A DIY Log Home in Montana | Just Do It

When designing their Montana dream home, a retired couple takes the "do it yourself" craze to a whole new level.

Just Do It
A home can speak volumes about the people who live there - especially when they designed it themselves. That's the case with Bert and Carol Bennett, who spent years meticulously crafting their vision for the perfect abode. Now built along an elk migration path in Montana, this log home can't help but exude personality. hearth"Growing up, we had a log home in Minnesota that had been in my family for 75 years," says Carol. "I always liked its warmth and ambiance, so when my husband and I decided to retire to Big Sky, we couldn't imagine building anything else." When you see the handsome structure nestled in amongst a stand of lodgepole pine, alpine fur and spruce trees, it's easy to understand why. At a log home show in Columbus, Ohio, the Bennetts met representatives from Bridger Mountain Log Homes, headquartered in Belgrade Montana. The couple was familiar with the company's stellar reputation and developed a great rapport with the folks who worked there.

Master Plan

The Bennetts' dream home was based on ideas that Carol gathered from magazines for more than a decade. "If I came upon a design element that interested me, I would cut it out," she says. "But I'm not an architect, so everything I designed was flat. I needed someone who was professionally trained to take my ideas and make them work structurally." kitchenThe folks at Bridger Mountain were pleased to do just that. The log walls are constructed of handcrafted, 12-inch lodgepole pine logs with the exception of several structural logs measuring upwards of 14 inches in diameter. To offer a more rustic appearance, the home's machined logs were hand-peeled. character logs (unique pieces with extensive knots or scars) add one-of-a-kind personality to the main floor. The kitchen's central location truly makes it the heart of this home. Highlights include:  
  • custom-made alder cabinetry
  • a custom copper hood over the stove
  • a backsplash crafted from tumbled marble
  • specialty tiles found in Wooster, Ohio, that carry the footprints of animals native to the region.
To read more about this Montana dream home, read the complete article in the June/July 2005 issue of Log Home Design Ideas.