Logs and Legacies: The Spradling’s

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Logs and Legacies: The Spradling’s

Logs and Legacies

A Chat with a Custom Timber Homeowner – The Spradling Home

Building a log home is an exciting experience, one many people wait years to endeavor.  But, all the planning, decisions, and waiting can also be a little scary.  We at CTLH understand that.  And so do our past customers, who have traveled the path to log home happiness and lived to tell about it.  

That’s why we are beginning a new series on our website called “Logs and Legacies.”  We will highlight a different homeowner we’ve had the pleasure of working with, and they will get a chance to tell their story.  Every homeowner is unique, and so is his or her tale, so check back each month for a chance to hear from someone who has first-hand knowledge of the log home building experience.

Spradling Home

Our first interview for logs and legacies is with Ann and Allen Spradling.  Married 40 years in February, the Spradlings’ home is tucked into the trees on the outskirts of Maryville.  Ann, retired from the medical field, enjoys sewing, working jigsaw puzzles, and spending time with her ever-expanding family.  Allen, retired from the Sea Ray Corporation, now spends his days tending his crops, which he sells at the local farmers’ market.  In the winter, he can be found cultivating his new seedlings or working in his shop.

The Spradlings’ home is a single level log home with a full basement. The main living area is upstairs and the basement remains unfinished space below the home.  The home is constructed of 6 x 12 logs with a hand-hewn exterior and Dovetail corners.  It is comfortable, homey, relaxed.  However, on a night in late May 2010, the Spradlings’ homestead was anything but relaxed.

Frame home destroyed by fireAnn and Allen, along with family and friends, watched helplessly as flames billowed from their home.  Within hours, the house was a total loss.  “We had worked together for over 30 years on that house,” Ann remembered.  “There was a lot of sentimental value in there.”  The loss of their home was difficult; however, Ann and Allen quickly began looking ahead to their future home.

“We knew we wanted to rebuild right here,” Allen said.  “This was my family’s land.  There was no question where we would put our new house.”

With the help of Chris at CTLH, the Spradlings planned their new home’s floor plan.  They wanted essentially what they had had in their previous home, with a few changes.  “Chris flipped it around for us,” Ann said.  “I like having my kitchen at the back of the house.  I can see the mountains better.”  

When asked if there were things she had specifically requested to have in her new log home, Ann’s eyes lit up.  “A big pantry.  I really wanted a nice, large pantry, not the little one I had before.  Chris made sure I got it.”  Allen requested a Jack-and-Jill bathroom between the two bedrooms upstairs.  He got that, too.  “It’s called ‘Custom’ for a reason,” Allen said.  “They’ll help you make it how you want it.”  

I asked them if it was difficult planning a new house while still mourning the loss of their old one.  “Sure,” Allen answered.  “But, we had a good builder in Bo.  He kept us on track.”

There was plenty the Spradlings enjoyed about both the planning and building phases of their project.  “Getting to choose what I wanted was nice.  You know, getting to pick out cabinets, colors, and, of course, my pantry,” Ann said with a smile.  She enjoyed watching the house being built, as well.  “We’d come up here and watch the house go up.  It was nice seeing it.  I liked, especially, how they poured the basement.  I knew it wasn’t going to leak.  Bo was very knowledgeable.  We just let him work.”

While everyone would like to be able to throw caution to the wind and pay no heed to expenses while building their dream home, most of us have to remain within a set budget.  The Spradlings were no different.  When I asked them how they found ways to cut costs and stay within their budget, Ann immediately looked to the ceiling.  “We saved money by doing a lot of the work ourselves.  Our family helped out a lot with that.  We did all the interior and exterior stain.  We did all the trim.  My son did the ceilings and floors.  And, I trusted Bo.  I knew he wouldn’t spend too much.”  The Spradlings also decided on an unfinished basement.  This helped keep costs down and gave Allen a winter “home” for his seedlings.

deck3The Spradlings moved into their new home less than 10 months after their previous home was destroyed.  I asked them if living in a log home was different than they had imagined.  “I didn’t realize how much I’d like my garage.  I definitely think everybody ought to have a garage,” Ann said.  “Of course, I love my screened-in porch, too.  And, my walls.  They’re beautiful.”  And, they are.  Ann and Allen decided on a polyurethane sealer for their interior walls, going for a natural look, creating a soothing, warming effect.  Just right on a blustery January afternoon.

When asked if they had any advice for those starting a building project, Ann nodded.  “Take the advice of your contractor.  You hired him because he is experienced and knowledgeable.  If you’ve never built a home, you don’t know what to expect.  Your contractor will think of things you’d never think of.  Listen to him.  The most important thing is to find someone trustworthy.  We found that at Custom Timber Log Homes.”  

After thinking for a moment, Ann put up a finger.  “One other thing:  if it’s an older couple, they should get an elevator!” 

Unlike many you will read about in the future, Ann and Allen didn’t plan on building a new home.  As Allen put it, “This is not the legacy we expected.”  However, just as their log home is strong and resilient, standing tall in even the worst storms, so are the Spradling’s.  As Ann says, “You just have to move forward and keep trusting.”

The Spradlings’ story is one of rebirth—a beautiful home rising out of the ashes of a terrible accident—which is why their model is named the “Phoenix.”  If you’d like to see pictures of their new home, both in the building stages and the finished project, or click here for the Spradling’s backstory.  

Check back again, as we introduce you to another log homeowner in our “Logs and Legacies” series.  We hope to see you back again soon!