Timber Frame Harmonious with Surrounding Nature

Sondra and Lennard DuBose chose Honest Abe Log Homes to design and manufacture their 3,200 timber frame home. They permanently relocated from North Florida to Pea Ridge, a community in Clay County, Tennessee, which is located on the high peaks of the northeastern portion of the Highland Rim. Lennard is a general contractor for the Pilot/Traveling J company, and Sondra owns and operates Plato’s Closet in Cookeville, Tennessee. They are the parents of two successful children for whom the Tennessee timber frame makes a peaceful vacation spot.

In a recent interview Sondra explained why she and Lennard chose timber frame construction for their home and shared details of their design and construction experience.

Sondra also offered tips for designing a timber frame kitchen in an article published in Timber Home Living. Click here to read the article.

HA: Why did you choose timber frame construction?

Sondra:  Our home rests at an elevation of 1, 200’ above sea level, a breathtaking view of the hills of Tennessee. We did not want our residence to take away from the beauty surrounding us, so it only seemed natural to erect a timber frame structure.

HA: How did a timber frame accomplish that?

Sondra: It’s easy to see why timber frame adds beauty and distinction to any home. Exposed beams, posts and timbered rafters immediately stand out as unique architectural details. Their strength and character elicit the feeling of warmth and serenity when the outside environment can be cold and turbulent. An exposed timber frame is easy to interpret, and consequently allows people to understand the building easier, rather than when structural members are hidden behind drywall or paneling. It’s what architects call “scale” – the connection of a natural environment –opposite of the towering skyscrapers of glass. The timbers are our favorite aspect of the home.

HA: Rather than use a standard floorplan, you created a custom design. Why was that?

Sondra: We knew the house had to meet our needs as we aged, accommodate our large family events, be low maintenance but most of all create a feeling of being one with nature.

HA: What lead you to select Honest Abe to create the custom design, manufacture the components and work with you throughout the project?

Sondra: Choosing Honest Abe was an easy decision. The plant was close to our building site, which is a great asset when or if problems arise. The logs and lumber were all supplied and milled locally, which continues to support and feed our community. They have quality products, which was important to ensure our home would stand the test of time. Most importantly… the staff. They have been so helpful and kind. Today it’s hard to find a large company with attention to detail and customer service.

HA: Did you make the right decision? How was it to work with sales reps Ethan Birdwell and Inez Price as well as the design department?

DuBose: We are commercial general contractors, which has lent a wealth of information concerning the attention to detail. Although the task of decision making seemed a daunting one, the staff at Honest Abe were extremely helpful. We expressed our ideas and their in-house design team brought those to fruition.


HA: Tell us about floor plan.

Sondra: There are 4 bedrooms, two on the main level and two in the walkout basement. There’s a great room on both the main level and in the basement. The main level great room flows into the kitchen and dining area. We have three bathrooms, a pantry, a laundry room, a mechanical room and a tornado safe room. Two porches flank the great room, plus there’s a deck along the front and porch just off the kitchen in the back.

HA: Did construction go as you had hoped?

Sondra: I highly recommend Ellery and James Lewis, of Lewis Construction, Livingston, Tennessee. They have a great deal of experience building Honest Abe homes. Their attention to detail, quality of workmanship and never-ending patience with a Type-A personality has solidified our opinion  – best of the best.

Interview by Claudia Johnson, Honest Abe Log Homes

The gallery below contains photos by JD Tyre Photography of the home decorated for Christmas.

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