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A Residence in Ellijay, Georgia

Rosenberg Log Home

My name is Barry Rosenberg and my wife is Patricia. We are building a Suwannee River Log Home in Ellijay, Ga. on top of and at the end of a mountain. We have a 320-degree view from our 21 acres. I have approached our log home adventure a little differently than most people. Whereas most people dream of building a log home for years, we did not.

I am retiring from restoring old British cars and wanted to do something different. Loving to work with wood and having built our previous house ourselves, I decided that I would like to sell and build log homes. We then began a search for what we thought would be the “best” wood to use. Choosing cypress was easy after studying about it on the Internet. It is just about bug and rot free without a lot of spray on chemicals. Then we looked at companies that sold cypress homes and had a dealership opening in north Georgia.

There were several so we started investigating each one. As I had been an architect in my younger days, we had drawn our own custom plans. It is a 4,800 sq. ft. home on three levels. The walkout basement has a two-car garage for our MGBs and a big wood workshop. There are two bedrooms, a full bathroom, and an office for Patty, and a small wine cellar plus a 20x20 den with a wood stove.

The first floor has an entry vestibule, small library, kitchen, dining room, a 20 x 20 great room with hammer beam trusses and a fireplace, the master bedroom with a fireplace and master bath plus a laundry/pantry room. The third floor or loft is all open area with only a ½ bath. This will be my office until we build a new show house sometime in the near future.

Outside, the logs are 6” x 8” with dovetail corners, as that was typical of this area in the old days. We have a small front porch that turns into an elevated walkway around one side of the house to the large back deck. Part of this deck is covered and will have an outdoor fireplace and grill.

In the small yard will be a little pool and hot tub and a fire pit that will sit on a huge natural rock outcropping called Buzzards Roost. This overlooks the valley below and mountains in the distance. There will also be real stone walls as retaining walls with some of the stones weighing in at over 2,500 lbs. each.

We submitted these plans to four of the companies we liked. Suwannee River responded within a week with an estimate and follow up calls and a visit from Jim Westmoreland. None of the others did. So Suwannee River was chosen. It has proven to be a wise choice.

They liked our plans and wanted their best builder to construct our home. They highly recommended Joe Whitaker of JOJAC Enterprises. We had some delays getting started after the plans were converted to log home specs, as Joe was building a house in California and we were still working on getting our land and financing arranged. However, I had sent Joe a pdf file of our plans from Suwannee River to look over.

While in California, Joe noticed we had some hammer beam trusses designed as decoration only. Before contacting me, Joe called Ben Miller, owner of Suwannee River, and discussed some changes he thought would make our home better. He wanted to reduce the size of some ceiling beams as he thought they would look odd at the size listed and to see if he would be allowed to make the hammer beam trusses structural instead of decorative, which would look better from the great room and loft and it could save $8,000 to boot. Once he found it was possible, he contacted me to discuss it. Follow this story as he gets to build the trusses.

This is the kind of builder you not only want, it is the kind you need. Joe Whitaker and Suwannee River make a great team. I look forward to being the north Georgia dealer for Suwannee River Log Homes. And I hope to have JOJAC build some of the homes I sell. Patty and I are developing 56 acres that have 360-degree vistas of mountains from several lots, below our mountaintop. It has been turned into beautiful pasture with two springs and small creeks on it. We hope to build our first spec home there and to use Joe to do the logs.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and welcome to the log home lifestyle.

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