Our exposed beams and timber-framed truss are what people notice first. They are what inspire us and direct the design of our homes. We reimagine indoor spaces to be a reflection of the natural world, trimming our homes with wild edges, crafting cabinets with captivating grain patterns, and allowing our timber framed beams to remind us of the forest in which they once lived. Allow us to share with you our journey and process, how we choose to honor the earth while crafting beautiful tiny homes.
Sustainably Sourced Lumber (or Building from the Ashes)
Our shop is based in 250 acres of mixed coniferous forest in Northern California. In 2015 a devastating fire swept through the region, destroying 70,868 acres of land in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The forest is now scattered with dead, yet still standing, giants; among these are Black Oaks, Cedar, and Pine. 475 homes were lost in the fire, including the remarkable home of one of our team members. Paul had spent the last thirty years building his beautiful timber-framed cabin by hand. Many in the community left, after the fire. The heart-ache was too much for them to return to. Paul, however, chose to stay. In this act of courage, Paul and his family rebuilt all they had lost, only this time it was even better than before. Paul’s new home is a two story timber-framed structure, that is a marvel to behold.
Through the opportunity to rebuild in a devastated area, emerged a new opportunity. The land needed to be reforested and actively managed to reduce risk of future fires, the lumber needed to be felled and stacked quickly or else rot from the inside, and our friends and families needed homes.
Harvesting our own lumber within close proximity to our shop creates for an unusually sustainable woodworking practice. Normally, lumber is procured through large, corporate logging companies that go deep into live forests, clear cut huge tracts of land and then use fuel guzzling semi-trucks to haul the logs many miles to a milling site. From the mill site, all the lumber produced then needs to be hauled again, this time to a distributor. From the distributor, another transfer is needed to stock local stores. At last, the trees make a final journey to the job site where the lumber is actually needed. Each transfer produces substantial emissions. That is why our method is significant. In a forest we love and wish to grow and thrive, we carefully select trees to fell and haul to our Woodmizer Mill to process ourselves. We've virtually cut out all transfer emissions, dramatically lowering our carbon footprint. Additionally, we are able to reduce the costs of producing large timbers, making what is considered a luxury style of building much more affordable.
Our team has a deep commitment to sustainability, which can be challenging in a profession that relies heavily on power. We are constantly moving from the planer to the table saw to drill press to the bandsaw to the... well you get it. All these tools take a heavy current load to operate.
If you're anything like us, you might wonder how many solar panels it would take to keep up with such a large demand for power. The answer is fourteen; but we have twenty-six, just for good measure. Not only does this forward our values of sustainability, it also keeps us operating when power lines fail and during PG&E blackouts.
We believe everyone should have access to clean, renewable energy. While we recognize each individual has unique needs and situations, all our tiny homes have the ability to completely run off electricity. We offer a solar package that can be included with your home and are happy to discuss what energy source is right for you.
Timber framing is a traditional method of building, one that was used throughout the world until the Industrial Revolution brought the need and tools to standardize the production of lumber and increase the accessibility of hardware. Timber framing involves using large heavy beams to create the skeleton of the home, locking them together with intricate joinery instead of hardware.
Beyond the stunning aesthetics, timber framed homes have the advantage of being stronger, more durable, and better resistant to earthquakes. They have a higher thermal performance and when combined with structurally insulated panels create a home that is highly efficient to heat and cool. The construction process typically has less of a carbon footprint and creates less waste than a standard stick framed model. There are no load-bearing walls, creating the option for open floor plans and making it easier to remodel further down the road.
What makes us different? Do the large beams catch your eye? What about the wild-edge bark that has been epoxied and preserved into the finished counter-top? Did you know most of our siding is actually made of steel? All of these unique aspects have reasons and stories behind them. This page is where we take you through our method. We share this information openly with you for two reasons: one, it fuels the pride behind what we do, two, perhaps this method can inspire more like it.
We are based on 250 acres in the middle of the woods of Northern California. In 2015 a tremendous fire occurred and nearly all the acres were burned. The land, now black and scarred, was scattered with forest giants, such as Black Oaks, Cedar, and Pine. These trees, although still standing, were no longer living. We came across the opportunity to fell these trees and haul them over to our woodmizer mill. We found we could repurpose the dead trees into strong lumber of any dimension of our choosing.
By harvesting our own lumber within close proximity to our shop creates for an unusually sustainable woodworking practice. Normally, lumber is procured through big logging companies that go deeper in the forests, cutting many living trees down and then using large trucks to haul the logs many miles to a milling site. From the mill site, all the lumber produced then needs to be hauled again, this time to a distributor. From the distributor, another transfer is needed to get to the local stores. Then, from these local stores, it is transferred once again to get to the job site where the lumber is actually needed. Each of those transfers produces a large number of emissions. That is why our method is significant. We've virtually cut out all of those transfer emissions and costs. We also are able to make large timbers at a more affordable rate; this makes our style of building far more viable.
Construction, in general, relies heavily on power. We are constantly moving from the planer to the table saw to drill press to the ban saw to the... well you get it. All these tools take a heavy current load to operate. If you're anything like us, you might wonder how many solar panels would it take to keep up with such a large demand of power. The answer is fourteen; but we have twenty-six, just for good measure.