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Log Cabin Exterior Help
steve444
December 14, 2012 in Design Dilemma
This is the first part of the cabin that people see as they drive down the hill and its the ugliest part. What do I do with the cement wall? Or the entire area. I will add some planter pots next spring, but I still think it will look very boring without something done to the wall. And yes, I'm going to take the sat dish down ^^. It was there when I moved in. hmm I dont have a great straight at it pic, so I'll attach 2 so you can see the deck also.
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
Cover the concrete block with field stone or a stone veneer of some kind. It will look amazing. You could also get a rustic metal sculpture to hang on the wall to break up the space a bit.
December 14, 2012 at 4:19pm     
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pcmom1
I agree with above! Plus, a wide stone path (in place of dirt) leading from the parking area. Beautiful spot!
December 14, 2012 at 5:07pm     
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judianna20
What a spot ! Could you do the bottom the same as the top vertical siding
December 14, 2012 at 5:27pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
You could also stucco over the concrete block and that would give it an alpine look.
December 14, 2012 at 6:04pm     
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marchmain
Plaster and paint is simple
December 14, 2012 at 7:04pm     
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houssaon
Love the red trim of the cabin, which has a stucco foundation: Lake Country Builders. You could apply board and batten: Kate Davidson Design Inc.

If I were you, I'd stucco it and paint it a warm rich brown.
December 14, 2012 at 8:03pm     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Paint and your own labor would be a cheap fix until you can do a better treatment.
December 14, 2012 at 8:03pm     
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PRO
Ruby Rose Studio, LLC
I would wash it in a nice, diluted stain.... And definitely add a metal sculpture or outdoor artwork of some sort. Fun it up, a little. Be sure to post afters! What a great place!
December 14, 2012 at 8:48pm   
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ourfarmhouse
Here are a couple of options. They both could be more than you want to do, but one could dream, huh?

Both have stone applied to the cement. The scale of the stone should be substantial. It should match the scale of the logs and look like it could hold up the structure.

Landscaping and a staircase that leads to the door, help this entrance feel much more welcoming. And a premium, more rustic door would feel right, too. I've also added a larger window to match the scale of the house more closely.

It's always nice to have a shelter over an entrance, so I've done two versions. One with just a shed-roof portico and one with a full-blown porch. Suddenly it moves from "the cabin" to "the lodge".
December 15, 2012 at 12:25am     
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Lee Poehler
love the idea of rock where the concrete is, there are so many kinds and colors pick the ones that you like and/or match the rest of your cabin. Love ourfarmhouse's mock up with extra roofing...but would have the hand rails log style and add stone to the larger square beams as well.
December 15, 2012 at 8:47am     
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steve444
thanks guys. i think i'll try some variation of stone veneer. Just need to investigate cost ^^.
December 15, 2012 at 9:08am     
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jilly666
Looks like a great place for a mural. Would make it look cozy if that is the look you are going for.
December 15, 2012 at 4:32pm   
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cyn222
I think large rounded rock would look incredible over the concrete block. Here is a different look with painted stucco base.
December 15, 2012 at 5:42pm     
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cyn222
Metal siding would also give it a more modern look.
December 15, 2012 at 5:42pm     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Darn that cost factor, always interfering in our lives!
December 15, 2012 at 5:52pm     
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Aesthetic Tile Imaging
Above the door you could install a tile mural. See my Houzz page for ideas,
December 15, 2012 at 6:00pm   
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PRO
Aesthetic Tile Imaging
The view as you enter would be as nobody else has ever seen ... A unique, and sustainable piece of art displayed facing outward. Of course it would remain weatherproof and will never fade.
December 15, 2012 at 6:03pm   
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Darzy
I like the round "river rock" idea to break up all the log lines. Yep.. budget is usually a big factor and messes up the plan. Like Carolyn said above, paint will help to start with.
December 15, 2012 at 6:24pm     
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Veronica Steele
My vote is for stone veneer and it will add to the re-sale value of the home (meaning you would recoup the cost).
December 15, 2012 at 9:50pm     
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lydiajosette
Maybe try doing a darker stain on the logs and looking for a more natural-looking brick or stone for the cement wall?
December 15, 2012 at 10:01pm   
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mbhigh
Maybe you line the blue door, but that was the first thing that hit me. Personal opinion, paint the door. And if cost is a factor, stucco and paint. Great place!
December 16, 2012 at 4:49am   
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tsudhonimh
As a quick fix on a low budget, paint the blocks dark brown or barn red or dark green. And paint between the logs on top (It looks like they put split logs over concrete,l because I can see pal material between them that is too wide to be chinking material.

I would open the deck so there is a straight entrance into that door, with steps and a paved walkway.

