Thad Marcom has been building log and timber homes for years — and the construction process is usually pretty typical with few to no challenges. Such was not the case with two of his latest ventures at Camp Cleghorn.
Marcom, president of Strongwood Log & Timber Home Company, was first approached last summer about razing one of the cottages there and rebuilding it; and in the process making it a year-round home rather than only something seasonal. Marcom was somewhat concerned about the ability to get equipment in and out of the area because the lot sizes are only 30-feet wide.
Fortunately for him and the homeowner, the owner of a neighboring cottage overheard the conversation and decided he’d also like to tear down his older home and build something new that also could be lived in year-round.
“It actually worked in both of their benefits. It would have been extremely hard to do just one of them, as they’re only about five feet apart and are on 30-foot x 100-foot lots,” said Marcom. “So when I tore two down that were right next to each other it gave me more room to work, even though I was building two houses. So instead of having 30 feet to work with I had 60 feet.”
Because Camp Cleghorn rules forbid outdoor construction between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Marcom and his crew had to wait until September to begin the demolition. But right after Labor Day, both houses were torn down and reconstruction work began.
Marcom said the size of the homes and lots presented challenges for him in the building process. “This is an unusual thing to work on two places next door to each other, but also specifically because the houses are very small individually,” he explained, adding that the two new homes are 24-feet wide with six feet in between them (most all homes in Camp Cleghorn have only five or six feet between them). “But as a combined project, it turns out to be about the size of a typical single house that I do.”
“I probably would have turned the job down if I’d only gotten one of them,” Marcom continued. “But because I ended up getting both, it eliminated a lot of the challenges that would have been there otherwise.”
With some of those challenges removed, doing both homes simultaneously resulted in cost-savings for the two homeowners, as well. Marcom estimated they each saved approximately $25,000.
As of mid-April work on the two homes is ongoing, but it’s expected everything will be done by mid-May, just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend and the start of the Camp Cleghorn’s high-season.
About Camp Cleghorn sidebar:
Located on Columbia Lake off of Cleghorn Road, Camp Cleghorn is an association of 41 cottage owners located on the south-east corner of Columbia Lake (part of the Chain-O-Lakes). The camp was founded in 1897 as a summer camp with the mission of educating campers on the virtues of temperance and persuading them to forswear “demon” rum and all other alcoholic beverages. And while cottage/homeowners can partake of alcoholic beverages today, there is no drinking permitted outside of one’s home on the camp grounds.
There is one misconception about Camp Cleghorn that board member Tom Hackbarth wants to set straight, however.
“The biggest misconception about Camp Cleghorn is that a lot of people think we’re tax-exempt, and we are not,” he says, adding that the cottage or home owners all own stock in the corporation, which owns the land. The property owners lease the land for a very nominal one-time fee. “If you buy a place here, you get a 99-year lease for something like a buck.”
All members pay dues to offset the common costs of property taxes, road maintenance, security lighting, and all other expenses incurred by the Camp. Taxes are paid on all lands and buildings except the Chapel and fellowship hall.
For more information:
2015 Strongwood Log & Timber Home Company | www.gostrongwood.com
711 Shadow Road
Waupaca, Wisconsin (WI) 54981
Camp Cleghorn | www.campcleghorn.com
By Cheryl Hentz