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The scene from Beau and Martha Langfitt's front porch is like something from a novel. Fields of green sway in the breeze, stretching as far as the eye can see. Livestock wander in and out of view under endless blue skies. In the center of this idyllic setting is a modest house that appears every bit at ease in its surroundings as the deer that leisurely wander its grounds.
This year, OakBridge Timber Framing is celebrating their 30th anniversary. The company has built more than 320 homes in 24 states, 2.2 million bd.ft. of timber has passed through the shop, and through their tree replenishment program, they plant about 750 trees annually.
Picture this: Breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, acres of unspoiled forestland and a scaled-down version of Niagara Falls, right in your own backyard. Sound too good to be true?
An Ohio family was so pleased with their timber frame home that they opted to build a second one in Colorado as a vacation getaway.
A Colorado vacation home reflects the deep roots of the surrounding countryside and the rich history of rustic American farmhouses.
The recommended mulch depth is 3-4 inches for medium to coarse textured materials, says experts with The Morton Arboretum. Spread mulch under trees, shrubs and throughout planting beds, as seen at this home, handcrafted by OakBridge Timber Framing, on a 5-acre lot on the shores of Lake Erie, Ohio.
During the week, James Whitaker spends his days in an office surrounded by the sights and sounds of the city, peace and quiet are a rare commodity. That's why, come friday, the corporate attorney is ready to escape his concrete confines for wide open spaces.
When the client works side-by-side with the builder and architect from beginning to end, satisfaction is practically assured. These two vacation homes were a true collaborative effort, making the most of their idyllic settings while fulfilling design objectives and reaching high levels of sustainability.
Andrew Miller, mastercraftsman at OakBridge Timber Framing, shares the 7 essential tools he can't live without when timber framing.
Click "View Experts' Specialized Lists" from the menu, then select "Timber Framing" to read Andrew Miller's comments.
This Ohio couple built their escape on a hill high above nearby Columbus. They credit OakBridge Timber Framing for creating their own country haven.
When she was 10 years old, Liezl Moser Craig decided she wanted to live in a barn. "I remember being in a barn, seelng the light stream through the boards and thinking it would be such a cool place to live," Craig recalls.
Yearning for a place to unplug, meditate and pray, some people are transforming parts of their homes into houses of worship.
In the modern world of timber framing, 59-year industry veteran Andrew Miller brings things back to basics.
This Ohio timber frame home is situated snugly on its hillside property, allowing for garage space on the lower level, and two upper levels of living space. The timbers, which make up the supporting structure of the home, were handcrafted by the master craftsmen at the Amish owned and operated OakBridge Timber Framing.
Based in Howard, Ohio, OakBridge Timber Framing offers custom designed and handcrafted mortise-and-tenon dream homes to a discerning clientele throughout the country.
Howard, Ohio – OakBridge Timber Framing Ltd., based here, pre-cuts and installs timber frame homes. Established in 1986 by Johnny Miller and Levi Hochstetler, the company is comprised of three generations of an Amish family.
As we all know, wood is a mystery - there is always something to learn. Here at OakBridge Timber Framing, we have been doing timber frame homes for 26 years. My father is 74 and a master craftsman, and he, and the rest of us, are all still learning new things about wood.
Because the actual frame bears the weight of the structure, timber frame interiors can be as open or partitioned as the homeowner desires.
Johnny Miller, the owner of OakBridge Timber Framing, has been timber framing since his late teens. He grew up in an Amish community, where the pace of life was slow and the main occupation was farming.
“If it’s not modeled at the top it’s not going to be at the bottom,” says Johnny Miller, owner of OakBridge Timber Framing Company in Ohio. And just so everyone remembers, that saying is engraved on a marble pyramid that sits atop each work station.
Lawn chairs filled with strangers appeared on Dale and Cheryl Stultz’s lawn as an Amish family raised the timber frame that replaced the front section of their home a year and a half ago.
The team at OakBridge Timber Framing has been timber framers their whole lives – it’s quite literally a part of their culture. The Howard, OH company is a family-run Amish business – they all grew up raising frames, and have a focused passion for what they do that creates unrivaled quality.
In this open-concept home of hand-carved timbers, a built-in see-through fireplace and hearth are used to divide the living room and dining room. Shelves nestled beneath the stairs create useful nooks for showcasing family photos, books and heirlooms.
OakBridge Timber Framing is changing the way timber homes are built. Workers at the Amish-owned company in Howard, Ohio, craft the homes using only their hands, no power tools. If needed, they use hydraulic power. As an end result, the homes are more energy efficient than a conventional stick frame home.
