The 57 acres that comprise Cedar Ridge Farm are located in the beautiful rolling hills of South Central Kentucky. My wife, our four children, and I are on a homesteading adventure as we work toward increased self-sufficiency. We grow much of our own food and enjoy being in touch with the agrarian roots of our lives.

One of the major projects we have undertaken is the building of our own home. The house we're building has three major distinguishing features: 1. we're building it without incurring any debt; 2. it is a timber frame structure; and 3. the exterior walls will be plastered straw bales. We live debt and mortgage free, and building our house with that approach makes perfect sense. Large timbers in a home possess a beauty and project a sense of strength, stability, and warmth that we want in our home. Straw bale walls provide insulation and make ecological sense. This blog is a record of our home-building project.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Flashback: The Timbers

By the end of 2004, we had finalized our house plans enough that I could calculate the timbers needed and their sizes. When I began to realize the number and sizes of timbers needed, I decided that cutting and milling Eastern Red Cedar logs off of my own property wasn't the way to go. I didn't want to use all or almost all of my large cedar trees, and some of them are growing in areas that I would have difficulty skidding them out of with the equipment I have (a 1966 IH 424 Utility and about 40 feet of chains).

So, I called some local saw mills and found one, Cub Run Hardwoods in Cub Run, Kentucky, that would saw the timbers I needed out of oak. I ordered the timbers I needed in January 2005 and began hauling them home in February. It took several trips with my 16' trailer to get all of them here. Green oak is heavy!

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