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home>>family>>home & decor 2>>home: it's all about you

HOME: It's All About You


(ARA) - The concept of "home" changes as we pass through different stages of life. For the young it is the starter home that may be updated and improved upon. As careers and families progress, so do the homes we occupy. Homes at this stage of life may contain more space to accommodate children, and some amenities to reflect the owner's lifestyle; but they are still defined by resources that must be divided between the need to have a suitable place to live and the need to save for the future.

In the past, many of these were meant to be terminal homes. But now a new type of home and homeowner are emerging. These "nexers" are very different from the generations that preceded them. People are living longer and healthier lives, and when they've outgrown the "family" home they are building their "next-stage" homes to meet their needs and wants.

Ty and Ida Mann are such a couple. After their kids moved out, they wanted a home just for the two of them. Ida says, "We realized that the home we lived in for many years was really not where we wanted to be when we decide to retire. We don't want to move away to a retirement community. We just wanted a home that was ours -- for the way we live now."

The Manns set out to define what they wanted: the type and location of the lot; the style of the home; the number of rooms and their uses based on their needs and interests; and the amenities they had previously done without. They both like the idea of getting back to nature and prefer outdoor activities but didn't want to care for a lawn. Since they both had always wanted a log home, they agreed that now was their chance.

Ty and Ida found the perfect property just outside the town where they had raised their family. It had the trees they both wanted and it was within a reasonable drive to the services of the city. They had their dream lot; now they needed their dream home.

Log homes to them were an extension of living close to the outdoors, which said "relaxation" to them in a way conventional homes did not. When the Mann's completed their research on line they decided to visit Wisconsin Log Homes in Green Bay, Wis. They found a friendly team of people to guide them through the custom home process. "They made it very enjoyable," says Ty.

One selling point was the fact that Wisconsin Log Homes originated the energy-efficient half-log building system, in which the exterior log of their choice would be applied over a 2-inch by 6-inch wall filled with six inches of fiberglass insulation. This innovative concept would both conserve energy costs and help preserve the surroundings they had chosen for their new home. "I can't emphasize how important an authentic handcrafted finish is to us," says Ty. "We saw their craftsmen hew the entire surface of the logs at the mill, they're beautiful."

Also helpful was the 144-page planning guide put together by the company. The combination of home plans, building information and photos of existing Wisconsin Log Homes was just what they needed to get started.

With the lot and home style defined, they were now ready to design their dream home. "Having an experienced team walk us through the planning stage resulted in a home which functions just the way we want it to," says Ida.

The people at Wisconsin Log Homes suggested that the Manns look at how they spend their time now that they are empty nesters. They found they both enjoy time together over morning coffee, and so a sunny breakfast spot was designed. They love to cook and entertain friends, so an open concept kitchen/dining room was designed to allow interaction between them and their guests. They also knew that they both needed their own space, and so a media room for Ty and a craft room for Ida came about. Occasionally they have overnight visitors, resulting in a loft area with separate bedroom and bath. They both wanted a larger master bedroom so a master bedroom suite with a large master bath and plenty of closet space was added.

"Then came the fun part," says Ida. "We added the extra special touches we simply couldn't afford when we were raising our family." The finishing touches in the home include upscale appliances in the kitchen, a stone-faced floor-to-ceiling fireplace and large windows in the greatroom to let in their beautiful view, log interiors in the greatroom and master bedroom to add warmth and coziness to their home, hardwood floors in appropriate areas, a stunning timber staircase leading to the loft, a large shower and whirlpool tub in the master bath.

Companies like Wisconsin Log Homes see more and more people like the Manns, who may have had to compromise on previous homes, but the next one is all about them.

More information about designing and building log homes can be found at Wisconsin Log Homes' Web site, www.wisconsinloghomes.com , or by calling (800) 678-9107.

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Courtesy of ARA Content
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