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Luxury Dovetail Hybrid Timber Frame Home: A Project Spotlight & How Caribou Creek Solved A Problem that Saved The Customer Money During The Lumber Shortage

Luxury Dovetail Hybrid Timber Frame Home: A Project Spotlight & How Caribou Creek Solved A Problem that Saved The Customer Money During The Lumber Shortage

June 9, 2021

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Not long ago, a couple stopped in, curious about what Caribou Creek offers. Their dream was about elegance, being closer to family, and building a forever home in a beautiful place they loved as they transition into retirement. 

Overlooking a beautiful nearby lake, the couple had chosen the perfect place to build and they were ready to begin designing the home they had been imagining.

Our draftsman Stuart, worked with the clients to create a floor plan and log home design that met their wishes and customizations.

The clients were ready to treat themselves with the amenities and luxuries that fueled their dreams. What resulted is a gorgeous custom home design that was finished in the first quarter of 2021.

The focal point of the home is an impressive 23 foot tall entry with a huge arched truss supported by two pillars. Each pillar is constructed with four tall posts. Looking at the renderings it’s evident walking up to this home will inspire a feeling of awe.

Inside the 7 foot front door is a hundred square foot foyer with an open ceiling two stories high. Past the foyer, is a catwalk which joins the two upstair wings. The expansive 400 square foot great room opens up just pass the foyer accented with matching trusses for that jaw drop effect. 

The basement is complete with a guest bedroom, full kitchen and a bathroom. An open living room adds plenty of space for entertaining guests and family. The 13′ by 7′ wine room completes the basement adding its sophisticated flare.

The upper story holds space for a spacious guest bedroom and bathroom as well as a large home office room allowing for the couple to continue working from home as they ease into retirement.

From top to bottom this home is filled with elegant luxuries including the massive walk in closet with a window to capture the picturesque views.

Initially, this home was designed to be a complete dovetail log home package. However, after the initial building estimation came in slightly over the clients intended budget, Caribou Creek value engineered the design to fit within the budget without compromising the size or amenities the home offered.

As a result the home became a classy hybrid of dovetail log walls throughout the center of the home and wings designed with traditional framing methods. Handcrafted specialty timbers will lace throughout the framed portion of the home to maintain the rustic charm.

After the design was approved and construction contract signed, Caribou Creek began the process of ordering material. We reached out to our normal timber suppliers and were told they were too backed up with orders to fill our needs. Our log acquisitions manager continued sourcing timbers only to discover prices had drastically increased. 

Using Douglas fir timbers from available sources would have increased the price by approximately $40,000 due to the sudden influx of lumber prices across the US. The management team at Caribou was aware that the budget was very close to the clients threshold and an increase that large would be a significant impact on them. 

The Caribou Creek team put their heads together to come up with a solution that would satisfy the clients budget and design choice. Although timber prices coming from mills had skyrocketed, our log prices had not fluctuated very much and supply was still meeting demand. After explaining the situation to the client, Jenna Magee, the log consultant managing the project, explained the solution the team had discussed.

Dovetail cants crafted from round logs, rather than full square timbers, would give the client the look they wanted without costing them the exorbitant extra the market prices were demanding. 

A ‘cant’ is when a round log is sawed on two sides creating two flat sides and two curved sides. The log package is constructed in the traditional chink-style method. The primary difference is that the extensions of the logs are crafted into four flat sides. After chining is installed, the rounded edges of the cants will not be visible and the home will appear to be full dovetail. The only consolation is that the chink lines will have a more variated line giving it a more rustic appearance.

This project is slated to begin in August and be delivered in the fall of 2021. Site prep has begun while the logs have been cut and placed in the kilns to dry. The employees of Caribou Creek are excited to see this project get underway. Despite the hiccups in the process it brings us great joy to help our clients experience a dream home that gives them years of pleasure.

Although Caribou Creek is designing the entire home, we are only crafting the log and timber portion. The client has hired a General Contractor to finish out the project.

By making the changes we did we scaled back the log portion of the project considerably because helping our clients achieve their dream without having to compromise important design elements or overall square footage is the most important part of what we do. If you would like to discuss your project or idea with one of our log consultants don’t hesitate to call. 800-619-1156. This is our passion and our joy is helping people realize their dream.

How To Buy A Log Home With Confidence - Insider Tips To Help You Avoid Costly Oversights

How To Buy A Log Home With Confidence - Insider Tips To Help You Avoid Costly Oversights

June 1, 2021

Often people start out planning to build their dream log cabin, but in the process of shopping for land come across a cozy cabin that is perfect for them. Instead of building they end up buying an already existing log home.