I like the idea of a portico over the door, because in rain that's going to be miserable going in and out.
December 16, 2012 at 5:59am     
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alexandrina
ourfarmhouse, your second option is absolutely amazing!
December 16, 2012 at 7:11am   
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rfarrell
My recommendation: Plant /grow vines over the concrete block, i.e. Virginia Creeper , which would soften the appearance and blend well with the landscape....minimal cost and care. Or, rock over the concrete block.
( I too live in a log home, and both suggestions produce a harmonious effect with nature.)
December 16, 2012 at 7:52am   
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PRO
Craig Custom Builders Inc.
I agree with interiors Int. Thin veneer river jacks. Even a man made product will give it the true log cabin feel and good looks. It is also a good do it your self project.
December 16, 2012 at 8:18am   
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Mary Takacs
My sister just did a beautiful job on a reddish brown log cabin that is now beautiful. She painted the logs a very deep grey which looks very classy and you could have someone do a treatment on the bottom in the same color with a trowel to cover the bricks to look like a solid smooth finish.
December 16, 2012 at 8:27am     
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PRO
Old World Remodeling
Rock veneer over the block definitely. Many styles and colors to choose from.
December 16, 2012 at 9:47am   
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bhelmore
Try something inexpensive first - stain the concrete, dappling it in several colors. Or think about faux painting rock on it. I believe there are kits out there for walkways, porches, driveways, etc., that you could use. If that doesn't work, then you can save your money and cover it later in real stone!
December 16, 2012 at 9:58am   
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eileenanddaan
I too would use stucco (painted a warm but understated color) or stone perhaps. It would be a great idea to also draw the eye upward by adding a cross brace to the eves or some simple decorative trim, perhaps paint under the eves? I'm inclined toward an alpine look but that's just my taste. Changing out the door and it's trim to a more rustic look would be more inviting, as would a porch roof. I like to skim throughh images here and on google after searching a certain style. Looks like a really nice place! Have fun!!
December 16, 2012 at 10:18am     
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Dana D.
Could you reface it with stone? I think it would keep with the natural elements to use stone like you might encounter on an outdoor fire place or the woods nearby, something natural and real. Stay away from cheap-looking stone wannabees it will just worsen the problem and devalue your house.
December 16, 2012 at 10:51am   
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Artisanaworks
You have a lot of strong patterning going on with the horizontal and vertical logs. Stone or rock veneer (like the Lee Poehler example) could be nice if fairly consistent color-wise, and not too busy pattern-wise. I would squeeze-in a subtle element horizontally under the lowest horizontal log before finishing the lower section of the building...Like the idea of a hearty stucco. Think eilleenanddaan has good suggestions concerning stucco, cross-member, and door.
December 16, 2012 at 11:03am     
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victorianbungalowranch
Just thought I'd mention that there is a fiberglass reinforced stucco that is actually designed to go over concrete block (without mortar actually) that my family used years ago for their cabin. I think you can tint it and it is quite inexpensive and easy to work with, has held up for a long time, and can be used on the inside too. More traditional lime-based stucco mixtures that breathe are possible too..

If you paint, you may be making it difficult to add stucco or a veneer later because it won't stick to the paint.
December 16, 2012 at 11:13am     
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sjmom
Your budget will determine what you can and cannot do but I would cover the block and add something, perhaps a roof over the door to define the area.
December 16, 2012 at 11:17am     
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giggles60
Soooo many great ideas. I would definitely add some evergreens. They always add to a rustic look.
December 16, 2012 at 1:05pm   
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PRO
Inland Architects
ditch the satellite dish, upgrade the wall light, plaster over the block and with the money you save take a trip to Hawaii
December 16, 2012 at 1:31pm     
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akashic
This Is what we have done...
December 16, 2012 at 8:29pm     
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mrstinylady
These are the changes i would make if I were lucky enough to have your place:

* Add a large and bold door with side windows and window above with visible hardware
* Add a light colored stone or slate facing veneer over existing brick block
* Add large arched, chalet, or your favorite style picture windows and/or French doors out to an
overhead balcony (which provides a new and covered entry below
* Add hardscape path to walk in at an angle to take advantage of the trees and VIEW. Use the
hardscape to ENLARGE entire entry area. Incorporate hardscape knee wall at sitting height
on the outside edge of the walk and use that to create raised beds for additional autumn foliage.
* Add some over-sized outdoor lighting and lighted pathway (some incorporated into hardscape)
* Reposition the dish and the fencing (use the fencing in the raised beds behind trees for vines or
espalier trees or roses)
December 17, 2012 at 5:48am   
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nancy612
Stone facing
December 17, 2012 at 7:02am   
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PRO
Bill Michels Architect
Look at getting rid of the railing, and add some layers in front of the deck- terraced landscaping with a stone border, a couple tall posts with stepping stones and stone steps to the deck, a trellis above with hanging plants. Stone on the wall would be nice but you already have some beautiful logwork to look at.
December 17, 2012 at 11:41am   
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PRO
Buechel Stone Corp
Log cabins and stone are like gin and tonic - they're just meant for eachother:)! Almost every log cabin project I've seen has some stone. This would be a great area to add it. Most often I see products similar to those in our mosaic or fieldledge lines.

