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Michael McCarthy
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Mike McCarthy | Editorial Director | Log Home Living

Profile Information

Tell us about yourself:
Editor of the best (and greenest) magazine on the planet, Log Home Living!
Are you lucky enough to be living in a log home?
I get to write about them every day---best gig I can imagine...
What timeframe are you looking to start your dream home?
Within 12 months

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Michael McCarthy's Blog

Springtime, Anyone?

I love the impossibly blue skies of winter, the skeletons of trees in the woods, watching my kids do snow angels, etc. But, listen Old Man, you've overstayed your welcome.

In usually temperate Virginia yesterday, the temps were 45, skies looked like the dull side of aluminum foil most of the day, and cruel rain seemed to mock the calendar.

But today? Glorious. I finally think spring has won the battle and nudged the Old Man away.

I don't have… Continue

Posted on April 16, 2009 at 11:08am — 16 Comments

One Man's Junk...

I'm often asked by readers how they should add character to their house. My first answer: You're building a log home, so it'll have 100% more character than anything out there...

But I know they want more; countless ways exist, and they include both design (built-ins, bump-outs, bunk rooms) and decor (a burled-wood mantel, for example). One way is to add architectural salvage to your home...that is, reused/recycled material from another building.

For… Continue

Posted on February 11, 2009 at 12:45pm — 4 Comments

Do Log Homes Have Souls?

As part of my job as editor of Log Home Living, I've been lucky enough to travel across North America and step inside scores of log homes of all sizes. Truth is, each one was memorable and had an impact on me.

Why don't I feel that way about most conventional homes I visit?

About a year ago, I wrote about the passing of my old golden retriever and how dogs make a home, even new… Continue

Posted on February 6, 2009 at 8:01pm — 29 Comments

What Would YOU Say?

We had a little fun with the back page of the March issue of Log Home Living...

Instead of using a (somewhat) famous quote that captures the essence of the image to the right, the editorial team and I came up with our own quotes. Mine? "Walt Whitman was right---there will never be any more perfection than there is now."

That's the way I feel about every day. It's just me (yes, my wife often rolls her… Continue

Posted on February 3, 2009 at 5:10pm — 23 Comments

The Spaces We Love...

It's so damn easy to write about great rooms and kitchens. They inspire us to clip pages from magazines and books and say breathlessly to anyone who will listen, "I will be the happiest I've ever been in THIS space."

And I believe it.

Well, sort of.

I would submit, however, that we're happiest in those spaces I call "Little Sanctuaries." I wrote about this in Log Home Living's January 2009 issue. Here's a little of what I said:

"We never had a… Continue

Posted on December 11, 2008 at 5:10pm — 5 Comments

Comment Wall (21 comments)

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At 4:59pm on June 25, 2020, Kimberly Mccourt said…


How is everything with you, I picked interest on you after going through your short profile and deemed it necessary to write you immediately. I have something very vital to disclose to you, but I found it difficult to express myself here, since it's a public site. Could you please get back to me on:( for the full details.

Have a nice day


At 1:59pm on November 2, 2009, Kurt Brown said…

I am currently looking at purchasing a 30 year old business that supplies the Log Home Market. What is your thought about buying an existing business in today's log home market? Sales have dropped in half since 2006 and not sure where the bottom is........Your comments would be appreciated.


At 8:20pm on July 9, 2009, Glenn V said…
Also best wishes for the new editorial position and I will miss your articles esp the editor's note. They always made me smile. I was hoping I would get to bump into you at a log home show in the future but maybe I still will. Thank you for making a great log home magazine and this website.
At 5:10pm on June 26, 2009, Anne said…
Mike -
Best wishes on your future endeavors and know that you will be greatly missed. LHL, under your editorial direction, provided me with countless ideas for our new cabin - a virtual "How To" manual! Also, from one baseball parent to another, best luck on the diamond - where good times are REALLY made.
Once again - you'll be missed,
At 11:28pm on March 31, 2009, Michael McCarthy said…
Ted, once again, you are dead on. You've done your homework and could actually BE the teacher. Good stuff. Smart consumers always get a standing O from me...thanks for chiming in.

Enjoy your night!
At 7:28pm on March 31, 2009, Ted said…
You know what I find interesting? ... the more people we get into our group the less likely they are looking at previous postings that spoke to the same issue they are concerned with. I don't know how many people have written about about the pitfalls of building a log home when the subject has been delt with in many previous postings. I for one have shared with members my actual cost estimates in building a log home but no sooner that I post it someone someplace else asks the same question. After a while I run out of ideas as to how to help our people.