Today we want to give you some pointers on things to look for when considering purchasing a log home. Also, a word of caution - Not all home inspectors are educated about log homes. Make sure you ask the inspector about their experience with log homes or consider hiring an log home builder or restoration company to offer an inspection of the logs in addition to a traditional home inspection.

Here are some things you can look for and a secret to helping you avoid getting a log home with unforeseen problems such as log rot, settling issues, and lack of maintenance. We offer tips to help you get to the truth of what you are walking into to help you avoid overpaying for a log house.

Caribou Creek has been handcrafting Log Homes since 1989. Visit us at

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Ep 15: Comparing Building Vs. Buying - 3 Tips Cabin Lovers Needs To Know Before Deciding Between Building A Log Home or Buying One

Ep 15: Comparing Building Vs. Buying - 3 Tips Cabin Lovers Needs To Know Before Deciding Between Building A Log Home or Buying One

May 24, 2021

Shopping for an already built home is drastically different from planning to build a custom log home. In this podcast episode host Lindsay discusses 3 tips everyone should know when planning to build a dream home instead of buying.

The beauty of shopping for homes is we have the luxury of seeing the home as it is and deciding what we like or what we don't. We can decide how our furniture will look and how we will use each room. In essence, we can look at the home and decide how we can work our lives around the existing structure.

However, when designing and building a log home it is not quite that simple. We have to imagine the space we are creating, be mindful of how we are accustomed to having our home arranged for our convenience and preference. Things we often take for granted or are not even aware of.

Additionally, when going into the process of building there are many unknowns that we won't know until we have been through the process completely. Working diligently to determine our budget and to stay within those perimeters can be challenging as well as concerning for anyone who is on a tight budget. This podcast offers solutions to help cabin lovers like you prepare yourself for the process of designing and building your dream log home.

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Guest Episode: Jon & Cathy Share Their Amazing Story Of Finding The Perfect Log Home

Guest Episode: Jon & Cathy Share Their Amazing Story Of Finding The Perfect Log Home

April 26, 2021

Join us as Jon and Cathy, of Idaho, share their story of meeting in Turkey and traveling back and forth from the states to Turkey while she was teaching abroad. Cathy, having grown up in a military family, had fallen in love with log cabins while living in Alaska. In her early 20's she found a log home company in Eastern Texas and bought a book of floor plans which she kept with her all through the years as she traveled to Europe and back. She used the packet to thumb through to envision her dream log cabin time and again.

Eventually, Jon and Cathy got tired of spending summers visiting family and decided to find a place of their own. They bought some land in Montana and were planning out their cabin build.

Meanwhile, while visiting Jon's parents in Idaho, a friend told them about a log home he knew of that was for sale. Thinking it wouldn't hurt to take a look, Jon and Cathy fell in love with the cabin the moment they laid eyes on the enormous fireplace, the focal point of the home. 

Although they were already "sold" on the place, they continued to walk through the home. Cathy fell in love with the unique stained glass window and adorable "his and hers" bathrooms.  The ladies bathroom was decorated in Purple, Cathy's favorite color. That sealed the deal for them!

The home was in very poor condition. The previous owner had used pink fiberglass insulation between the logs instead of chinking. The home was drafty and open for all the bugs of the neighborhood to make a home. 

Jon spent the first summer chinking the home and later they stained the inside and outside.

After 20 years in the home, they have made beautiful improvements including landscaping, flooring, a kitchen remodel, window upgrades, and adding stone to the exterior. The home is a beautiful log home that will surly last for years to come because of how well they have taken care of it.

We hope you enjoy this episode. Make sure to join our community on Facebook at

Also, if you would like to be a guest or know someone who would be a wonderful addition to the show, please visit us at to sign up to be a guest.

Thank you to our sponsor Caribou Creek Log Homes


Are Log Homes Susceptible to Fire AND Why Are They So Hard To Insure?

Are Log Homes Susceptible to Fire AND Why Are They So Hard To Insure?

March 17, 2021

True or False: Log homes are harder to insure because they are susceptible to fire damage?

Want to know the truth? Tune in to hear this interview with special guest is Bea Speakman who is an insurance agent with Speakman Agency with Idaho Farm Bureau Insurance. 

Bea and Lindsay discuss home insurance for log cabins as well as what the most common claims are on log homes.

Remember to leave us a review on iTunes to be entered to win a Free YETI - Details in the show.

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Can Log Homes Meet Energy Code Requirements?

Can Log Homes Meet Energy Code Requirements?

March 5, 2021

How many log home dreams have been squelched because cabin lovers were told that log homes aren't energy efficient and can't meet code requirements? I'm betting a lot!

Todays podcast is diving into this topic and revealing the truth.

