Bruce and Cyndy Gardner Co-Own Homestead Timber Frames, located in Crossville, Tennessee, just about a mile off Interstate 40. They told us: “We take our craft seriously. Our business supports our craft and not the other way around. We enjoy a great depth of experience spanning decades. We search for the best design, the best joinery techniques, and the best methods to perform that joinery in the crafting of our timber frames. And we do not forget that the aim of our effort is that of creating a beautiful structure that serves our
client and our client’s family for decades to come. In short, our self-assignment is to be a good steward to our clients, our employees and suppliers, our community, and our craft. Lastly, we celebrate the combined skill and dedication represented by the community of timber frame shops throughout North America. We know firsthand how hard this is and congratulate our brothers and sisters against whom we compete.”
Bruce and Cyndy began their journey into timber framing in 1985, when they built their own timber frame 1 ½ story cape. Everything in the structure was handmade–even the nails in the wood floors. As they say, “That small house, along with some great beginning clients, set us on our life course. We were just so taken by the elegance and beauty of the craft and its result that we knew this was what we wanted to do.“ They then began seeking out resources and ultimately stumbled upon the second conference of the Timber Framer’s Guild. As they say, “ We’ve been growing our company ever since and what a fulfilling journey it has been. “
At Homestead Timber Frames, they value the workmanship of a handcrafted timber frame, but they are always thinking forward. They take a great deal of pride in teaching for the next generation. At the same time, they believe in embracing new methods and technologies in design and in the shop.
Bruce and Cyndy’s proudest moments have come through the accomplishments of others whose dreams they have helped realize, and they describe some: “The recently retired forestry professor who sobbed with joy when we turned on the lights to display his bare frame on a cold winter night, the client who fulfilled her deceased husband’s dream by building on land they bought together years earlier, the volunteer project with incarcerated young men whose faces showed deep satisfaction at having built the first timber frame any of them had ever seen, and the personal growth of the young men and women who come to work here and quickly realize this is no mere job.”
As with many timber frame businesses, many of Homestead Timber Frame’s projects have been challenging. Bruce and Cyndy realize that it is important never to “take your eye off the ball” in order to avoid mistakes. But keeping their employees safe is top priority. As they say, ”our most challenging hurdle is that of doing inherently dangerous work safely. We have a perfect safety record which remains front of mind. In the shop we wear ear and eye protection. We have a rule that anyone at any time has the right and responsibility to not do a task they feel is dangerous. On the jobsite we wear protective gear and we concentrate on safe practices. We will never clear this hurdle but we can keep it top of mind.”
The staff at Homestead Timber Frames guides their clients through the process of designing and building a timber frame home. Cyndy Gardner explains, “We help our clients understand the two most often mentioned points of confusion–the building budget and the chronology of the building process. This building adventure is typically our client’s first so truthful answers to their questions are essential. We begin helping folks establish their budget by not pretending that timber framing is less expensive than conventional building. We provide written information on the timing and responsibility for each step in the building calendar. We remain available to our clients and to their chosen building professionals to smooth out the process. A terrific design, skillful craftspeople, a well organized building calendar, an adequate budget, and a cooperative spirit among all involved insure success beyond our client’s expectations. Our goal is to begin as strangers and end as friends who cheerfully break bread together and toast our client’s beautiful new home and a pleasant experience.”
Homestead Timber Frames is a ‘family oriented’ company that takes each client and their project very seriously. From the owners to the designer to bookkeeping to the newest joiner in the shop, everyone is involved. Every client is invited to visit the shop while their timber frame is in production – it’s the place to be!
21 Duer Court
Crossville, TN 38555
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