Vancouver Sun

Log home craftsmen a cut above the rest

HGTV’s top-rated show back for season two


Timber Kings Season 2 debuts Jan. 4, HGTV. Airs Sundays.

These aren’t your grandma’s log cabins, or even Henry David Thoreau’s. The luxury western red cedar homes on Timber Kings are wooden wonders, and the craftsmen on the show are lumbering well past success.

Poised to debut its second season, Timber Kings is the No. 1-rated show on HGTV. Each episode features the workers at Pioneer Log Homes in Williams Lake, as they toil through sweat and sawdust to meet the demands of their high-end clients.

Andre Chevigny, a master craftsman and general manager at Pioneer Log Homes, spoke about the show, his passion for the craft and the enduring appeal of the log home.

Q What’s the appeal of working with wood?

A For me it’s an addiction to create with my hands, as well as the sheer beauty, natural ambience and romance of the wood. I live in a log home, which I built mostly myself — there are not too many notches in the wood or screws and nails in the project that I didn’t do myself. Working evenings and weekends while working full time, it took me about 30 months to build.

Q When did you make your first wood project, and how did you learn the craft?

A I built many projects as a teenager, working on my mother’s house trailer building, decks and so forth at about 14 years old. I loved working with my hands to create and started working with one of my brothers at about 15 years old peeling logs. I also worked summers with another brother in his cabinet shop learning the virtues of wood. When I graduated from high school it was my dream to build my own home. … When I was 22 years old I moved into my first home that I had built myself. Q What was the most challengin­g project you’ve tackled so far?

A There are tons of really complicate­d structures that I have worked on over the years. Some don’t have to be large to be difficult. The challenge is understand­ing the client’s wants and needs. If I had to pick a single project, I would say a project we did in Colorado back in 2003 that was about 15,000 square feet was probably the most difficult.

Q Were you surprised about the success of Season 1?

A We are very humbled by the success of Season 1, however it’s still a surprise that so many people watched the show. We always knew that what we do is special, but it’s just been so neat to see so many people also mesmerized by it.

Q Log homes of course have been around for ages. How have they evolved over the years?

A Forty years ago, people said log homes were a fad and they would not be desired by folks in future generation­s. I believe their evolution has to do with their romance. It’s a dream and a desire to have a simpler life that is real, healthy, honest and back to the basics. People today are very aware of the importance of the environmen­t and living a healthy lifestyle. I think wooden homes embody that natural, healthy and responsibl­e choice. I know they are the most beautiful and can be the most high-end home built in today’s market.

 ??  ?? Timber Kings follows workers at Pioneer Log Homes in Williams Lake.
Timber Kings follows workers at Pioneer Log Homes in Williams Lake.
 ??  ?? Andre Chevigny is a master craftsman and GM at Pioneer Log Homes.
Andre Chevigny is a master craftsman and GM at Pioneer Log Homes.

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