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A Masterpiece in the Mountains: Inside a Family’s Handmade Log Home in Colorado

  • 5 min read

In the world of architectural beauty and craftsmanship, log homes hold a unique allure with their rustic charm and sturdy build. One such gem is nestled in Colorado’s picturesque surroundings, a handcrafted log home that is both a testament to human creativity and an ode to nature.

The Genesis: From Ski Trips to a Permanent Abode

The story of this beautiful log home begins with a Florida-based family’s love for Colorado’s snow-covered slopes. Their annual ski trips sparked an affection for the state that eventually led them to contemplate a permanent move. Their quest for the perfect location took them across Colorado until they stumbled upon a 40-acre parcel in Pitkin County. Even though the relocation was planned for the future, the family returned to Florida, excited and ready to start planning their dream log home.

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Inspiration Strikes: A Magazine Cover

It was during this planning phase that Beth, one of the owners, spotted a log house on a magazine cover. The house was a creation of Montana Log Homes, known for their use of lodgepole pine logs. These logs are left standing and then ski-peeled to remove the bark, leaving behind the cambium layer. Intrigued by this construction method, Beth and her husband Lanny traveled to Kalispell, Montana, to design their home.

Designing the Dream Home: Adapting to Local Codes

While in Montana, the couple found a floor plan that resonated with their vision. However, adapting it to meet Pitkin County’s building codes required some modifications. The living room, dining area, and kitchen were merged into one open space, with a kitchen island that mirrored the stones used in the fireplace. They also designed a great room with cathedral ceilings and a fireplace. To accommodate county restrictions on house size, an open porch from the kitchen was converted into a sunroom, which does not add to the total square footage.

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The Great Room: A Unique Feature

One of the standout features of this log home is its great room. Located on the second level, it can be accessed through an attached two-car garage and two sets of French doors leading to an outdoor deck. This space was meticulously designed to offer stunning views and serve as a central gathering spot for the family.

Catering to the Younger Generation: Lower-Level Design

Considering their teenage children, the couple designed the lower level of the house to include a family game area, two bedrooms, and a small kitchen, along with two full baths. This floor essentially became the kids’ haven, providing them with their own space within the larger home.

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The Third Level: Additional Space

On the third level, the house features two additional bedrooms at opposite ends of a long hallway, accompanied by a TV room and a bathroom. This arrangement ensures privacy and comfort for all members of the family.

Choosing the Right Contractor: Gabe Butler

To bring their dream home to life, the family chose Gabe Butler, owner of Montana Log Homes of Colorado. Interestingly, the crew led by Butler had built the log home that initially inspired the family. They expressed their desire to replicate the exterior of that house, complete with its three-story bay-window wings and gingerbread shingles. They also wanted the same hammerbeam beam trusses in their great room, which required contracting with a steel fabricator.

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Conclusion: A Dream Realized

Today, this handcrafted log home stands tall in Colorado, reflecting the family’s vision and the craftsmanship of Montana Log Homes. It’s more than just a structure; it’s a testament to the power of dreams and the beauty of handcrafted design. From its inception on a magazine cover to its realization in Pitkin County, this log home embodies the journey of a family’s relocation and their love for log homes.

Log supplier: Montana Log Homes, Kalispell, MT (406-752-2992;

Builder: Montana Log Homes of Colorado, Steamboat Springs, CO (970-879-3031;

Plan drawings: Jake’s Drafting Service, Steamboat Springs, CO (970-879-7929;

Cabinets and doors: Specialty Woodworks Co., Hamilton, MT (406-363-6353;

Kitchen appliances: Viking (888-845-4641;

Windows and patio doors: Semco Windows & Doors (800-933-2206;