Once we decided on the general look of the cabin (pulling from numerous online designs) we communicated our likes and dislikes to Dennis at Jeremiah Johnson Log Homes.
He in turn provided hand-drawn plans on grid paper to get the process started. We had a number of revisions during this hand-drawn process and were able to get a strong idea of how we wanted things to look.
After we felt comfortable with the hand-drawn plans, Dennis started converting them into CAD software. He was able to provide us with a computer application that actually allows you to free roam around the entire 3D rendering (see some photos below). This was a huge help to us, and we made several revisions at this point. Some were large impact items, others were small, but this was very helpful in visualizing the plans.
Some things we changed after viewing the 3D rendering:
- Following Dennis’s advice, to use fluted logs for the exterior and interior focal points to add character
- Elongate kitchen cabinets to give us some more storage space
- Several changes to the fireplace set ups
- Larger garage and bunk room
- Open log stairs vs closed and framed in ones
- Covered porch on the rear of the cabin
- Larger decks for the front and bedroom
- Dormer in the loft for extra room
- Shrinking of my gun room…
- and much more
At this point, we sent the plans/renderings to friends and family asking for their advice and input since we knew we would be missing things. They provided valuable insights that reflected more revisions!
Finally, after many rounds of revisions, we felt satisfied and glad Dennis hadn’t told us to go jump in a lake with all our changes. He then submitted the plans (from our understanding) to one of the few log specific home engineers in the country.
The finalized plans are much more complex than I would’ve imagined, but they provide you with everything from the general layout, to framing, roof, deck, joist, foundation, pier, log cuts, electrical, truss data/plans and much more.
Below are a few images from the final engineering plans.
Overall the process, while sometimes tedious, was very enjoyable for us. Every time we were tempted by frustration, we quickly readjusted our perspective and reminded ourselves how lucky we are to design our dream home from the ground up. 🙂