The Oak Leaf - June 2018

By Lynn Gastineau
President of Gastineau Log Homes, Inc.

Welcome to the June 2018 issue of The Oak Leaf! For new readers, this is a monthly newsletter that is sent by e-mail to those that have expressed an interest in Gastineau Log Homes. We use this as a way of communicating technical, design and industry information. For more information, check out our web site at

Please "Like" Gastineau Log Homes on Facebook! There are LOTS of photographs of our homes in the Photo section!

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This custom home will be featured in an upcoming Log Home Living Floor Plan issue. If you don't want to wait for the magazine, give us a call and we can send you the floor plan!

This Month: What size of home should you build? What is the ideal square footage?: The average US home is just under 2500 square feet. Do you need more or less space? What is the ideal size for your family? Here are some questions to ask yourself and considerations you may not have thought of...

Trivia Question: What farm animal is considered the 4th most intelligent animal after chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants? (See the answer at the end of the newsletter.)

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This Seven Gables II has porches on both sides and the homeowner chose round logs on the interior as well as the exterior. The saddle notched corners gives a mountain feel to the home.

What do you truly love to do in your home?
Think about your day-to-day life. Then consider the functionality of your current home and how you would tweak it if you could to better accommodate your lifestyle and hobbies. Do you like to throw parties and host holiday gatherings? Or do you prefer smaller groups for game and movie nights? Do you have hobbies that require extra space? Keep these factors in mind when planning the size home you wish to build.

Is there a telecommuter in the family? As the number of U.S. work-from-home jobs continues to grow, more homeowners are needing to plan around a home office. If your household includes (or will include) a telecommuter, think about where he or she will work. In your next home, you might want to incorporate an extra bedroom, a den, or a study to ensure there’s dedicated space for the workday.


The photo here is the Caroline as originally built. See below for the porch addition.

Is your family going to grow in the next five to ten years? Or get smaller? Your ideal home will probably be a lot different depending on whether your children are a bit older or if you plan on having more kids. Families that are more well established, with teenagers or grown children, may consider incorporating features like private bathrooms and additional living areas. Meanwhile, those who think their family might grow should plan for extra bedrooms, plenty of play space, or a nursery.


The homeowners decided to add a porch roof over the deck on the side of the Caroline home. A porch has a roof; a deck does not have a roof. The floors are typically the same.

Is there a chance our relatives might need to move in? Multigenerational homes are becoming increasingly common, as a growing number of homeowners invite elderly parents or grown children to stay for an extended period of time. If your family might embrace multigenerational living in the coming years, be sure to plan ahead by seeking out a floor plan that offers plenty of space and privacy, such as one with dual master suites.

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This BTB # 5 was built over 25 years ago. Today the original owners son is adding a garage and new master suite to the home. So yes, you CAN add on to a log home!

Is now a good time to downsize? For some homeowners, their next home may actually be the ideal opportunity to embrace a smaller floor plan. This is often an attractive choice for empty-nesters and retirees who don’t need as much space and are ready to enjoy less upkeep and cleaning. Or, you might simply want to maximize your outdoor space by opting for a smaller home that better suits how you live.

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Harpole's Heartland Lodge in Debo, IL is an Illinois hunting lodge and outfitter. But also a bed and breakfast and available for reunions, weddings or business retreats.

Make a List: Make a list of everything you absolutely love about where you live now. Maybe you love the master suite, the fireplace in the living room, or the curb appeal. Then make a list of everything you could do without – the cramped kitchen, the lack of storage, the tiny bedrooms.

Once you’ve made your list, create three columns. The first is your “must haves.” These are the non-negotiables of your new home. This might include a first floor master suite or a kitchen island for entertaining.

In the second column, write your list of “nice to haves.” These are things that aren’t deal breakers but that you’d really love to have in your new home. This might be French doors that lead to a private outdoor patio or a bonus room for your pool table.

Finally, in the third column write down your deal breakers. These are things that you absolutely do not want in your new home. Maybe you have your heart set on a single story plan and wouldn’t consider a two-story. Or maybe you feel strongly about having your kitchen in the back of the home so you can keep an eye on the kids while they play in the backyard.

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If you enjoy playing pool, you will need to allocate plenty of room for the table in your home square footage. This one is in a finished basement at Harpole's Heartland Lodge.

Finding the Right Sized Home: Once you’ve identified your ideal home size, the next step is making it a reality. Unfortunately, many home buyers find that shopping for pre-built homes means choosing from a limited inventory of houses. That’s how many homeowners end up in a home that is either much smaller or much bigger than they ever planned.

One of the best ways to ensure you find the right-sized home for you is to build a custom home. By going the custom route, you can select a customizable floor plan that fits your family, your lifestyle and hobbies, and the future, whether it’s 1,100 square feet or 3,500.

Home Shows:
None of the agenda until Fall 2018.

Construction Seminar Schedule for 2018:

September 15, 2018

Click here for information on our one day construction seminars.

Open Houses:

Remember that the GLH Model Home Center on I 70 in central MO is open seven days a week now! We are open 9 - 5 Monday to Saturday and 12 to 5 on Sunday. We have three houses there that you can tour!

Answer to Trivia Question: Pigs!

Quote of the Month: "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have." - Teddy Roosevelt

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