Break down TimberCraft Homes into its component parts — “timber” and “craft” — and what do you get?
Founding partner Jack Evans' passions.
Evans recently spent a week in Eugene, Ore., touring facilities operated by Weyerhauser, one of the world's largest manufacturers of wood- and engineered-wood products.
He came back “full of ideas” and just in time to take up his duties as chairman of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association's 68th annual Parade of Homes.
The parade is set to launch Oct. 19 and run through Oct. 27. New homes will be open free to the public from 1 to 7 p.m. daily. Free parade guidebooks, with photos, maps, descriptions and characteristics of the homes, will be available starting at noon Friday at metro-area Arvest Bank and Best Buy locations while supplies last.
Evans toured two of Weyerhauser's production facilities, one that had only recently shifted to electricity from steam, which had powered the plant for decades.
The second, Evans said, was fully automated, requiring only a few humans to aid the computers and robotic devices that transform tree trunks 6 feet in diameter into stacks of 2-by-4 and 2-by-6 lumber.
Timber management is “one of the original ‘green' industries,” Evans said, noting that Weyerhauser's sustainable planting practices were developed to ensure that hundreds of thousands of acres of healthy forest will be available for harvest yearly.
Evans said he also witnessed “zero-waste” practice, seeing tree by-products turned into mulch and pulp.
Evans toured a vast Oregon forest — a half-million acres around Eugene — where genetically-engineered trees soar overhead, destined one day to become the materials he and other builders rely on.
Evans said it was interesting to note that in the Pacific Northwest, wooden and log homes are “so much more prevalent” compared to Oklahoma, “where we use what we've got” — more rock and brick.
Still, Evans said, TimberCraft's vision is not to take “what we've got” too far, but to break from the traditional whenever he can.
“We have learned that many young buyers don't want to live in their parents' houses,” he said. “They're tired of the traditional, ‘Dallas-style' house.”
Many are interested in the contemporary lines and novel layout ideas that excite Evans.
Many of the products that enable his design ideas to become a reality are the building materials Evans watched being manufactured in Oregon.
Evans said TimberCraft sources “superstrong” engineered beams, for example, from Weyerhauser.
At 8400 NW 141 Circle in the Pleasant Grove addition, he pointed out a 17-foot span supported by just such a beam, allowing his modern kitchen to open up fully and seamlessly into the living room.
Without the technology that makes that beam possible, “We'd need a couple of posts to hold up this span,” Evans said.
The 2,115-square-foot model house, its canary-yellow siding a bright invitation to come inside and explore, is one of two models TimberCraft is featuring in the Parade of Homes. The second is a 2,500-quare-foot model in Griffin Park.
TimberCraft's Pleasant Grove model, the “Willow Creek” floor plan, incorporates two areas of flex space at the hub of the home, room allotted for use as either formal dining room, study or an eating area.
In the model, a custom banquette lines the eating nook, while the study becomes a serene oasis behind sliding “barn-door”-style room dividers.
The home includes three bedrooms: a light and roomy master suite and two slightly smaller but ample bedrooms sharing a full bathroom.
Upstairs, the bonus room becomes the nexus of movie night, a project room or even a fourth bedroom.
The transition from outside world to home is brilliantly imagined — a utility area, pantry and refrigerator all within steps of where the garage door leads into the house.
Amanda Orrell, director of design at TimberCraft, said the house's yellow exterior expresses the warmth, coziness and contemporary touches that await inside.
“It shouts, ‘Honey I'm home!'” she said.
Evans said builders of the more than 100 parade homes are expecting a strong turnout, citing recent increases in the number of construction permits issued in the metro area.
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