A Wilderness View

Jay & Kim Schwartz’s Story

We purchased the property right before covid. It’s a fairly remote location that is accessed by a 2 1⁄2 mile gravel road in a gated log home community. Our property backs up to the Linville Gorge Wilderness area in North Carolina, offering expansive ridgeline views with a spring-fed stream 200′ below our home. We decided to build in this location for the natural beauty that surrounds it. Our favorite thing about our home is the multiple living spaces are integrated with nature.

Before we started building the log cabin, we drove down from Ohio 8.5 hours for 14 weeks in a row, staying in a small camper on the property. Each weekend we would rent equipment that we preordered and delivered to clear the lot, put in the driveway and prepare a pad for a 30×40 log sided barn with an integrated apartment.

The original plan was for this to be a retirement property close by family. As we cleared the lot the view became increasingly better. Jay being a landscaper and Kim a teacher with one son almost out of college and the other son just beginning college, we decided to make a life-changing move and take on a huge new challenge in our lives.

Nearing the end of the garage/apartment construction a very large hiccup came our way when Jay found out he needed to have double knee replacement surgery as soon as possible due to college football and years of construction. This would have been an easy out to continue staying in Ohio, though that never crossed our minds. Jay had the surgery, tested out of therapy and moved to North Carolina taking a sales position. Kim stayed in Ohio and finished her year teaching and sold our house in Ohio, moving to NC in May.

We liked the Honest Abe Log Homes that was under construction in the nearby development, so chose the Honest Abe Independent Dealer, Darlene Dawson, owner of Bear’s Den Log Homes, who had sold that home.

We were basically looking for an open concept floor plan that would lend itself to our Linville Wilderness View. We also wanted to be able to accommodate our family and friends when they visit. A design choice made from the beginning was that the detached garage would be connected by a large breezeway with a built-in fireplace, TV and outdoor kitchen.

We chose the Honest Abe Navajo floor plan, and Honest Abe designer Melissa Copas made alterations to fit our needs, some of which we modified during construction. The square Genesis log profile was chosen based on experience in that larger logs means less seams
and less care in the future.


Square Footage

Main Level, 1576
Loft, 396SF
Basement, 1576 SF
Porch and Deck, 712 SF
Total Square footage, 3548 SF


Modified Navajo

Log Type

8″x12″ Genesis with Dovetail Corners

Roof System Type

The most outstanding design and visual features our home is without a doubt the outdoor entertaining spaces, the breezeway, the walk out-basement and integrated landscape design with low voltage lighting. From an interior perspective the large wood burning fireplace and plasma cut steel railings with wilderness scenes. The are many other ancillary features that tie this home together. With regard to energy efficiency, we have an all electric home. Compared to are stick frame-home in Ohio our utilities are half.

Our contract was a dry-in contract. Our framing crew was outstanding, and we built a great working relationship with them between the subs we hired and the work we did ourselves. When you put together a team you will always some members that are better than others.

Fortunately as home owners we were versatile enough to keep the project moving forward. We come from a strong construction background and knew full well what we were getting into even in such a remote location. However, I would advice anyone planning for a log home to choose a design that is best suited to their lot to make sure the design of the home maximizes the topography of the lot.

Here are a few snapshots of our home.


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