Best of Both Worlds: Planning a Ski Lodge

An Idaho log-and-timber beauty showcases an innovative design that blends seamlessly into the rugged mountain landscape.

Tim Schafer doesn’t climb mountains—he builds around them. As an architect, he finds ways to fit gloriously designed homes into spots where Mother Nature might have other ideas. Such was the case with a recent customer who wanted his 2,800-square-foot getaway home nestled into Idaho’s Tamarack ski area.

Elegant, strong and connected to its winter environment and surroundings.

“We were able to come up with a design without a lot of steps or level changes,” says Tim, who works at Mountain Architects, the design firm for PrecisionCraft Log & Timber Homes. “It’s kind of a long and narrow home because of the lot.” But the home, known as Eagle’s Nest, works wonderfully and looks as if it’s been perched on this spot for more than a century. Beau Value, owner and president of Everest Construction, says the owner of Eagle’s Nest wanted the place to look like no other. Judging by the unique log-and-timber stunner that resulted, it’s clear the customer got exactly what he wanted. Working with a design and materials from PrecisionCraft, Beau and his team were able to complete the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom home in just 14 months, despite heavy snows during a particularly severe winter. The pre-construction design process, though, took a little longer than usual.

Honey-colored wood frames the master bathroom's mirror and windows, offering a visual connection with the home's Douglas fir logs.

“It was a difficult site to fit,” says Beau of the home’s sloping corner lot near a mountain switchback. “There’s a road that goes by the site to access several homes at higher elevations, so we wanted to set the house on the slope. But we also wanted to protect the place so it felt private and not exposed to the road.”

Nowhere do the Douglas fir trusses appear more striking than from the loft. Seeming to frame the natural-stone fireplace and angular windows across the great room, the timbers-all heavily adzed-bring an additional dash of grandeur to an already magnificent space.

The solution, explains Tim, was to work with the challenging landscape, not against it. By adopting such a practical approach, they succeeded in tweaking one of PrecisionCraft’s standard layouts, the “Eagle’s Nest” home from their Western Log & Timber series, to accommodate the site.

Rustic elegance envelops the log home's dining area, and the authentic wood dining room table offers a warm welcome to hungry guests.

The home is equally striking inside, combining all the rustic beauty of heavily adzed, square Douglas fir logs with the elegance of squared timbers. Adding to the eclectic look, the place also boasts natural stone inside and out, vertical board-and-batten exterior siding, plentiful Craftsman-style windows and inviting, guest-worthy porches. This mélange of materials and styles is fairly typical in a PrecisionCraft home. “We try to incorporate a good mix of glass and stone and wood,” says Tim. “And quite often, we’ll mix timber and logs, or do a mixture of round logs with square timbers, or even square timbers with handcrafted, tapered posts.”

The beautiful log-and-timber hybrid home covered in snow.

And when they do, the results are nothing short of spectacular. “I haven’t seen another home in the Tamarack area like this,” says Beau. “It has such a nice, cozy feel.”

Home Details:

Square footage: 2,800

Builder: Everest Construction

Log Provider: PrecisionCraft Log & Timber Homes