By Claudia Johnson, Director of Marketing, Honest Abe Log Homes
When some people imagine their forever home, it’s a spectacular log or timber frame home. Over the past 40 years, Honest Abe Log Homes has met many of those dreamers, which is why thousands across the United States – even in other countries – are living in a home just like they imagined.
“There are those who wish for a cabin by the sea or a lake,” said Fred Kendall, design director for Honest Abe. “Some dream of a retreat in the woods or mountains. Others just want to retire on the family farm.”
“Sometimes there’s a person who wants something really small,” Kendall said, adding that these requests are not always just for sportsman’s cabins or vacation retreats. “Tiny houses are in demand for primary residences now more than we’ve ever seen in the past.”
The standard American home is around 2,100 square feet, whereas the typical tiny house is between 100 and 400 square feet, according to thetinylife.com. However, some sources include homes up to 1,000 square feet, characterizing them as “small homes.”
“Honest Abe offers three small log cabin plans that fit squarely into the small home category,” Kendall said. “The Monticello and the Creekside are from our Legacy Collection, and Cumberland Cabin is a custom plan offered in our Customers’ Creations Catalog.”
The Monticello is a 624 square foot cabin that features a living room with a fireplace, a kitchen/dining room combination and full bath on the first floor and an open loft accessed by an internal staircase on the second floor.
“Stairs reduce floor space,” Kendall explained. “That’s why it’s important to design under-stair areas for maximum use. We’ve also looked at creative ways to minimize the amount of square footage taken up by a staircase while still making it safe and functional.”
At 960 square feet the Creekside is small enough to be cozy but spacious enough to be welcoming. There are two bedrooms, a full bath and an open kitchen, living and dining area in the single floor design. An optional basement-level two-car garage can be accessed from a hidden stairwell.
“If the homeowner does not want the basement, the space gained from elimination of the staircase can be used as a small office, a pantry or even child’s sleeping quarters.”
Both the Creekside and the Monticello have full covered porches across the front, with the Creekside having a back deck and the Monticello sporting a full covered back porch.
“Just as with larger homes, porches and decks expand the living space,” Kendall said. “Owners of small houses often treat these areas like extra rooms, using them for entertaining, dining or even working from home, weather permitting, of course.”
Cumberland Cabin emerged from the imagination of an Honest Abe client, Kendall recalled.
“This is almost the quintessential tiny house,” Kendall said. “It’s only 560 square foot on two stories.”
Downstairs there’s an open efficiency kitchen and an enclosed full bath. A wall of windows floods the first floor great room and second floor loft with natural light. Outside, the porch wraps the façade, covered on either side of the tall windows and open directly in front of them.
“The cabin’s owner allows us to share the plans,” Kendall said, adding, “We’re looking forward to the challenge of creating other small or tiny wood or timber homes.”
With its popularity increasing every year, especially – and surprisingly – among baby-boomers with advanced degrees and higher than average income and among women homeowners, the tiny house movement appears to be more than merely a fad.
“It’s a personal choice,” said Kendall, who has been with Honest Abe for more than 35 years. “One of the things we’ve tried to do here is make sure we can help people have the home they want, no matter what the size.”
For more information and additional photographs, read the full story in the May-June 2016 edition of Honest Abe Living.