Log & Timberframe Briefs May/June 2004

Despite Cold Temps, President’s Tour A Success

It was almost too cold for a cold beverage. Luckily, the tour buses were heated. Many in the log homeindustry braved frigid temperatures and cold winds to get an up-close look at log home manufacturing facilities and model homes in and around Bangor, Maine, this past March 21-23.

This year’s Log Homes Council (LHC) President’s Tour stopped at Moosehead Cedar Log Homes, Northeastern Log Homes, Classic Post & Beam, Old Town Lumber and Robbins Lumber, along with hosting educational sessions, committee meetings and a clam bake.

David Kessel of Appalachian Log Structures (Ripley, WV)earned the coveted President’s Award, fromEd McGinnis, outgoing Log Homes Council President. Kessel was rewarded for his countless hours devoted to a benchmarking study that has been crucial for participating manufacturers to analyze their businesses.

McGinnis was also recognized with an award from current president Rich Horn, himself a past winner of the S.A. Walters Chairman’s Award and longtime log home industry veteran.

In other news from the tour, LHC manufacturer members decided on the following:

  • LHC will conduct an audit to ensure all members are compliant with conditions of membership (submission of construction manual, participating and compliant in a certified log grading program, LHC or TPI).
  • All LHC members were strongly urged to review the International Code Council Standard for Design and Construction of Log Structures and provide comments to the BSC’s Jeremy Bertrand. A subcommittee of the LHC Technical Committee will review all comments and submit them to the LHC representatives on the ICC-Log Committee.
  • The LHC Benchmark Committee was approved to embark on a 2003 Revenue Study with the Timber Frame Business Council this spring.
  • LHC will develop a general Log Homes Council PowerPoint presentation that highlights to the consumer the advantages of purchasing a log home from a member of the LHC. The presentation will discuss membership requirements among other issues.
  • Six log home companies, which are not current LHC members but enjoy reputations for quality, will be wooed to join the council this year.
  • LHC will develop an action plan to target building officials to inform them about the merits of log home construction.

Pine Ridge Timber Frame Expands To U.S.
Pine Ridge Timber Frame Homes (Ontario, Canada), launched in 1990, has carved an enviable reputation for quality in the age-old art of timber framing. Its building system includes insulating stress-skin panels, enabling the company and its independent builders to create homes that are as energy efficient as they are artistic.

Now Pine Ridge is setting its sights on the United States, expanding its shipments of home packages south of the border and creating a dealer program for U.S. representatives. Builders interested in the company’s artistry and customization are joining its new dealership program. Among those first to join are Zimpelmann Builders & Supply (Eagle River, WI) and Northcape Design (Sunapee, NH).

Both companies are well established in their areas and have reputations for quality craftsmanship. That makes them a good match for Pine Ridge, says Mike Mader, owner.

“I am very excited about the possibilities afforded us by bringing on quality dealers to expand our market area,” says Mader. “Over the years, we have been building homes in the U.S. without a formal dealership network. Several builders with clients interested in our product have contacted us about the possibility of obtaining a dealership for Pine Ridge. Our goal is to grow Pine Ridge into an international contender in the timber frame home industry.” A strong home building market and low interest rates make this the right time to expand. “It makes good business sense to expand into the U.S. market area, and the time is right for Pine Ridge. This step will also advance our presence in the Canadian market area,” says Mader.

Pine Ridge has hired Kelley Marketing (Munising, MI) to develop its international dealership program and to strengthen their image in the home building industry. “Brenda Kelley’s experience with advertising, promotional material development and developing dealer programs is a natural fit for Pine Ridge,” says Mader.

Pine Ridge has designed and built a wide range of timber frame structures, from small garden gazebos to large residential and commercial projects. Pine Ridge’s in-house design staff is fully equipped to customize projects to fit the needs of clients. For details, call 866-506-6626 or visit www.pineridgehomes.com.

Dick Idol Partners With Jim Barna Log Systems
Outd class=”text2″oorsman Dick Idolª, of Dick Idol Ventures (High Point, NC), the licensing company behind one of the best-selling names in branded lifestyle furniture and home accessories, has announced a new partnership with Jim Barna Log Systems (Oneida, TN).

