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Dirt to Done: Follow Along in Our New Series

Zach Parmeter, a third-generation log home producer, begins his journey to create a new custom log-and-timber home of his own.

Written by Suzanna Logan
 
When Zach Parmeter walks into his job as a sales advisor at Wisconsin-based Golden Eagle Log and Timber Homes, he knows he’s going to spend much of his day fielding questions from potential clients: Why choose a log or timber home? How long does the process take? How much will it cost?
 
The answers come easy for Zach — in part because he grew up in the business. (His dad is Tod Parmeter, co-owner of Golden Eagle.) As a child, Zach’s parents didn’t snag a babysitter when they needed to head to work; they brought him and his sisters along for the ride. That meant Zach spent much of his childhood at his family’s custom log and timber home manufacturing business. “We were just always here,” says Zach with a laugh.
 
He was officially added to the payroll around the age of 15. “My first experience on a true job site building a full-log home was when I was about 19 years old,” he says. During his time at college, Zach returned to the family business over summer breaks. After graduating, he began working full-time at the company, learning the ropes in different departments until finally settling into customer service as a sales advisor.
 
While Zach spends much of his day educating clients, he doesn’t just talk the talk, he lives the life. At the age of 31, Zach is already the proud owner of his own custom-built log home. His personal log home journey began a little over five years ago when he purchased a wooded five-acre property about 10 minutes from Golden Eagle’s Wisconsin Rapids office and began dreaming about having his own place.
 
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With a love of wood in his blood, Zach knew only a log or timber home would do. Other types of materials or construction methods “never entered the picture,” he says. Knowing he wanted the home’s display of interior timbers accented with drywall, he chose a half-log home with timber accents over a full-log build. “The double-hewn half-log siding was a new log shape and style for us,” he says.  “It has a bit of flatness to it, a square shape that complements the timbers very well, but it also still has the rugged appeal of the hand-hewn texture.”
 
Although he’s in a younger demographic than some of his Golden Eagle customers, he has many of the same concerns in mind. His years of hearing his clients’ wishes and worries has given him long-range insight, prompting him to include things like a wheelchair-accessible master suite and zero-step entry from the garage into the house. “I’ve gotten to see what is important in the long run,” he says. “I see how vital it is to have quality work, not a lot of unused space, a place that really functions for your particular lifestyle and long-term accessibility.” 
 
For Zach, those things materialized into a 2,000-square-foot floor plan with an unfinished lower level. “I had originally planned something much larger, but saw that size would fit within my budget and allow me to maintain the quality of finishes I wanted,” he says.
 
While, in some ways, his 15-plus years around the business gave him an inside track into building his log home, he still found himself burning the midnight oil through design and construction to learn everything he could about the process. “It’s an incredibly exciting time, and I had countless nights where I was up all night researching and wanting to learn about everything,” he laughs. Knowing this home was a place he hoped to plant deep roots was a strong motivator to get it just right. “I plan to live in this home for the rest of my life,” says Zach. “I wanted a place where I could create memories with my future family.” 
 

Join us on Zach’s Journey

Over the course of the next year, Log Home Living’s “Dirt to Done” series will follow Zach’s road to log home ownership, from designing the house and preparing his tree-filled Wisconsin lot for construction to building his log-and-timber forever home. Check back here for updates.