Friday, Nov 7, 2014
by Liz Engel Clark, Editor, Upper Cumberland Business Journal
The home, recently constructed on Crabtree Road with a grand opening celebration set for the weekend of Nov. 7-8, sits on a site that Honest Abe, a Clay County-based log and timber home designer, builder and manufacturer, has owned since 1993. The lot had once featured a timber frame structure with two small models, but two of the three structures were sold and moved to make room for the newest addition. Why the change? Because, over time, customers expectations have changed. And what’s now in demand? A lot of stone and exposed timbers. Multiple rooflines and expansive outdoor areas. And, of course, open floor plans.
“Frankly, people buy what they can see and feel,” Josh Beasley, president, Honest Abe Log Homes, said. “And our facilities in Crossville no longer fully reflected the quality and craftsmanship of our log and timber homes. Many of our clients now look for more creative concepts, and this model serves as that example. The home can be used to educate potential clients about log size, shape and construction choices, roof systems, doors and windows, stone and fireplaces, lighting and more.”
The home, at 3,000 square feet with that additional 1,700 square of porches, was designed in-house by Honest Abe’s Michael Hix. Hix “took a variety of elements that customers want to see… and incorporated them into one large project,” Beasley said. The porch, which wraps around most of the first floor, features a massive wood-burning open fireplace that’s accessed through a patio door from the dining room. Other first floor highlights include an open dining room and kitchen, sunroom, great room with a vaulted heavy timber roof, staircase and two-story fireplace and a master bed and bath. On the second floor is a bedroom with bay window, home office area, and full bath access. An additional bedroom features a dormer window, and the staircase landing forms a loft with a fireplace.
To complete the project, Honest Abe hired more than 30 craftsmen and suppliers – many local – who specialize in log and timber frame home construction.
“Thankfully, we have a good base of quality contractors and product suppliers in our area,” Beasley said. “We used local companies and craftsmen within the Upper Cumberland as often as possible, not only to create partnerships and support local business, but also to exemplify to customers just what is possible through our local contacts.”
The overall investment in the project, including building removal, utility work, excavation and site prep, was around $750,000. Honest Abe plans to reinvest in its other facilities over time, officials said. The company, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and still maintains its national headquarters in Moss, located outside Celina in Clay County, also has show homes and sales centers in Cookeville and Murfreesboro.
“It was an easy decision to reinvest in our (Crossville) location,” Beasley added. “The area, and specifically I-40, serves as a gateway to the Smoky Mountains, making it a high-traffic location that was a natural spot for our new model.”