Project: Mosaic Line
Project: Fieldledge Line

Hope we can help :)
December 17, 2012 at 12:53pm   
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rileysgranny
Stone, but please use real stone and not the artificial stuff. AND make sure whoever lays the stone knows what they are doing. My husband was a stone mason for 40 years and worked in many high-end areas of town and has taught me what to look for in good stone work. Nothing looks worse than fake stone or stone done improperly. Your beautiful location has so much amazing potential.
December 17, 2012 at 1:08pm     
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PRO
Bill Michels Architect
I agree with Buechel Stone and rilesgranny, I would rather see 10 SF of real stone done right over 500SF of imitation stone.
December 17, 2012 at 1:45pm     
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yrsmnrs
Love the stone ideas, even the vines would help. Lose or reposition with a better light fixture. What about rustic looking, closed shutters on either side of door, to give impression of windows behind? Could incorporate other ideas with it.
December 17, 2012 at 2:26pm   
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buggie67
I would just love that view and forget about the rest!
December 17, 2012 at 5:27pm   
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charles8974
For the concrete block area, I would place sheets (slabs) of sandstone. For the log area I would install European style lighted planter boxes filled with beautiful flowers or ivey. For the upper portion, I would place several big stars, made from metal, with lights from behind them. You could even go with a bucking horse, or a big metal roster. That should take care of the end of the house, and jazz it up a notch. Tenn Charlie, Albuquerque, NM
December 17, 2012 at 6:31pm   
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mrstinylady
Here's some mock-ups that may or may not inspire you.
December 17, 2012 at 6:38pm   
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mrstinylady
The above pictures really didn't come out that well. Sorry. One is rock with large chalet windows and the other is slate with enhanced window. French doors on both. Couldn't get around to other ideas as yet.
December 17, 2012 at 6:41pm   
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lc29
I would stain the door frame so it's closer in color to the logs, then I'd paint the door darker to match the color of the window under the eaves. Make sure to paint around the panes of glass in the door too, the door looks unfinished with the white on the panes. Do you have shutters on any of the windows? Shutters on the door frame would give the door area more width so you wouldn't see so much of the concrete block until you decide on or can afford to make a change to the block. I like the idea of field stone to cover the block, but there are a lot of good ideas here. The changes I gave you are fairly simple and inexpensive to give you a little breathing room before making a big change. If you have a green thumb, some bright geraniums would look nice in some simple terra cotta pots on one side of the door, to give the plant display some height I'd try to find a slice of tree trunk a couple of feet high to put a couple of pots on. A bigger light fixture would fit the proportions better too, and they come in all price ranges. How about a barn light?
December 18, 2012 at 3:47am   
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mrstinylady
landscape'>Landscape ideas
December 18, 2012 at 5:27am     
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frenchdecor
Real stone is the best, but you'll need to add a good foundation, just imagine the weight of stone. It's not a simple job and stone wall more likely will protrude farther than log part. Stone veneer is a good alternative. Adding evergreens and shrubs will disguise it a bit. I also like stucco with few random inserted stones here and there (1 or group of 2 or 3) on it, looks retro, quite popular in Europe and I have in neighborhood one re-built multi million house done. Can't provide picture, but Google up for images. I wouldn't do manicured landscape, prairie, woodland, cottage styles more organic for the log house.
December 18, 2012 at 6:54pm   
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wfideas
Simply. I would keep the stone on the floor and complete the structure with wood
January 9, 2013 at 3:06pm   
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wfideas
Please let us see the finished product.
January 9, 2013 at 3:07pm   
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steve444
its winter here ^^ so theres like 4 feet of snow at the cabin. I will definitely post some more pics inthe spring when I start some work :)
February 3, 2013 at 2:03pm   
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saralyric
Stone is the most expensive way to go and so not necessary. Your least expensive and most satisfying option is landscaping. First paint the concrete dark to make is disappear. Then make that adorable cabin look like it's sitting in a gorgeous copse of plants. Build berms first, maybe with some boulders to retain soil. Then plant tall and medium and low growing trees, shrubs, etc. Keep it all watered the first two summers, use native plants. Stand back and in 3 - 4 years you won't be able to see the concrete wall. I've attached some images from my log house that once had a super ugly concrete foundation all the way around. I was determined to cover it with stone, but the cost really made me back off. I called a great landscaping company who were known for their way with stone. The photos speak for themselves.
February 3, 2013 at 3:01pm   
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ElliesMom
Im not sure what kind of budget you have to work with. If it were me, I would just paint or stain the block a soft, earthtoned color for now, leave the decking and railing, and invest my money in landscaping. At its heart, this is a cabin on a lake, meant for enjoying the outdoors. I would concentrate on helping the block "disappear" and focusing on the real attraction, the water. You have a lovely cabin that I feel does not require lots of expensive changes. A cover over the door would be nice, but it isn't a necessity. Im sure that isn't your primary entrance and you already have a covered front and back porch. So, stain the block, paint the door, add lots of landscaping and enjoy your cabin.
February 3, 2013 at 3:58pm   
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