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Tuesday, 12 May 2015 00:00

15 Unique Species of Wood...

Hearthstone log and timber home company delivers and manages 15 unique timber species that are used in custom log and timber frame homes and light commercial projects. The species of wood in order of volume includes White Pine, Douglas Fir, White Oak, Spruce, Western Hemlock, Cypress, Eastern Red Cedar, Western Red Cedar, Yellow Pine, Pressure Treated White Pine, Red Oak, Glulam (yellow pine and Fir), Antique Oak, and Ipe decking. How these specifications get into the project is anybody's guess. Some are written specs by the architect and others are driven by consumer or project managers. Gone are the days of managing primarily White Pine or mixed Oak from our own 40 foot sawmill. Adding to this fun is the HeartDried option, where our vacuum kilns dry most species very well to the core. And the finished dimension is nominal and not to the 1/2".

blog2Once the raw material is dried and sized, the joinery tolerances with our Cad/Cam equipment are designed within 1/64". Gone are the days of dovetail jigs and chainsaw tolerances of 1/4". It's actually easier and more efficient to tighten these tolerances with our computer machinery, just as long as the raw material initial sizing doesn't change after the 60+ hours of CAD modeling is complete.

We still finish the surfaces by hand with hewing, chopping, brushing or Weather Aged finishes. And each of these textures take stain colors differently. So, sample pieces are often provided for the customer to make decisions on wood stain colors, number of coats, top coats, etc. In most cases, these stain samples are provided prior to shipping. For those clients who need more time to decide, the drop shipping option to jobsites or the GC's office by Perma-Chink Systems has worked great.

It was a lot easier just 20 years ago managing two species and 6 colors. But we as an industry have never embraced "easy".

Chris Wood, VP Sales
www.hearthstonehomes.com

Published in Blog
Monday, 01 June 2015 00:00

A Log Home Dream

My name is Mike Samuels. I am a Log Home owner and recently started working for Perma-Chink Systems. So let me tell you how my story begins. We are going back to my childhood. My parents vacationed in Smoky Mountains once or twice a year. As a child I was very impressible and excited any time I was able to go on vacation. The trip always included a drive through the mountains, sightseeing around Cades Cove and driving up the most treacherous Ski Mountain Road.

On every visit to the Smoky Mountains, I remember making comments to my mother that one day when I grow up, I would have a log home or mountain chalet here. I made a lot of wishes to my mother growing up just as any kid does. I am sure that my mother listened to my comments in one ear and out the other. She was always very encouraging. I also remember that I told her I would be an US Air Force fighter pilot. Not everything comes true, but there is nothing wrong with dreaming.

I worked for one company for 38 years, mostly living in Houston, TX but my wife, Kathy, children and I lived in Tennessee for a total of 10 of the 38 years. Unfortunately the Tennessee years were located in the middle and west Tennessee, never East Tennessee. However, many of our family vacations were still in Smokies. My children were overwhelmed with the breathtaking views of the mountains as much as I was as a child.

Fast forward 40 years. Where did the time go? It was finally time to think about retirement and where my wife and I would spend the remainder of our lives. The decision was not as easy as one would think. The first place many people want to retire is the beach. That was our first idea, but Kathy and I looked at each other and simultaneously we said, How about Smokies, and How about a Log Home?

Kathy immediately logged on to the Internet and starting looking at land for sale. I can tell you that once my wife has a mission, she reacts quickly and thoroughly. Within minutes she found several pieces of property for sell. Of course, this would mean another vacation to Smoky Mountains to look and buy land. She planned out a trip, contacted a Real Estate company and put everything in motion.

We picked out approximately 10 properties to look at. Our real estate agent met us at the hotel around 8am on a Saturday. An early start was essential in order to look at all of the properties in a couple of days. It was rainy and cold. I believe the trip was in March, the best I can remember. We made it to all of the properties on Saturday… a very long Saturday. Kathy and I were a little car sick from the winding mountains roads and disappointed, because none of the properties made any significant impact on us.

View-of-Smoky-Mountains
A Great View of the Smokey Mountains

Early on Sunday morning the rain had stopped so my wife and I decided to go out and search on our own for the perfect piece of land.   What a difference does good weather makes. Kathy and I parked the car and started walking. We made it about half way up the property and were able to see nothing but trees and hillsides all around. We envisioned how a house would sit on the hillside. We walked up to the top of the hillside and there was this great view of mountain tops. At that time, we knew this was the right property to build our log dream home and spend the rest of our lives here. We made an offer, countered and purchased the same day on a Sunday.

As I mentioned earlier, Kathy is not one to sit back and wait for things to happen. She now has the land. It was time to start planning next steps. We both were still several years away from retirement but that did not stop us. She continued to plan. She contacted what seemed to be 100 manufactures, builders, and purchased tons of Log Home magazines and publications. Being a good husband, I sat back and allowed her to make floor plan decisions and building styles. I knew that my goal in life was to keep her happy. The design of the house was not my main concern. I like spending time outdoors, so as long as I had a place to eat and sleep I would be happy. We lived in five different homes but never one that would take on this feat. Most of our home purchases were buying new and vacant so we could move right in.

Published in Blog

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