Builder Bruce Brownell is betting that at least 55 affluent families in this area are interested in buying new houses with a lot of old touches, including log-paneled sections, tin roofs and a farmhouse look that includes a long porch.
Brownell is completing the first group of such houses in Colvin's Glen, on Rte. 7 near Colvin Mill, five miles west of Tysons Corner. Prices of the large, farm-style structures with log cabin sections will start at $148,000, Brownell said model houses are expected to be completed in July. A dozen could be completed this year, he said. Dominion Realtors is handling the sales.
A native of a farming section of the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia and a resident of Bluemont, Va., located between Leesburg and Berryville, Brownell has been operating his own sawmill and doing woodwork while learning home building from developer Robert J. Lewis, his partner at Colvin's Glen.
"Bob has lived in almost every kind of house from contemperory to traditional," Brownell said. "Recently, he completed his own three-story, log cabin-style family home in Great Falls. What I'm doing at Colvin's Glen reflects interest in early American house styles and what I think will interest today's buyers.
"Furthermore, our objective is to make the houses, which will have gas heating and electrical air conditioning, as energy-efficient as possible. For instance, the cavity between the logs is packed with foam urethane for insulation."
The two-story model being completed at Colvin's Glen has a log section in back. The large family room is on the first floor and there is a master bedroom suite upstairs. A stone fireplace will beone of the features.
Architect Roy Reynolds of Park City, Utah, designed the houses. Brownell described the houses as being in the tradition of the Amish, "who built an original house and then added to it as their families became larger."