Building on a slice of paradise sometimes means pulling up stakes and getting a better view. One Georgia couple learns it's not as hard as it sounds.
Sure, Suzanne and Tony Dew already owned a cabin retreat in the mountains of Georgia. But they wanted more. Who wouldn't, knowing that just a little ways up the mountain, there was a vista overlooking seven mountain ranges across three states?So up the mountain they went in search of log-home paradise. "We were looking for something other than a stick-frame house, or a stick-frame with log siding," says Tony. "We were looking for real logs and that feeling…" The "feeling" he refers to is tangible as he walks from room to room in his home with a true understanding of how things got the way they are—the way each log fits a groove, the way the view is just right from the loft or simply taking in deep breaths of Eastern white pine—because he and Suzanne were so involved with their two-year building process. Suzanne says Tony acted as co-general contractor and one of the workers who created their 3,575-square-foot home that boasts four bedrooms, three and a half baths, and a furnished basement. (Tony also is a self-described amateur craftsman, and he continues building furniture from leftover logs stored in their garage.) The work on their home started long before breaking ground. The process of looking for a log company was tedious, and the Dews interviewed a handful of companies and combed through nearly a hundred plans before selecting Premier Log Homes & Structures in Ringgold, Georgia. Their decision hinged on Premier's ability to alter existing floor plans. For the Dews, that meant shifting the fireplace for more of a "free flowing" atmosphere. They also created two master suites, one upstairs and one down. "Our customers who are under a 12-month contract can make unlimited changes, which gives them a piece of mind," explains Premier's co-owner Steve Carter. "Tony and Suzanne had great results." Now retired, the two spend the majority of their time in what they've dubbed "Mountain Dews Moose Manor," a nod to Bullwinkle, the moose head that looks over the couple's home, or as the Tony says, the lord of the manor. But really, it's he and Suzanne who lord over the home they helped build with their own two hands. "It's history we helped create," Tony says.
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