Be sure to leave us a review on iTunes to be entered to win a YETI!

When you think of how many log homes are built compared to how many total houses are built a year, log homes make up a very small number. As a result, not much research had been done on log homes nor had many codes been written pertaining to log homes specifically. In fact, it wasn’t until roughly 6 years ago that the ICC (International Code Council) updated their provisions to include requirements for log homes.

The Department of Energy conducted research on the energy efficiency of mass walls compared to framed walls. Here is the link ---

Another great article to read is here---

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A Log Home That Doesn’t Settle??

A Log Home That Doesn’t Settle??

February 23, 2021

Due to the complexity of modern log homes, construction methods have needed to upgrade. Anymore, log homes that settle are not the most effective way to build. Non-settling log home construction is an engineered system that keeps the logs from moving in relation to the ground. Slip joints, plumbing, settling joints, and more can be wiped out of the design with non-settling construction.

Here are the key questions this podcast will answer...

- What is a non settling system and why do we use it?

- Is there a big difference in price between non-settling and settling design?

- What is the engineered non-settling system?

- How does this non-settling system help the contractor and the homeowner in the long run?

Thinking of building your own dream log cabin? Check out our Ultimate Log Home Planning Guide as a recourse for you.

Founder of Caribou Creek Tells His Story: His Personal Cabin Renovation & His Start In Log Home Construction

Founder of Caribou Creek Tells His Story: His Personal Cabin Renovation & His Start In Log Home Construction

January 15, 2021

David Byler, founder of Caribou Creek Log Homes, joins us on the podcast today to tell his story.

- How he and his brothers started the company and why

- How he renovated an old homestead log cabin and turned it into a home three times the size for his family.

- What his next dream home will be.

- Briefly touches on Caribou Creeks Construction methods.

- What he is most passionate about when it comes to his company

- How he came to be working with his son and son-in-law today (How the company is still family owned and operated)

David's house was featured in Sporting Classics Magazine. You can read the article here

Caribou Creek Log Homes has been handcrafting log cabins and log lodges for clients around the world since 1989. Visit for more details or call 800-619-1156.

Shocking Truth About Log Cabin Construction Costs Compared to Stick Frame - Even We Couldn’t Believe It!

Shocking Truth About Log Cabin Construction Costs Compared to Stick Frame - Even We Couldn’t Believe It!

January 7, 2021

In this episode Founder and Owner David Byler shares a recent experience he had with a local custom home builder in Coeur d'Alene who had taken a set of our plans and bid it out for a stick frame home just to compare it to our prices. The truth will surprise you! It certainly left us all jaw-dropped!

David Byler founded Caribou Creek Log Homes in 1989 with his 2 brothers. Today, his son and son-in-law, still run the company. Caribou Creek builds log homes and delivers them around the world. We build cabins of all sizes from simplest designs to high end log-mansions. But no matter how big or small, the quality and craftsmanship is always top notch.

WE ARE LOOKING FOR GUESTS! If you have built your dream cabin we want to hear from you. Visit and fill out a guest form.

For more information on Caribou Creek Log Homes call 800-619-1156 or visit

Highlighted in this episode - 

- Price of a log home was significantly cheaper than stick frame (at least using labor costs in North Idaho)

- We discussed how log prices have not gone up but milled wood prices have causing construction materials such as OSB and 2x4's to be double or triple in some areas

- Construction labor prices

- Why contractors and plumbers lover Caribou Creek homes

- How a Caribou Creek home will save you time

Insider Tips to Efficiently Plan Ahed for Your Dream Home

Insider Tips to Efficiently Plan Ahed for Your Dream Home

December 29, 2020

Maybe it’s Covid or maybe people are just fed up with the city and ready to head to the country to realize their dream of living in a log cabin. Whatever the reason is, countless people are packing up and moving all over the country.  There is evidence of this in real estate trends and contractors schedules. We’ve polled land brokers and realtors across the country and the consensus is that quality land is selling fast.  Additionally, contractors in various parts of the country are booked out in some cases 2 years or more.  As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult for families looking to relocate and build a dream home in a rapid fashion. Today, we want to discuss a general timeframe outline to help you gauge what to expect as well as share insider secrets to help you COLLAPSE the time investment.

Lindsay interviews our in house draftsman Stuart Yoder, who inspired this topic to be released because of the backlog he is experiencing in the design department. With a sudden influx of projects we are discovering people are looking to build their dream home in the summer of 2021; however, some important pieces need to be in place before that can happen.

Todays episode reveals those pieces and outlines how you can keep your planned project on schedule without the interference of timely delays.

Visit to find out more.

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Learn more about the Design Process

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