Nichols Home VisitShenandoah Valley custom home showcases love of nature snd building expertise
Quality Construction and Innovative Design Observed During Nichols Home Visit in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley
By Claudia Johnson, Honest Abe Marketing
Located in the historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, this Honest Abe custom log home was completed last winter by Jim Nichols, a custom home builder.
As a big game hunter, Nichols customized Honest Abe’s Cheyenne plan to create a 5,180 SF home with three finished levels of living space designed to showcase his hunting trophies and accommodate his hunting equipment.
Additionally, he integrated the construction and design preferences he developed as builder with ideas and choices he observed and installed in the homes of his clients over his four decades of construction experience.
The L-shaped 730 SF porch (pictured far left) is interrupted at the entrance by a 256 SF porte-cochère, both of which utilize Honest Abe’s Heavy Timber porch system.
The porte-cochère’s timber-frame gable is supported by square timbers on stone pylons. The porch’s balustrade is designed with close-set square balusters and a heavy handrail. The external use of exposed beams and rafters creates continuity with the home’s internal ceilings.
An exceptional custom version of the traditional Tennessee “T” design, the Nichols home uses Honest Abe’s 6” x 12″ Genesis logs, chinked on the exterior with dovetailed corners. The facade features three gable dormers, with the center dormer being larger than the flanking dormers.
A wide concrete patio surrounds the side of the basement’s exterior that is exposed and covered in field stone to match the external chimney (left).
An open area was left in the 2,100 SF first floor allowing an unobstructed view from the 2,342 SF finished basement up through the expansive living area into the 740 SF second floor. A 4” x 12” Douglas Fir open stair system provides access to all three floors and provides a stunning view of a massive rock-faced chimney extending three floors.
The Douglas Fir heavy timber roof and ceiling beam system are prominent throughout the home. Nichols even elected to use the Honest Abe ceiling beam system as a sub floor for the majority of the first floor instead of a standard sub floor, producing an extremely attractive ceiling in the most prominent areas of the basement.
A two-car attached garage is covered with board and batten rough-textured exterior siding. The garage is nestled in the home’s first floor rear and is accessible from the laundry or kitchen through a screened in porch.
Nichols made many design and construction choices to best display the trophy animals from his world-wide hunting expeditions, some of which are very heavy, full-animal specimens, while many others are heads or skins only, For instance, the basement’s internal walls are a series of built-in, glass-front cabinets in which hunting equipment may be attractively but safely displayed. Large, square ceramic tiles cover a concrete floor.
The first floor master bedroom suite features double baths, one with a walk-in shower and one with a garden tub, and double closets. Double picture windows ensure a magnificent view of the lush woods surrounding the home.
The triangular-shaped loft serves as a sitting area for two bedrooms and allows additional access to a full bathroom and an accompanying half bath.
A character grade red oak flooring was used in the first floor and loft area of the second floor, while all bedrooms are carpeted. Reclaimed barn siding was crafted into interior trim. Log walls are 12′ tall for the living, kitchen and dining areas, with a 9’ log wall in the master suite. Interior partition walls are finished with painted drywall.
Against the backdrop of an Appalachian forest, Nichols’ love of nature is captured in his choices of stone and wood, allowing the home to blend harmoniously with its environment.
Simultaneously, the home stands out – not only from its natural surroundings but in its striking design choices and quality of construction.
To view more photos, get detailed specs and to review the Nichols custom floor plan, visit www.honestabe.com/project/nichols-home-visit/.
- 5,180 SF custom log home home
- modified Honest Abe Cheyenne plan
- three finished levels of living space
- custom version of the traditional Tennessee “T” design
- Honest Abe’s 6”x12″ Genesis logs, chinked on the exterior with dovetailed corners.
- three gable dormers, with the center dormer being larger than the flanking dormers.
- An L-shaped 730 SF porch
- 256 SF porte-cochère, timber and stone
- Honest Abe’s Heavy Timber porch system
- subfloor is the Douglas Fir heavy timber roof and ceiling beam system, not standard subfloor
- 2,100 SF first floor
- open floor area from basement through loft for unobstructed view
- 2,342 finished basement
- 740 SF second floor
- triangular-shaped loft
- two upstairs bedrooms
- upstairs full bathroom and half bath.
- 4”x12’ Douglas Fir open stair system
- fireplace with the rock chimney face extending three floors
- first floor master bedroom suite with double baths and double closets. Double picture windows in master bedroom
- character grade red oak flooring was used in the first floor and loft area all bedrooms carpeted
- reclaimed barn siding crafted into interior trim
- 12′ log walls in living, kitchen and dining areas
- 9’ log wall in the master suite
- interior partition walls are painted dry wall
- two-car attached garage finished with board and batten rough textured exterior siding.
- downstairs laundry with strategic storage areas
- screened-in porch connects laundry, kitchen and garage
- design and construction choices to best display the trophy animals
- basement internal walls are a series of built-in gun cabinets
- large square ceramic tiles cover concrete basement floor
- wide concrete patio
- one wall of basement exterior exposed and covered in field stone external chimney