The goal of the partnership is to simplify the process of buying a dream home by offering consumers a turnkey log home package for everything, right down to the furnishings. The partners are designing and marketing fully furnished individual log homes and multi-unit developments.

“We realize that building a log home has traditionally been a somewhat intimidating and difficult process for the consumer,” says Jim Barna, founder and chairman of the company that bears his name and has produced more than 12,500 homes in the last 29 years. “Our goal at Jim Barna is to revolutionize the industry by offering consumers turnkey buying solutions through the development of a collection of preferred partners such as Dick Idol. We can now provide not only a complete selection of log component systems and designs, but also the financing packages, preferred nationwide contractors, and interior finishings and furnishings to make the complete process much easier and more streamlined for the consumer from start to finish.”

According to Idol, the log home industry is positioned for growth. “Jim Barna log homes are a perfect fit for our company given our focus on helping consumers bring the outd class=”text2″oor lifestyle into their homes and everyday lives,” says Idol, who owns several log homes in Montana that he designed himself. “We always try to partner with the best in the industry, and I’m confident that we have done so again with Jim Barna.”

The “Dick Idol Discoveries” TV show debuted in approximately 65 million households on the Outd class=”text2″oor Life Network this April. And the Dick Idol home collection has exceeded expectations at retail outlets since first hitting showroom floors in March 2002. Approximately 300 stores across the United States carry Idol’s furniture line. In total, Dick Idol products can be found in more than 1,000 stores located in 49 states, as well as England, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. The brand has also been shown in Germany, and there has been interest from retailers as far away as Moscow and the Far East. In addition, Dick Idolª retail stores are currently under discussion.

Honka Homes In Vail

Lately Vail, Colorado, is known for its high alpine skiing, challenging golf and the place where Kobe Bryant’s life turned strange. But now it’s also home to 14 log homes produced by Honka Homes USA, a division of the largest log home producer in the world.

So far, five homes have been delivered to the Minturn Racquet & Trout Club Development, with more to come. The homes feature round, kiln-dried logs precut using Honka’s patented craftsmanship. Homes were shipped from the company’s factory in Finland.

“This is going to be a landmark development for Honka in Colorado,” says Pekka Laine, Honka Homes USA president. Also shipped from Finland are the company’s distinctive triple-pane, low-e, Scandinavian-style casement wood windows and solid exterior doors.

Jim Brinkerhoff of Wind River Land Company, the developer on the project, says, “We chose Honka because of their superior quality, expertise in design and engineering, and capability in meeting our strict timetable.”

Sloan Named Group Publisher at HBP

Active Interest Media or AIM (El Segundo, CA) has named Laurie V. Sloan as group publisher of Home Buyer Publications or HBP (Chantilly, VA), publisher of Log Home Living, Log Home Design Ideas, Timber Frame Homes and Building Systems Magazine. Under Sloan’s direction, HBP is conducting more market research to promote the industry. Sloan will also run the day-to-day operations, grow the existing HBP brands and create new product lines, says Andy Clurman, COO of AIM.

“Laurie has been well known in this industry for more than a decade,” says Clurman. “Over the years, she has played a pivotal role in advertising, marketing, show and seminar management, circulation, budget and operations at Home Buyer Publications. She knows every aspect of this business, and we’re fortunate to have her extensive experience and industry knowledge.”

Sloan says she’s thrilled by the prospects. “Home Buyer Publications has been a wonderful home for me for the better part of two decades. We are in the business of helping people to achieve their lifelong dream of building a custom home. This is an exciting time to be a part of that industry.”

In addition to her career at Home Buyer Publications, Sloan has run her own publishing consulting company and served as director of communications for BYDH (Build Your Dream Home), an Internet-based software company. A graduate of Georgetown University, Sloan lives in South Riding, VA, with her two children.

Founded in 1983, Home Buyer Publications is a full-service marketing company for the log, timber frame and building systems industries. HBP products include consumer and trade
magazines, the Log Home Living Home Shows & Seminars and the world’s largest bookstore devoted to this form of construction.

Founded in 2003, AIM seeks to acquire and build market-leading enthusiast publishing, direct marketing and event management organizations serving the niche consumer growth markets of art, home, healthy living and enthusiast sports. For details, visit www.activeinterestmedia.com.

Back to top