From Goose Droppings To A Luxurious Cabin Mansion

From Goose Droppings To A Luxurious Cabin Mansion

This is the inspiring story of how one couple's log cabin had a remodeling by committee. When Rev. Dr. Paul Svingen and his wife Susan Baldwin were about to start a major log cabin remodel, the big project came together with the help of neighbors, and the local community they knew.The story starts in 1989, when Susan, who had visited a Minnesota lake area for a retreat. She later brought her husband to the same spot to go on a bicycle trip. This is when they went into one of the local real estate offices, and thought they would take a look. Then after looking at a simple log cabin with a dock full of goose droppings, they found themselves purchasing the log cabin. They weren't planning to buy a log cabin; they couldn't even really afford it. But with that said, it was their first property they bought together as a couple, and somehow they made it work.

For almost twenty years, they were quite happy with the simple property. It wasn't fancy, but the log cabin had plenty of visitors over the years. The couple also own a custom built home in a nice neighborhood, but they never had the amount of guests that they had at the log cabin. Everyone always wanted to come to the little log cabin instead. So when they thought about remodeling, one of the reasons was to have more room for guests. They also wanted to incorporate better accessibility for when they do eventually retire. And it was important to them that they log home remodel be both locally friendly and environmentally friendly. They wanted to serve their local businesses; Susan thought of it as a major part of the project.

It took a bit for the right log home builder to show up. They interviewed a few but didn't feel they had found the right fit. They felt that the log home builders they talked to were showing them more of model type homes, and they wanted a log home that was more seasoned, with a broken in feeling. They didn't mind waiting till they had the right fit. It was when they were picking up their annual load of free wood chips from a local log home company, Red Pine Homes that they found what they were looking for. Paul went inside the to inquire if they ever did log cabin remodels. The log home company was mostly known for its new log construction but welcomed the challenge of expanding and updating the log cabin while still retaining its integrity. So after lining up the loan approval for the log home remodel, Paul, Susan, and the log home building team moved ahead on a plan to grow the 1,000-square-foot cabin to a more comfortable 2,500-square-foot layout.

Paul's has the unique job of doing congregation mediation, a job that takes him all over the country. Susan keeps herself busy as a non-profit executive. So the couple had to rely on their friends to let the remodel workers in and keep them up to date on the log cabin remodel progress. The neighbors would have these great stories for them on the remodel. Things like a large crew of ten guys put in the new septic tank in two hours, and they tore up the lawn during the job. The neighbors also helped out in unexpected ways. When it came time to putting in the new heating system for the log cabin, Susan and Paul were worried over the intensive job of the installation. One of the neighbors recommended a high-velocity heating system. They never would have known about it otherwise.

Learn MORE at Cabin Living


To help with slow website load, we have put all photos for this article here: View photo gallery.