Like so many log home enthusiasts, the Hickey’s plans and dreams of building their own log home started many years ago. “It was about a 15 year journey for us,” recalls Todd Hickey. “It was really my wife’s idea. We had thought about building a custom home, and one day Kim asked what I thought about building a log home.” It didn’t take Kim much convincing to get Todd on-board with the idea. The couple felt a natural connection, a link through their Appalachian heritage, to the idea of building a home made of logs.
While they dreamed and planned, the couple located a five acre lot, only a few miles down the road from their rural home in Lascassas, Tennessee. “The land is in a subdivision, but every lot is at least 5 acres, so we really have a lot of privacy, but also still have neighbors we can depend on,” noted Todd. Not long after acquiring the land, the couple built a small pond and prepared the land in preparation for where their dream home would one day reside.
The couple spent about five years of research before deciding to purchase their log home from Dan Smith, salesperson at Honest Abe Log Home’s location in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. “Dan made us feel comfortable,” said Todd. “We researched other companies and found that Honest Abe would allow us to start on the construction ourselves, then we could have their builders come in to erect the logs and roofs. We could work with Honest Abe alone, and didn’t have to search for an experienced log builder, so that was a big plus.”
Todd, who works in the field of light construction, knew he could save some money by working on certain portions of the home himself. The foundation and sub-floor systems are standard and much the same as any other home. “I had the sub-floor constructed and then one of Honest Abe’s crews came in to do their portion. We contracted with them to dry-in the home, and they had it complete in seven weeks.” With the logs up, roofs constructed and the doors and windows installed, the home was “dried-in” from the weather.
Once again, the Hickey’s took reign of the project, choosing to finish the construction themselves. Todd recalled, “We spent most of our nights, weekends and vacation time over the next year working on the home, it really was a family effort.” The couple’s three children, Tyler, Kayla and Trey also played an important roll. “We had them doing small jobs around the site, and they were a big help in keeping the job site neat and orderly.” As part of the kid’s reward for helping, the family would “camp out” in the home quite often. “I remember a number of nights that we had our sleeping bags thrown around on the unfinished floors of the home. The kids really enjoyed it, and I think it’s time with us they will always remember.”
In December of 2005, one year after construction began, the family moved into their new Honest Abe Log Home. They had completed a modified version of Honest Abe’s Castlewood home, which is constructed with two full stories of Honest Abe’s D-Log profile. The home totals around 2,354 square feet, and features an open great room, dining and kitchen area. The master bedroom and bath suite incorporates a sitting area, the bathroom has his-and-her vanities, and dual walk-in closets provide plenty of extra storage space. In all, the master suite area encompasses a good portion of the first floors 1,470 sf total.
Three more bedrooms, and a bathroom make up the second story of the home. A landing at the top of the stairs serves as a small open loft area, and an elevated exterior deck is accessible through one of the bedrooms. The interior of the home uses White Pine tongue and groove on the interior walls and ceilings. “The only place we have sheet-rock in the home is in the bedrooms,” mentioned Todd, allowing the family to add more color to their kid’s rooms.
Some of the families favorite features include the large stone fireplace that adorns and demands attention in the great room. That leads to the 22’ high cathedral ceiling, a feature the family has noticed always strikes awe with their visitors. Finally, Todd says the fixed glass windows located to either side of the fireplace is definitely a favorite feature. “We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the moon and the stars at night through those big windows, all in the comfort of our great room.”
Six years later, the family enjoys their log home as much as the day they moved in. Todd remarks, “My wife and I looked for fifteen years for the perfect log home. After meeting with Dan Smith, we found the house we were looking for. Honest Abe’s staff were great to work with. The experienced construction crew, led by Joe Isenberg, did an exceptional job from floor to roof. With Honest Abe, someone is always a phone call away. Thanks to Honest Abe for our dream home.”
Article By: Joshua Beasley, Honest Abe Log Homes
Editors Note: Dan Smith, Salesperson for Honest Abe Log Homes contributed to the content of this story.