Give Me Space | Incorporating Storage in Your Log Home

Storage is key in any home. Our building pro outlines 6 tips to create space for everything from hiking gear to lawn equipment.

Storage Solutions - Give Me Space
Storage is key in any home. Our building pro outlines 6 tips to create space for everything from hiking gear to lawn equipment.
by: editorial staff

1. What are the top three mistakes people make when it comes to storage areas?

Remember that your log home needs more than one kind of storage area. While some items, such as winter coats and Christmas decorations, may only be used seasonally, other items like sports gear, cleaning supplies and tools will be used nearly every day.

As you plan for storage, make sure it's available where it will be needed. If you plan on using pedestal sinks in any bathrooms, ensure that there's storage nearby for toiletries, towels and cleaning supplies. Storage that isn't convenient almost guarantees clutter.

Finally, many people fail to consider the impact of utilities on their storage plans. When the HVAC contractor points out that the only way to conceal ductwork carrying forced air to the second floor is through a chase in the master bedroom closet, you may have just lost a significant amount of closet space.

2. When it comes to storage in log homes, where do you get the best bang for the buck?

One of the best options is the garage. It will have a conventional roof truss, which means you can add pull-down attic stairs that lead to a large storage area. Many log home designs include areas where cathedral ceilings slope to the floor. Walling off the portion of the floor with less than 3 to 4 feet of headroom can create sizeable storage areas.

To many people, basements mean storage, and they're a great way to keep clutter out of the main traffic pattern of the house. Some household items, such as gardening and lawn-maintenance tools, are often best stored in outbuildings or small storage sheds.

3. When and what should I discuss with my designer or builder about creating storage space in my new home?

Be sure to discuss storage needs early in the planning stage. Consider what kind of gear you'll need to store, and be sure to point out if it requires cleaning or maintenance after use. Your designer may suggest that you add a utility sink, floor drain or cabinets to store cleaning supplies.

4. My new home won't have a basement. I'm worried that I'll be eating up precious square footage with my HVAC, water heater and other mechanicals. Where do I put these systems in the floorplan?

Without a basement, your storage options for mechanical systems are limited. Instead, plan on a utility closet that opens directly into the garage or outside. Be sure it has a wide doorway in case equipment needs to be replaced. It's also important to remember that hot-water heaters and air handlers are best located centrally or closest to the point of heaviest use.

5. Besides parking my car, how can I use my garage efficiently for storage?

With proper planning, extra garage space can become anything from a workshop to a craft area. If your garage will host activities like these, consider how you'll control dust and maintain overall cleanliness. Consider making the garage deeper or wider than necessary and adding a bank of cabinets or storage shelves.

6. I have a ton of outdoor gear, including a kayak, skis and fishing poles. If I don't build a garage, what are the best storage solutions for these items?

Depending on the type of equipment and how often you use it, consider storage lockers that double as benches or worktables on decks or porches. If you have room underneath porches or decks, hang canoes or kayaks underneath. I've also seen dedicated closets that work wonderfully near side or rear entrances. And if you have an array of smaller items to store, talk to your design team or builder about widening a hallway and building in cupboards along one side. You wouldn't believe the storage space you'll pick up!