A 150-year-old cabin resting by a placid lake near Danville, Ohio has been updated with a beautifully handcrafted timber-framed addition. The Jenkins Home stays true to the original character of the log cabin, and the homestead's traditional Amish timber-framed construction maintains a strong connection to its roots. All of the wooden beams were carefully cut by hands and joined without steel connectors by OakBridge Timber Framing.
Johnny Miller, president of OakBridge Timber Framing Ltd., in Howard, Ohio, created a values-driven workplace for ten employees of three generations, all Amish or Amish Mennonite. “Each person is responsible to everyone else to help build each other up as individuals,” Miller says.
When Johnny Miller founded OakBridge Timber Framing 26 years ago, he started with a small team of three. Today, the Amish-owned and operated company is comprised of 10 family members that have a passion for building and working together.
It's easy to romanticize Amish entrepreneurs, imagining them running a business by candlelight. Actually, many Amish businesses do have power -- they just generally find some form of alternate energy to power their store's lights or credit card processing machine, like wind turbines or solar energy panels. Some even have websites.
OakBridge Timber Framing, the acclaimed Amish-owned timber framing company known for its handcrafted luxury homes, will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an Amish hog roast at its mill facility in Loudonville, OH on October 1.
Johnny Miller and Levi Hostetler generate most of their business through the Internet, but they still build houses the old-fashioned way. Many of the timber frame homes their company has built over the past 35 years have been commissioned on nothing more than a verbal agreement and a handshake. And the framing members are still crafted exclusively with hand tools.
Open shelving under the stairs can showcase collectibles, or in this case family photos. "Place sentimental reminders of loved ones where you can see them every day as you come and go," suggests Johnny Miller, owner of OakBridge Timber Framing.
A family tradition continues to march on despite challenges for Johnny Miller who owns his family timber framing business near Loudonville. Oakbridge Timber Framing follows the special customized practice of timber framing using traditional joint and posts, differing from the bracketing type construction often used in building many homes today.
This Apple Valley, Ohio, timber frame lake house by OakBridge Timber Framing was built with many charming barn-like characteristics including high ceilings, hardwood floors, and large windows.
OakBridge Timber Framing Ltd is a firm that specializes in building timber frame homes based on a long tradition of quality craftsmanship. The company's motto is "to build dream homes that reflect our values." One of the unique aspects of the company is that it is owned by Old Order Amish based out of Howard, Ohio.
Tucked on a township road so remote it is hardly noticed is a company with a national scope. Oakbridge Timber Framing Ltd. produces handcrafted oak framing materials as a primary subcontractor for home builders.
When Rhea and David Sylvester bought an outstanding 5-acre lot on the Ohio shore of Lake Erie, they had Lee Goodman of Ferut Architects in Elyria, Ohio, design a 4,500-square-foot home that achieves architectural merit while flattering the prominent site.
Even off-site-built (sometimes called precut) houses feature front porches as prominent features in their designs. Companies including OakBridge Timber Framing and Estemerwalt Log Homes cater to the second-home market, where the front porch spells "time to relax."
Note the OakBridge Timber Framing photo in this section entitled “A Page Turner”. For the ultimate cozy retreat, consider incorporating a reading space into your log home. These home-owners devoted an entire room to reading, complete with built-in shelves and snug seating. Situated in the corner of the home, myriad windows and a whitewash finish help keep the room bright.
Note the OakBridge photo of a frame raising at sunrise in this section entitled “Spirited Shelter” (page 25). The structure and craftsmanship of a timber home have a history that goes back centuries.
Note the OakBridge photo of a frame raising at sunrise in this section entitled “Choosing a Timber Framer” (page 23).
This home is located in Belgrade, Montana (which is just minutes from Bozeman, MT). The home’s stunning location is matched only by its breathtaking timber framing. Timber framing is an art, honed by the Amish craftsmen at OakBridge Timber Framing, of Howard, OH, who designed, crafted and raised the frame.
This timber-framed lodge-style house in Montana provides a modern, airy take on a great room, with its cathedral-style ceiling and hand-carved timbers. This room's focal point is the dramatic, floor-to-ceiling cultured-stone fireplace that was built by OakBridge Timber Framing, an Amish-owned company in Howard, Ohio.
Check out the 2011 Annual Buyer’s Guide from Timber Home Living, and note the OakBridge Timber Framing feature photos on pages 16, 24, 32 and 35!
Johnny Miller with OakBridge Timber Framing Ltd. in Howard, Ohio, said, “Our forecast is to be full tilt production. Last year, we were down just a little bit and this year, perhaps, just slightly. But our forecast is in 2011 to be full swing. ”He said he has noticed more potential in the economy. There has been more interest shown and more estimates given.
