Log & Timber Frame Briefs September/October 2003

Lincoln Acquiring Companies, Taps Industry Veterans
Increasing its marketing and manufacturing reach and quickly becoming one of the largest players in the industry, Original Lincoln Logs (Chestertown, NY) has added talented veterans to its staff and is acquiring additional milling operations in the West.

Original Lincoln, a leading supplier of solid log wall and super-insulated panelized building systems and solariums with three company owned and operated sales centers in northern New York, Northern California and Central Pennsylvania, is expected to finalize the purchase of two more log home companies in September–one in British Columbia (Canada) and another in Idaho.

“We’re really expanding our product offering and our geographic reach,â€? says Jeff LaPell, chief operating officer for Original Lincoln, the only publicly held company in the log home industry.

As of press time Original Lincoln is putting the finishing touches on an agreement to purchase True Craft Log Structures and its holding company, Hart & Sons, near Vancouver, British Columbia. Original Lincoln is also in discussions to acquire another company in Idaho. “Both of these deals should be finalized by mid September,â€? predicts LaPell.

The acquisition of these companies will present Original Lincoln a number of advantages in the market place, says LaPell. These include expanded milling, manufacturing, and inventory operations in the west; a greater economy of scale benefits for both the company and its customers; and increased product offerings, including more log profiles, such as Swedish cope. Finally, it will allow Original Lincoln to market into more warm-weather regions with the intent of leveling out seasonal building cycles.

To help usher in this new period of growth and opportunity, the company has also named four key additions to its staff.

Chuck Clark will lead Original Lincoln’s charge into the west as vice president and appointed him to recruit western dealers. Prior to this promotion, Clark had been a regional manager since 1999. Clark is excited about the growth opportunities for Original Lincoln in the West.

“We’re on a roll,â€? says Clark. “This means that we’ll be more competitively positioned than ever before.â€?

Scott Stroud, formerly vice president of sales and marketing for Jim Barna Log Systems, has joined Original Lincoln as a regional dealer development manager for Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. “I’ve watched Lincoln grow into a very dynamic company, and am as excited about joining the Lincoln team as anything I’ve ever done,â€? says Stroud, who is working from his home in Somerset, KY. “While most log home companies have made no changes in their products or processes for years, this company is being positioned to be a major force in the nationwide housing market in the near future.â€?

Stroud brings with him 25 years of experience in the log home construction industry. Prior to working for Jim Barna Log Systems, he and his wife, Melanie, were independent log home dealers for 16 years and sold more than 300 homes. Stroud is an active member in the Log Homes Council where he has chaired the marketing committee for two years.

Original Lincoln has also named Bob Rich as regional dealer development manager for the Northeast and Midwest regions, as well as commercial sales for the company.

Rich has over 30 years of experience in the building industry. Prior to returning to Lincoln Logs, Mr. Rich spent eleven years as the Director of Sales & Marketing with Professional Building Systems, a firm specializing in panelized house and design-build construction. Rich also has experience and training in the fields of mechanical engineering and design, as well as business management. He and his wife Lyn live in upstate New York.

Kim Bellomy has also joined the Original Lincoln team as director of corporate communications.

Kupferer Named New Ameri-Log GM
All American Homes (Decatur, IN) one of the nation’s largest producers of systems-built homes, has named Tom Kupferer as general manager for the company’s new Ameri-Log division, which creates log homes with modular building systems technology.

Kupferer will be responsible for launching the Ameri-Log™ division and he will be developing a sales staff, a builder network, creating sales and marketing strategies, and overseeing the production of Ameri-Log™ homes at each of All American Homes’ seven production facilities, says Steve Kerr, president of All American Homes.

“Tom’s thorough knowledge of log homes, his building industry experience, his extensive contacts throughout the industry, and his ability to teach and lead will all be great assets to Ameri-Log Homes and All American Homes,â€? says Kerr.

A 13-year veteran of the log home industry, Kupferer was president and publisher at Home Buyer Publications (Chantilly, VA), which produces Building Systems Magazine and the consumer magazines Log Home Living and Timber Frame Homes. Kupferer also conducted seminars nationwide to teach consumers and builders about log homes. This came naturally for Kupferer, who has a master’s degree in history and was previously a high school teacher.

“This is an outstanding opportunity, and I’m looking forward to making Ameri-Log™ a valuable addition to All American’s lineup,â€? says Kupferer.

Ameri-Log™ homes offer an appealing prospect for homebuyers who want the true solid look and feel of an authentic log home, but who also want drywall or plaster walls in other areas. “In open areas such as vaulted two-story entryways, walls surrounding stone fireplaces, catwalks, railings and stairs, homebuyers can have log finishes, but in formal areas they can opt for drywall or plaster walls,â€? Kerr says.

Homebuyers will also be able to move into their Ameri-Log™ home much sooner than the long wait that normally accompanies a custom-built log home project. On average, a traditional log home takes about 12 to 18 months to build. With a systems-built Ameri-Log home, construction time is cut to eight to 12 weeks, with no sacrifice in design or quality.

“This will offer homebuyers the best of both worlds,â€? adds Kupferer. “They can now enjoy the quality control, time savings and cost benefits that come with building an All American home, plus the solid feel, warmth, strength and look of an authentic cedar log home. We are the only systems-built home manufacturer in the country offering a true log home made of white cedar, which is the strongest, most durable wood in the world.â€?

