Consider the planned uses for your EcoLog – is this a cottage you will visit 3-4 weeks of the year? More than that? Do you have a large family or groups of friends to entertain? Many customers find they make new friends as soon as they build a cottage.........Or will your EcoLog be a permanent year-round residence, either right away or some time in the future? Knowing how you will be using the property can help determine such aspects as quality of the fixtures, flooring, doors, windows and heating systems for example.
Think about the placement of your EcoLog on your lot. Are you on water or other natural feature that will play a large role in your use of the property? Is energy efficiency a factor for you? In this part of the world the longest side of the house should face south for maximum passive solar energy efficiency, and this is the wall for your largest windows. EcoLog homes incorporate a 4’ roof overhang to serve several purposes – one is to keep the high noontime summer sun off the walls and windows but allow that energy into the house during the winter when the sun sits lower in the sky.
Living areas can be comfortably situated towards the south, with the more lightly-used rooms having a northerly outlook. But always think about your views – plan your windows to “frame” the outdoors. EcoLog designs permit great flexibility in window sizing and placement.
Always consider resale value as you plan your house. Make it right for you, but not so unique that it takes that hard-to-find “special” buyer to truly appreciate your individuality in home design. EcoLog homes have shown time and time again that they hold their value extremely well.
Room shapes and traffic patterns are important. If you need lots of wall space for furniture or art you will maximize this by placing the door towards the corner of the room. A square-ish room will have more usable space than the same square footage in a long narrow room, and rooms with more than one door tend to become “passageways”, not a problem with a large room but can be intrusive in a smaller space.
Reduce “wasted” space – poorly-used space still costs money to heat. Large entry lobbies and hallways take away living area from the floorplan and offer only transitory space – and yet must be sufficient to permit comfortable use. For many people a larger family room is more practical than formal living and dining rooms, and work very well with our EcoLog designs. Consider that a walk-in closet may not offer as much usable storage space as it may appear since the walk-in area typically provides no useful space.
Examine your traffic areas. Pay attention to potential areas of congestion like the kitchen and entrance hall – is there enough space here, without sacrificing living or storage space elsewhere? Look at the common pathways through the house. If you have a lot of corners to turn traffic will not flow as smoothly. If you must have hallways, the wider and shorter the better – and the same for stairways. Is the kitchen directly accessible from outside, to make it easier to bring in the groceries? Are bathrooms easily accessed from any bedroom? Can you get to the most-used rooms without going through the kitchen, and get outside without walking through the whole house?
Place your deck or porch with privacy in mind. An EcoLog is easily custom-designed in an “L” or “U” shape to allow for an enclosed deck or courtyard.
Laundry areas do not need to take up a lot of space, and are often most conveniently situated near the bedrooms and linen storage. Make sure to allow space for storage of cleaning tools etc. If you like to work outside, a mudroom is a great addition to your floorplan – and consider installing a half-bathroom in it.
A multi-purpose room can be very useful – a space that can be adapted to take care of different needs as they arise. For instance, it might be office space until an unexpected overnight guest needs a bedroom – or a future buyer may see it as an exercise room or a studio. The huge and open lofts in all EcoLog homes are adaptable to may uses and serve as bedrooms, family rooms, offices and childrens’ playrooms, often all during the same weekend!
Think about the rooms you spend your time in, and why. Many families make the kitchen the focal point of the home so a large and sunny eat-in kitchen becomes important – while others prefer the family room with a large woodburning fireplace and a comfortable couch for family gatherings. Another important room is the master bedroom, and with an EcoLog loft our optional dormers give you enough room for a whirlpool tub or even a whole ensuite bathroom. A fireplace in the master bedroom can make for wonderfully romantic and intimate winter evenings, while a screened porch lets you camp out in the summer as well as dine al fresco without feeding the bugs too.
EcoLog home designs allow for vaulted ceilings in the great room, soaring to twenty-two feet above the floor. This gives a very open feeling to the main floor – great for entertaining but also producing a bright and spacious room for everyday family enjoyment. Add a fireplace, and a deck overlooking the property or the lake, and you have a perfect combination for easy indoor and outdoor living.
Can you afford to build it? EcoLog homes are Ecological and Economical – the cost to build an EcoLog home is comparable to stick-frame construction. And if you find that all the features you want are pushing the financial limits for you, at EcoLog we can use our flexibility in design to pack more usable space into a smaller (and less expensive) footprint than many other other log home companies are willing to do. Perhaps you feel capable of taking on some of the interior finishing yourself, or even some (or all) of the construction?
At EcoLog, we are here to help, and each kit come with a comprehensive illustrated construction manual to show you how the house goes together. Many builders our customers have used in the past are happy to do as much or as little of the work as you need them too – and finishing the inside can be done over time.