In the middle of the 1800s, about the time covered wagons were carrying adventurous pioneers westward, a home was raised in the woods near Danville, Ohio, beside a picturesque pond. For more than 150 years, the cottage stood in the wilderness, amidst the coyotes, foxes, turkeys and white-tailed deer. But before the 20th century ended, a family from Columbus, Ohio, discovered the dwelling. Charmed by its quaintness and longevity, they bought it and the 130 surrounding acres, and vowed to give it new life.
OakBridge was recently featured in photos in the publication Timber Home Living.
Howard, Ohio - OakBridge Timber Framing Ltd., based here, precuts and installs timber frame homes. Established in 1986 by Johnny Miller and Levi Hochstetler, the company is comprised of three generations of an Amish family. Throughout history Amish and Mennonite people have been recognized for their hard work, attention to detail and true commitment to the craft of constructing barns and other buildings.
Located in Howard, Ohio, family-owned OakBridge Timber Framing uses tradition joinery for pre-cut frames that are assembled on site in only a few days. In keeping with Amish tradition, the company raises craftsmanship to a fine art: mortise-and-tenon joints are pinned with hickory dowels, and the same crew that crafts the timber also installs it.
WHEN IT CAME TIME FOR HIM TO RETIRE, David Kirsch had long known exactly what kind of house he wanted. “It had always been my dream to find a big, old barn, renovate it and turn it into something special,” says Kirsch, a former contractor from South Carolina. “What appealed to me most was all that wood and all that space.”
The Kirsch Home from OakBridge Timber Framing was designed with luxury and comfort in mind. An appropriately sized great room next to the kitchen opens up to the second floor creating a comfortable and spacious haven. The stairs leads you to a loft on the second floor, perfect for an office or a peaceful place to relax.
Most Americans lived on farms until the post-Civil War industrial boom led people to chase opportunity into the cities. But as the modern world became more hectic, some urbanites fled to the country for the simpler lives that their great-grandfathers had known.
Check out the 2010 Annual Buyer’s Guide from Timber Home Living, and note the OakBridge photos on pages 26, as well as this beautiful shot on page 36!
"Infused with the farm!” That’s how artist Sue Amstutz describes the concept she and her husband, Jim, brought to their drawing board when they designed their Ashland, Ohio, home.
OakBridge Timber Framing in Howard builds handcrafted, sustainable timber frame structures using mortise and tenon joinery without any metal. Here is the 1,568-sf K & E Credit Union built in 2007 in Mt. Vernon by Shrock Premier Custom Construction and designed by Ballard Architectural Studio. The project was panelized with SIPs, which allow for exceptional energy efficiency.
We are all making efforts nowadays to live a healthier life. We avoid fast food, make an effort to visit the gym more often, and encourage our children to play outside rather than sit on the couch playing video games.
OakBridge was recently featured in the publication Professional Builder.
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution there’s no doubt the technological advancements that have taken place over this time have influenced us – but not always for good.
When Rhea and David Sylvester bought an outstanding 5-acre lot on the Ohio shore of Lake Erie, they had their 4,5-square-foot home designed that achieves architectural merit while flattering the prominent site.
JOHNNY MILLER is owner and CEO of OAKBRIDGE TIMBER FRAMING LTD. located in Howard, Ohio. OakBridge Timber Framing Ltd. manufactures pre-cut timber frame residential homes and commercial buildings. The company purchases approximately 100,000 board feet annually of Red and White Oak, douglas fir and pine. The firm specializes in pre-cutting and installing timber frames.
After months of planning and years of dreaming, the raising of a timber frame home is an experience not to be missed. Here, a crew from OakBridge Timber Framing in Ohio raises the frame for a dream home in the mountains of Montana. The design calls for a home with panoramic views attached to a garage with an apartment on its second floor.
The retired couple (David a former engineer and Vickie a nurse) moved to Montana’s Gallatin Valley from South Carolina about six years ago, with a shared goal of building on the 5.5-acre property they had purchased in 1995. But it was David’s dream to make that home a timber frame.
Founded in 1986, oakbridge timber Framing, Ltd. is a family-owned and operated subcontractor with a history of pride and quality construction. Headquartered in Howard, OH, this timber frame specialist designs, fabricates, and erects custom timber frames and panels for high-end homes. “We enjoy this type of specialty work, building dream homes, ”says Johnny Miller, OakBridge’s owner.
