Start of Something Big

With an eye toward adding on in the future, a Wisconsin couple builds a small vacation home in the mountains of Colorado.

Start of Something Big

By Peter Lindblad
Photos By Roger Wade

Before Keith and Sara Gores retire to their Colorado mountain retreat, there's work to be done. The plank-style cedar log home they built has only 800 square feet of living space. That's fine for vacation getaways, but when the Gores move there for good, they want to live in something a little bigger. So they're planning to attach a main house sometime in the near future.

"We were anxious to start enjoying our property, so we built a much smaller home with an eye toward doing the main house later," Keith says.

So far, the Gores have been more than satisfied with the results.

KitchenLong-Distance Relationship
Location is everything for most homeowners and the Gores are no exception. Next door to their property is a national forest and Beaver Creek ski hill is just 10 minutes away. Keith and Sara liked the property so much they couldn't wait to build on it. It was tough for them to see it while on vacation and not feel the urge to do something with it.

"We got tired of driving by the property while staying at a hotel in Edwards and we thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice if we could just stay there?'" Keith says. "We figured, ÔWhy not lock in the mortgage rates and get the project going?' I'm 53 and we wanted to get stuff done while we were still working, so we did."

At first glance, it seems like a simple project: one bedroom, one bath and a living area that opens onto a combination kitchen/dining area. There are some surprises, however...
  • A carpeted loft above to bathroom to increase sleeping space for visitors.
  • A full walkout basement instead of a crawlspace.
  • Interior and exterior walls featuring 5 1/2" structural insulated panels sandwiched between two cedar planks.
  • Only the best best appliances and materials, such as cherry wood floors and fir window trim.
To read the full story of the Gores' building project, check out the February 2004 issue of Log Home Design Ideas.