In the Clouds: An Affordable New Mexico Log Home

With a view that seemingly goes on forever, a New Mexico home delivers an affordable option for its owners and a breathtaking vantage point for taking in nature’s bounty.

When Charles and Ellen Lacy decided to build a second home, they did their best not to choose logs.

New Mexico home, exterior in the snow

  “People kept telling us it was too expensive, so we tried every other type of construction, and they were more than we wanted to spend,” recalls Charles. “Then a gentleman who does designing for our jewelry store said, ‘You really ought to try a log house because it’s the most economical.’”

Sure enough, it was. A log home turned out to be the loveliest option, too, and the one the Texas couple had wished for all along. What they couldn’t have envisioned at the beginning of the process, though, was just how incredible their home’s surroundings would be. “The house sits up on top of a mountain, on the edge of a canyon and the view from our deck is about 40 miles,” says Charles of their 4-acre spread in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. “It really is spectacular.” The place was spectacularly laid out, too, to maximize the view (of course) and minimize any obstructions.

Sitting area in the loft of the log home

An interior designer helped the couple “move the house out even further than we were thinking, so it would look like we were floating when we were out on the deck,” says Ellen. “We also wanted the living area to have an unobstructed view. A lot of houses have their fireplaces right in the middle of the windows, and we didn’t want that.”

Even the kitchen, which is sometimes an afterthought in second homes, , has a front-row seat to the stunning landscape, complete with acres of pine trees, rolling hills and an endless sky. “I said, ‘If I have to be in the kitchen, I want that view!’” laughs Ellen. She got it. Luckily, capturing it—from the kitchen and elsewhere—wasn’t too much of a hassle.

Great room in the home, view a view of the loft above

Although “the hardest thing about constructing the home was the supporting the deck that hangs above the canyon,” says Alvin Vaught, vice president of Log Homes of Cloudcroft, which supplied the couple’s 10-inch pine logs. The solution was fairly straightforward. “We used some very long support posts to get down to solid footing,” he explains.

The result? Ellen got the panoramic scene she wanted. Indeed, she and Charles got pretty much everything they wanted for their 3,000-square-foot home, including a bunkroom for their 12 grandchildren and radiant-heat ceramic-tile flooring to keep themselves and their frequent guests toasty when the weather turns harsh. “We had 100 inches of snow last year,” says Charles. They stayed warm, though, thanks to radiant-heat flooring. “It’s the most efficient way in the world to heat,” he says. And the log home itself is the most luxurious way to live—at least as far as the Lacys are concerned. “I’d never build another house unless it was a log,” he says.

Home Details:

Square footage: 3,000

Log Dealer: Log Homes of Cloudcroft

Log Provider: Lodge Logs Inc.