Building Site Specific Design

The dream of owning a custom designed log or timber frame home is also a dream of being surrounded by a natural landscape that you love and basking in the panoramic views around you. Whether that’s majestic mountains, a gleaming lake, or a serene forest- enjoying the natural world is all a part of the draw to log home living.

When we work with clients to create their ideal vision of log and timber frame living, one of our main goals is customer satisfaction throughout the entire design and build process. To ensure that our customers are fully satisfied with their finished home, we take extra steps along the way to exceed our clients’ expectations. One of the most critical extra steps is designing each and every custom log and timber frame home for the exact property site where it will be located so that every home meets the needs of our clients.

Site Specific Design

To get a better idea behind the importance of this step, we turned to John Lanner, a Project Designer with Beaver Mountain who has nearly three decades of expertise under his belt when it comes to site specific design. According to John: “Creating a custom design that truly enhances the site and flows well with the surroundings is a key factor in a successful project.”

When John arrives at a property site for the first time, he takes the time to listen to a client’s vision for the project as well as take in the surroundings of the site. “While walking the property with our clients I am not only learning the lay of the land [where] they intend to build on but I’m also seeing the vision they are trying to express.” While walking the property with clients John is also assessing “where are the best views, are there special features on the land, how will you access the property and where does the main entry work best.” In addition to the client’s vision for the design of the home, John uses this as an opportunity to make note of specific home details such as how the sun and weather will impact the design of the home, as well as using compass directions to decide what will work best for the home’s rooflines. For an expert like John, it’s crucial to have this initial in-person site visit because “Features like this are hard to envision without being there to experience it.”

The Valley View Log Home

One home project in particular benefited greatly from John’s keen eye and years of professional experience. When working on the Valley View Home, John recalls the difficulties initially faced in the first site visit, but why it was so important to the overall design process of the home “While it may have been a very challenging site to walk on our first visit, [with] over two feet of snow, it made a huge difference in my approach to guiding them through the design process. Locating all the main rooms in this design towards the view was key since [the views] are so spectacular at this location. Placing the garage to the rear of this home and connecting it via the main entry not only worked well with the driveway but also created a dramatic feel when you enter [through the front door and] are able to see through the great room to the spectacular views.” Thanks to John’s suggestions, the clients were able to capitalize on the gorgeous views around them once their home was complete in a spectacular way.

Every Home Starts with Learning About the Property

Similar to the Valley View Home project, John has used his expertise to make suggestions to other clients to ensure customers would be fully satisfied with their final home based on the property location. As John puts it: “It is very important to learn how our clients will use not only the home but the rest of the property, even if it’s not planned until further down the road. If they like to entertain large gatherings outdoors, I like to plan out the best access to these areas, so it feels comfortable transitioning from one space to another. Will there be future outbuildings? If so, it is best to discuss the intended uses and locations now so the buildings work in harmony with each other rather than feel like an afterthought.” Not only does John care about the aesthetics of our client’s future homes, but he also cares about the practical functionality that will alleviate future headaches down the road. “I have certainly suggested rotating homes or mirroring them to fit the site best. [I’ve suggested] bringing driveways or utilities in from specific areas, and even moving to a different site on the property to take full advantage of the features.”

Before the design process starts, John frequently makes suggestions to clients to best accommodate their property sites as well as their vision for the project. When asked if there were some common things that homeowners often overlook John said: “They often look at where they would place the home on the site without knowing the impact of site preparation. I walk our clients through the process and explain how wells and septic systems will play a part in positioning the home or how drainage requirements may shift the home in one direction slightly. I don’t think they necessarily overlook these but rather just don’t know since this isn’t what they do daily.” Another great reason to always work with trusted professionals!

John has been a part of the Beaver Mountain family since 1996, and when asked what his favorite part about this phase in designing custom log and timber frame homes is, he shared: “It’s seeing and feeling the excitement our clients have in their projects. Listening to the dreams they each have about how they will create memories with their families and being a part of the process to get there is very rewarding.” Site specific design really elevates our clients’ experience when it comes to custom crafting their vision of log home living and is one of the many ways Beaver Mountain stands apart from other companies.