Kevin is a master log cabin and timber frame builder whose homes are absolutely stunning; and known for their sophisticated design, log size, species, grasp of the medium and complex joinery. For over 30 years he has custom designed, in conjunction with a personal engineer, and handcrafted from oak, hand-hewn log cabins and timber frames. Personally, he does all the woodwork and works closely with a select group of subcontractors, thereby assuring a master's attention to detail and quality. Kevin has tracked his buildings up to 15 years after completion and confirmed an absolute grasp of the medium.
He carefully selects trees for straight grain; from the client’s property, a logging operation or salvage yard and hews every log. It takes 8 years for 6” thick hewn timbers to season, which explains why cabins and frames were traditionally, and still are, built with unseasoned timbers. Straight grain is the secret that prevents warping. The physics of unseasoned oak preclude using it for long spans. So Kevin hews massive poplar timbers for spans up to 22’ long for exposed ceiling/2nd floor beams.
As the hewn timbers season they lose width across the grain, which parallels the log length. Loss of length due to seasoning is negligible. Red oak shrinks a maximum of ¾” per foot, white and chestnut oak 5/8”. Using red oak as the example, a 16’ tall log wall shrinks a maximum of 12” as 100% moisture content evaporates to 0%. Yes, the building gets shorter as logs lose moisture (season). A standard 7’ tall door opening shrinks 5 ¼” (7’ x ¾” = 5 ¼”). So, the opening is built 7’5 ¼” tall, otherwise the door is crushed. The vertical framing (jambs) that stabilize the log ends, and to which the door is attached, are floated to accommodate the shrinkage. The same applies to window and fireplace openings, and where the staircase meets the 2nd floor.
The above are just a few examples of Kevin’s sophisticated design, complex joinery and old world techniques endemic to fine Appalachian hand hewn log cabin and timber frame building.
A wide range of finish options are offered; from slate roofs, and soapstone counter tops and sinks to appropriate insect prevention treatments, wood preservatives, and chinking and insulation.
Turnkey prices start at $100 greater than the average price per sq.ft. for new home construction in the client’s area. Design and plans are an additional 7% of the cost of the entire project. Restoration, consultation or project management job prices are negotiable.
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