Kupferer has relocated to Fort Wayne, IN with his wife, Debi, and their children, Kelsey and William.

Sauter Timber Taps Watson
Sauter Timber (Rockwood, TN) recently appointed industry veteran Mitch Watson as their sales manager.

“Mitch’s experience in the wood industry is yet another addition to our team as we continue to grow and strive to meet our business goals. He is a valuable part of this team,â€? says Reinhard Sauter, president of Sauter Timber.

Prior to joining Sauter Timber, Watson owned his own company United Wood Building Specialists, and traveled the entire east coast restoring and maintaining wood structures. Watson’s more than 30 years experience in the wood building industry includes serving as corporate engineer of New England Log Homes, Inc. (Hamden, CT.) for 12 years, design director of Hearthstone Builders, Inc.
(Dandridge, TN), product manager of The Original Lincoln Logs Ltd. (Chestertown, NY), executive director of The Log Home Guide Information Center (Cosby, TN), and assistant editor of Log Home Guide for Builders and Buyers (Cosby, TN). At New England Log Homes Inc. he was the company representative to the National Association of Home Manufacturers (NAHM) and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and served for many years on the association’s technical committee.

Sauter Timber is a specialty company specializing in the custom precutting of logs and timbers used by the wood building industry. Precutting of heavy timber roof and floor systems as well as precut timber stair packages are just some of their services. Details visit www.Sauter-Timber.com or call 877-800-7663.

The Moose is Loose in PA
To better serve log home builders in Eastern states, Moose Log Homes (Beloit, WI) has recently added another milling operation in eastern Pennsylvania, in the town of Honesdale.

Rick and Cindy Garland, owners of Moose Log Homes, decided they wanted to offer larger diameter White Pine to eastern builders. To facilitate the launch of the new location the company is offering a 25% discount off retail pricing on their product line to proven log builders.

“Business is good. But we wanted to reach more Eastern log builders and dealers. Builders now have a close source for an affordable, large diameter, round log,â€? says Rick Garland. “We are offering eight inch, 10 inch and 12-inch diameter logs at a very affordable price. We pre-cut for any plan.â€?

Moose Logs are a true round profile. They are double tongue & grooved with saddle notched corners. Also available at the Pennsylvania location is 1X6 or 1X8 T&G, 2X6 T&G, round poles for log roof systems, square timbers and log siding.

The company has been shipping log home packages domestically and abroad for more than 17 years. Details 608-365-6833 or see the web site: www.mooseloghomes.com or email

Timber Frame Conference
The Timber Framers Guild, dedicated to promoting the centuries-old craft of timber framing, is holding its annual eastern conference at the le Chateau Montebello in Quebec, Canada, this year.

Pre-conference workshops on German Carpentry will be held Oct. 28-30. The main conference will be held Oct. 31-Nov. 2 and will feature a number of networking events and educational seminars. These include “preserving and sharing skillsâ€? by Dick Rosenberg, “SIPs installation tricks and tips,â€? by Doug Anderson, “Designing in the Trenches,â€? by John Mumaw, among others.

For registration information and hotel rates, see www.tfguild.com or email: info@tfguild.org Contact executive Directors of the guild, Will Beemer or Joel McCarty at PO Box 60, Becket, MA 01223, or phone and fax at 888-453-0879 (toll-free).

Brewster Joins Goodman Media
Janice Brewster, former editor of Log Home Living for eight years, will become the editor of Timber Homes Illustrated. Brewster’s tenure with the magazine will start with the February 2004 issue of the magazine, which is published by the Goodman Media Group (New York, NY).

“I’m really looking forward to being at the helm of the magazine and spotlighting the beauty in timber homes,â€? says Brewster.

In addition to being the editor of Log Home Living magazine from 1992 –2000, Brewster is the author of a book, Cabin Style. Brewster is also at work on two more books on home building.

Kuhns Bros. Celebrates 20th anniversary
Kuhns Bros. Log Homes (Lewisburg, PA), an international log home manufacturer headquartered in Central Pennsylvania, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In 1983, the already 20-year-old Kuhns Bros. Lumber Company, decided to venture into the log home market. What they quickly found was an increasing demand for this unique lifestyle. The Kuhns’ went to the drawing board and were able to identify three key areas with which current log homeowners were not satisfied; namely quality, quantity and service.

By being one of the first in the industry to offer kiln dried logs exclusively, Kuhns Bros. quickly gained a reputation for supplying customers with the highest quality. In fact, over the years the drying technology has improved so much that Kuhns Bros. is the only manufacturer in the industry to certify 15% average moisture content in writing.

To address the quantity issue, the company developed the most inclusive package in the industry. Kuhns Bros. found that customers didn’t always know what was included in their log home “kitsâ€? and there was a lot of shopping being done after the package was delivered. In order to cut down on the endless trips to the lumberyard, Kuhns Bros. developed the “No-Shop Package.â€?

Lastly, the Kuhns’ have always made service the backbone of their business, from Carl “Popâ€? Kuhns, to twin sons Leonard & Larry, to Tim & Tom–Leonard’s sons and current owners of the company.

Because of these three foundational principles Kuhns Bros. Log Homes, Inc. now enjoys one of the best reputations in the industry. The company has over 125 representatives both nationally and internationally, and is annually delivering more than 350 homes a year. It’s operations encompasses 135 acres and employs 200 employees in its Lewisburg manufacturing facility. Details see: www.kuhnsbros.com, or call 1-800-326-9614.

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