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
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
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