This blog chronicles the importance of and efforts to return to Mother Earth in spirit and in body. This journey is not one of primitivism or reenactment of an earlier age. It's hope is to inspire me to find the middle ground between necessities of the 21st Century, the need to find a simpler way of life, and our ethical responsibility to protect the land and preserve our natural resources.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Modern reality

"Building a log home can be either a labor of love or a bit of insanity. It is an orchestrated compromise to reach the goal of having a simpler home while incorporating modern day gadgets, materials, and technologies. . . . I constantly receive requests from people who want a 'simple, cheap cabin' with a hot tub, three master suites, four bathrooms, fiber optics, cable, and [more]. . . .

"The best projects are small yet classic cabins built in the traditional way, using old-world style and craftmanship. I strongly feel that even the simplest structure should be built to last for many decades."
—Robbin Obomsawin, construction manager/general contractor, Beaver Creek Log Homes;
Small Log Homes Storybook Plans & Advice (Photo above: ©2001 Maple Island Log Homes)

There are those who want a modern vacation home built in the style of a log cabin. And for them, I'm glad that they recognize the beauty of this type of structure. For me, I'm glad that they are purveyors of log home construction. Without them (and their millions of dollars), the level of artistry and craftsmanship necessary to continue this tradition might have been lost forever.

I have poured through hundreds of plans for log cabins and log homes. The information generally available to the public (without the purchase of a set of plans) indeed is limited. However there are many companies that seem much more defined by their construction of "stick" structures that by those made from logs. Unlike Ms. Obomsawin from Beaver Creek Log Homes, I found one company that wrote "log shrinkage is not much of an issue these days." (As if today's trees have evolved past the shortcomings of their ancestors to please cabin builders.)

In all honesty, I think it a mistake to build a cabin myself. I hope to engage the services of a general contractor with sufficient experience. I am qualified to do much of the finish work and the initial plumbing and electrical. I suspect that making a salary in my trained profession and paying experts to do the work in which I have no experience, would be the best scenario.

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