Outdoor spaces

This was originally published on LogHomeU.com on February, 26, 2010.

It’s cold here in Virginia! With the back-to-back blizzards a few weeks ago and some pretty bone-chilling temperatures and winds sticking around for the past few months, I’m definitely feeling the need to get some quality outdoors time, and I can’t wait for spring to get here. I imagine I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Fortunately, log-home building makes it easy to bring the outdoors in. As I write this, we’re in the middle of putting together the June issue of Country’s Best Log Homes, and it’s all about outdoor spaces. You might be surprised at all the options out there that can bridge the gap between inside and outside.

For example, a sunroom can easily connect you with your natural surroundings. Imagine enjoying your morning coffee while surrounded on three sides by glass — it feels like you’re outside, but you have all the creature comforts of home. Many sunrooms are largely soundproof, so it’s very likely you could see a lot of wildlife that may normally avoid you when you’re outside and crunching loudly through the leaves.

Decks are obvious choices for log homes, but if you include one (or more) into your home’s design, give some serious thought to its construction. I grew up with a deck made of pine boards, and I think the builder got a deal on some knotted planks, because there were a few spots where the sap would ooze out of old burls on hot summer days. You think mosquitoes ruin a barbecue? Try getting sticky pine sap all over your clothes (and then later, trying to get it out). Better-quality pine boards would have avoided this problem, or a different wood altogether. Check out this article for a sampling of different woods you may not have considered for your decking material. And as always, take the time to figure out how the space will be used so you can design it around your needs.

Patios can also be custom designed to match your home and its surroundings. I love this one by Rocky Mountain Log Homes — the homeowners carefully planned it to fit into its environs, and it flows easily as a natural extension of the home.

Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Log Homes

With enough planning, you may find yourself wanting to spend more time outside your log home than inside it, and for many outdoors-minded people like myself, that’s one of the main draws of a log home. They don’t call it cabin fever for nothing! As for me, I’m just waiting for the snow to melt off of my patio in, oh, July or so, but in the meantime, I’ve got some serious plans set up for my garden. Adirondack chairs and morning glories, here I come…

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