We knew we wanted to build log cabins vacation rentals, but had no idea it would be so hard – and then so easy!
Hoping to escape the heat of Florida summers, we began taking our family to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina during the summer of 1995. Long before VRBO.com or Homeaway.com were even possible, we went to our local book store and picked up a guide to vacation cabins in the mountains. For the next 8 years we drove from South Florida to Western North Carolina often, always staying in a vacation rental – with 4 children and pets, it’s by far the smartest way to travel. We stayed in small rustic cabins hidden deep in the woods, mountain top homes with beautiful vistas, lakeside cottages and slope side condos. Knowing that we wanted to move our family from the urban jungle that South Florida had become to a small town in the mountains we always kept our eye out for the perfect spot to build our own vacation rental.
During a trip to Asheville in the summer of 2003 a local real estate agent showed us an 8 acre parcel of land just a few miles from down town Black Mountain. It was over grown with Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron, but we burrowed into the thicket to find a meandering creek with natural falling water. Hiking to the top side of the property, we climbed trees to see over the thicket to find amazing views of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. By October, it was ours! We were inspired to build multiple log cabin vacation rentals and in 2005 we began our first – High Rock Haven.
While still living in South Florida, we purchased a log cabin kit from Heritage Log Homes in Maggie Valley. Mike and a local crew set to work in August 2005 to assemble the 1600 sq. ft. log cabin kit atop 10′ high Superior Walls, making the home a total of 2,600 sq. ft. After 18 painstaking months, 65,000 miles driven, and many lessons learned the hard way, we finally completed our first log home.
The home is beautiful, but we were not sure we could go through that pain again to build our next cabin. But since Heritage Log Homes closed it doors less than a year after we build our cabin, we were once again looking for a reputable log home manufacturer. At the Log Home Show in Orlando Florida we met Chip Smith of Blue Ridge Log Cabins. What he told us was hard to believe … we could get the same 6″ X 8″ solid D-log construction, complete with flooring, total roof system, electrical, plumbing and all appliances – delivered and constructed in 90 days. And if that wasn’t enough, it would cost less, a lot less!
Cautiously we accepted his invitation to visit their Campobello, South Carolina manufacturing facility and Model Village. We attended one of their Home Buyer Seminars and were just blown away by the quality building process and the beauty of their models. We called quite a few of their previous home buyers and made the decision to move ahead with Blue Ridge Log Cabins for our next log cabin.
In June 2007 we signed the contract, made modifications to the Tryon Floor Plan and set to work on preparing the foundation. In August 2007, the 1100 sq. ft. log cabin was delivered in 3 separate sections and constructed in just one day. What followed was just a few more weeks for us to tie in the electrical and plumbing and finish the interior of the walk out basement while the Blue Ridge crew finished the trim work and our decks and porches. Unbelievably, Mitchell View at High Rock our 2,100 sq. ft. log cabin was ready for us to enjoy before the holidays.
In June of 2009 we once again reached out to Blue Ridge Log Cabins to build our third vacation rental. A 1500 sq. ft. Blowing Rock I. Again, they accommodated our customizations and successfully completed the log cabin in just a few short months. We moved the family from South Florida to Black Mountain and have been living in this cabin, Creekside at High Rock, since then. But in 2011 we purchased 12 acres adjacent our property and picked out the perfect spot to build a log home that we could live in for the rest of our lives.
Here we are in January 2013 and about to build again with Blue Ridge Log Cabins. A 4,200 sq. ft. modified Jocassee V Floor Plan. Check back on the blog to follow the progress from the excavation, land prep and foundation to the Blue Ridge Log Cabins’ One Day Experience.