I am attaching the posting that I recently sent which, I think, does more than just talk in generalities about the cost implications of building a log home ... at least as it impacted me. Let me know what you think. Ted

You have gotten some great advise Colleen and you should consider all that was suggested. I hope that my experiences will give you another perspective. I bought 3 plus acres of land near Waynesville, NC. I got a septic permit for a three bedroom home. The driveway was already in. The property is relatively flat so excavation is not a factor. The big unknown is the cost for drilling a well. I could go own a couple of hundred feet or a thousand feet or more.

I originally got quotes from a half a dozen log home manufacturers but found that their estimates differed so much that I decided to speak directly with a builder who could do the whole building job for me... from excavation to foundation to well drilling to purchase of the logs. And then build the entire building. So that I would have a closed in (locked) building, including all windows and doors. He would construct all interior partition walls but would not finish them. He would put on the roof sheathing and felt paper but not the roof shingles. His price included backfill, gravel driveway and basic grass seeding.

I would be responsible for all interior work including (but not limited to) closing in all rooms, electrical rough in and finish, plumbing rough in and finish, HVAC, cabinets, all appliances, light fixtures, interior doors, locks, flooring, water heaters, tiling, painting or staining, fireplace or masonry work. The furniture would come from my current house.

The bottom line. Here is how my numbers worked out. The house by the way is about 2000 square feet. The land cost $50k. The builder will do his share of the construction for approximately $200k. My share of the construction budget comes to $95k. That comes to a total of $345k ... $172.00 per square foot. Since I don't know how elaborate you plan to make your house, your costs my go up or down.

I hope that this information is helpful. It is fairly current so the numbers should be fairly reliable.

Personally, I found that dealing with a builder rather than with a log home manufacturer could save me a lot of money. On the other hand a lot of people feel more comfortable going through a log home manufacturer.

If you have any questions about my numbers or are not clear about something I said, please let me know. If it is helpful to you, my email address is

At 9:39am on February 12, 2009, Glenn V said…
Hi Michael, I was wondering how hard it would be to add the page buttons for the next page like 1 ,2, 3, etc at the top of the forum pages also so to jump to the second or third page so you wouldn't have to scroll all the way down to the bottom. Thanks ,just a suggestion to make it easier to navigate.
At 3:07pm on February 7, 2009, john e jacobs said…
When I was a teenager my family went on a trip to Kentucky Lake and stayed by a cabin. I never thought a cabin could grab ahold of your like the first one that I stepped in. From that point on I have always wanted to live in a log cabin. Although that time has not crossed my path yet I'm doing my research now. I have been building log furniture for 7 years now and ever piece I make is a one of a kind. So were am I going with this you say. Each creation whether a piece of log furniture or log cabin has a sense of passion. Anyone who owns a log cabin and loves it as much as I do knows exactly were I'm going with this. There are so many special times that come with owning a log cabin, friends hanging out, holidays with the family, and of course being with your dogs by the fireplace! There is no greater love or passion then having a log cabin and having God bless you with everything! This is the true feeling that ever cabin has personality!!!!!!!!!!
At 3:38pm on February 5, 2009, LaShaun said…
Thanks Michael!

My hubby and i are just getting started in the hunt for our dream cabin. Every six months we plan a weekend getaway to the Hill Country up in Texas, where we'll spend a peaceful weekend to reconnect and make plans for life after kids (Son in college soon with daughter to follow). We are in our second home, the first being a started home and with the kids getting older we needed more room, which we now have. Our plan is to locate land somewhere in the Hill Country and build a 1500-1800 2BR 1story ranch style cabin. I've read that there are "Log Home Communities with lots for sale, but i'm not sure if any are in the Hill Country area that are not "budget busters" Do you have any info. on such a thing. We want to build a cabin, but not duplicate what we have in a 3,600 sq ft. hm. second home as far as $$$.
In-Short, we want a getway place to at peace, not be stressed out homw owners dues, seeing or hearing people next door etc.
At 7:44pm on January 12, 2009, Greg Beck said…
Hi, Michael
I have been a subscriber to log home living for 2 years now and I didnt recieve the callender for 2009, is there any chance you could get me one, I sure enjoyed the last one, Thanks. Greg Beck, Also, I'd love to see an article about copper counter tops in a future issue !

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