When Chris and Linda Goodman finally decided to build a timber frame home, they received a recommendation for a timber framer, scribbled on scrap paper. Linda tacked the name and number up on her bulletin board at work. “I knew that some day this small piece of paper could actually represent our house,” Linda remembers.
In the early years of their marriage, Mark and Melissa Lemon purchased 11 acres in a rural wooded area with an eye to the future. They hoped the acreage, which was once farmland, would be the perfect site for a home where they could live and raise a family. Located just 60 miles south of Cleveland in the heart of Amish country, the property, although rural, is only a half mile from Fredericksburg, where Mark was raised and now owns a restaurant. Melissa also grew up in a nearby community. With many of their relatives close-by, it would be the perfect home for a family-oriented couple.
“Infused with the farm!” That’s how artist Sue Amstutz describes the concept she and her husband, Jim, brought to their drawing board when they designed their Ashland, Ohio, home.
When Charles Keeling decided to build a new home on a west-facing hill above Cornville, he wanted his home to last for a long time, as well as be a beautiful, solidly-built place to live. He decided to use an alternative form of home building – solid oak timber framing – built by people with a long standing tradition of erecting buildings using oak frames.
When suburbia started to encroach on Bill and Claudia’s rural 6-acre homestead, they knew it was time for a change. Living in what was once considered the country in north-central Indiana, they recoiled when the harsh noise of traffic took the place of the more soothing sounds that birds and horses make. “Our old place was very convenient,” Claudia says, “but it was being built up so much, we had to wait to get out of the driveway.”
GRACE LEMASTERS has been busy planting seedlings in the greenhouse all morning. Like her husband, Jim Lockey, who is still out on the couple’s tree farm, you can usually find her puttering here or outside in their perennial gardens situated on 133 rolling Ohio acres.
If you’re really passionate about something, you want to live it, breathe it and be right in the middle of it every day. That’s how Jim and Lyda Cook feel about golf. So, they built a public golf course in Ashville, Ohio, and made their home there, too.
Steve and Kim Pistone found themselves standing on opposite sides of the fence when the time came to decide what type of house to build on their rambling 50-acre Christmas tree farm. Steve had always dreamed of building a log home, and Kim was intrigued by the dramatic look of a timber frame. Enter the art of friendly persuasion.
When Greg and Beth Bookwalter were considering a new home, they immediately thought of Greg’s office. It was enveloped in timber framing. The entire building, in fact, was distinguished by an intricate maze of wooden posts and beams. It made going to work a pleasant experience for Greg each day.
The Pagosa Springs region of southwestern Colorado is home to the largest and hottest geothermal mineral springs in the country. With the springs bubbling up from far below the surface, and mountain peaks rising thousands of feet above it, the area draws attention.
when the time comes for something to change in a home, many people will change the color of the paint, the furniture that fills a room or even the artwork that adorns the walls. But Rosemary Joyce knew these small alterations weren’t going to be enough for the change she wanted to implement in her life.
A big appeal of timber framing for Brad and Beth Ann Johnson is the handcrafted shaping and joining of the large timbers. When they built their home in Chillicothe, Ohio, they chose Oakbridge Timber Framing because the Amish-run Howard, Ohio, company uses hand tools exclusively.
They say the third time is a charm. For Fred and Pat Lentz of Ohio, their lucky number seems to be 19. Fred, a retired electrical engineer skilled in carpentry and mechanical drawing, had either built or renovated 18 houses with his wife before finally realizing his long-held dream of owning a timber frame home. The beautiful post-and-beam house he and Pat erected on Catawba Island in Lake Erie calls to mind the exposed rafters of the barn where Fred loved to play while growing up on his family’s farm.
With a hectic lifestyle in Columbus, Ohio, Judy and Craig Jenkins dreamed of having a place in the country where they could go to get away from it all. When they set out to look for land for their rural retreat, they had no idea what type of home they would build once they found it. After discovering 130 acres in rural Knox County, they found the answer in the form of an 1850s log cabin that was sitting on the property.
Ask Dick and Judy Thompson how their comfortable timber frame home on Lake Erie near Toledo, Ohio, has changed their lives, and Judy doesn’t hesitate with the answer. “We are more relaxed in our lake home,” she says.
DR. ROSEMARY JOYCE was perched on the edge of a red-and-green plaid sofa, looking the model of a Midwestern matron as she offered to pour tea. But when she glanced toward the three-story wall of windows in her new family-room addition, persona gave way to person.
Two worlds were brought together this week in Deer Park through pieces of timber. Members of an Amish construction family came to the Chicago suburbs to build for a couple their specialty – a timber frame for a house.