobile broadband is its portability and you can take it home with you when you aren’t at your cabin whereas satellite is going to be left behind when you head home but the monthly cost is still there.

Regardless of satellite or mobile broadband you need to be aware of the limitations of data allowance and coverage limitations. Streaming music and videos are going to burn through your data plan in a hurry so either of these options are really suited for regular web surfing and day to day usage. If you do use a lot of data it is best to research an upgraded monthly plan.

The price to pay for having your log home in that secluded location is lack of internet. For some, it is great to be unplugged but for others that depend on being connected for work or live in their log home all year, internet access is an important thing to consider.

Stone for your log home

One of the most popular accents to a log home is stone. It can go on the foundation, fireplace chase, on the back of cabinets and just about anywhere else you can think of. Some log home companies include cultured stone in their log home packages. However, as we all know, cultured means fake. Logs are the real deal so it only makes sense to use real stone to compliment the beauty of the wood in your home. Your logs are natural and so should the stone you use.

Most are under the assumption that real stone is quite a bit more expensive than cultured stone. That can be true in some instances but the last few years have seen increased popularity of real stone that is cut flat on the back so it has the ease of installation that goes with cultured stone. Materials and installation costs of cut real stone and cultured stone are very similar so real stone is not a budget breaker by any means. The installers prefer real stone because they can chip it down for that perfect fit and don’t have to worry about a color change inside the stone.  Cultured stone is concrete poured into molds and the color is only on the outside so can’t be chipped or cut down in the field.

The photo below shows a framed fireplace chase before and after the installation of real stone. You can see it is a very standard stone installation on a framed chase.

log home and stone
Before and after installation of real stone

The photo below is of an exterior roof chase using real cut stone

Fireplace stone
Exterior chase with real cut stone

Here is another view of the completed fireplace chase. Notice the different shapes, tints and colors that only real stone can give

Log home stone
Another view of stone on the fireplace chase

Here is a comparison photo of cultured stone and real stone side by side

Cultured stone
Difference between real and cultured stone

This last picture shows the stone before installation

Real stone before being installed
Real stone before being installed

As you can see by these photos real stone is just that….real….just like the logs in your log home. We strive to give everyone quality products to choose from while keeping your budget in mind. Stone is a very important accent to your log home and quality and appearance are very important factors for your log home or cabin. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Happy New Year From Wild River Log Homes

Wow! 2012 sure flew by in a hurry and hopefully everyone had a great Christmas with family and friends. 2012 was busy here for building log homes in both Minnesota and Wisconsin and thanks to everyone for a great year. The 2013 building season will be here before you know it and now is the time to start planning and going over budgets.

Happy New Year to everyone and don’t hesitate to call or email with questions regarding Wisconsin or Minnesota log homes.

Minnesota log homes

Windows for your log home

Hello! As usual, things are rolling right along. Our late summer starts are all buttoned up, the fall ones are soon to start or have just started and others are looking at next spring already. Fall and winter are great times to start researching log homes and windows are sometimes a secondary thought even though they are a very important component to your log home. Every log home company offers a “package” and are usually affiliated with a window manufacturer. Some will start out with a vinyl window as their “standard” offering. Thats fine for some but in my opinion, a basic vinyl window doesn’t belong in a custom wood home. If you are building a hunting/seasonal cabin that you won’t be using in the winter months then maybe a window like that is fine.

Windows range far and wide for price and quality.  We say stick with the name brands. They got their reputation for a reason and that is through good products and service. One of our popular window line that we use is the Marvin Integrity Wood-Ultrex window. It is a fiberglass exterior with a wood interior. The exterior cladding can be ordered to match your soffit, fascia and roofing and the interior can be stained to match the interior of your log home. Along with the windows they also supply your patio doors so the look is uniform throughout your home.  Marvin has a great reputation here in the upper midwest and the Integrity line of windows are great for Wisconsin or Minnesota log homes.

Another excellent brand of windows to consider for your log home is Pella. Our three most popular lines of Pella are the ProLine, Designer and Architect Series of windows.  Any of these lines of Pella windows will treat you right. All are wood interiors which fit your log home perfect and there are plenty of options that you will see when you are in their website. From between the glass blinds to triple pane efficiency you will see there is a Pella window to fit your needs and budget.

With rising energy costs an efficient window is very important and both of these brands are  efficient windows. Beyond looks, options and efficiency there is service to consider. We have had very few problems with these windows but their field service is outstanding. I know there are some lesser known window manufacturers here in Minnesota and Wisconsin but you really are better off sticking with name brand windows. They are a name brand for a reason. If you are shopping log home companies and haven’t heard of the window they offer I suggest getting familiar with their options and service. We have worked with other brands in the past and will install whichever brand you want however, we will offer our opinion based on past experiences.

For more information on windows, building or planning Minnesota or Wisconsin log homes feel free to call or email and don’t forget that the log home show season starts in Minneapolis this January!