The project started when this customer Jim came up to me at an exhibition in London about eight years ago with a sketch he'd drawn and asked "Can you build this?". "Of course we can!" was my reply and that started us on the road to building one of the first True North log homes in the UK.
At the time, Jim and his wife Jackie, had a home on a narrow strip of land beside the River Thames near Marlow in Buckinghamshire, England which had been made from the shell of an old Thames pleasure craft. However, the river was prone to flooding and Jim decided the time had come to do something about it after he got up one morning and stepped into several inches of river water. Government planners would only allow a replacement building on the site, so the old building would have to go and during consultations a sailing club complained he would be 'stealing their wind...". However, apart from a few restrictions, like making a map of the layout of all his plants so they could be replaced, a planning license was granted. Then the Environment Agency stepped in to exercise its muscles. "You have to build it at least 5 feet above ground" was the gist of their comments. They also had a bizarre restriction stating he couldn't build the proposed decking as they said it would interfere with the flow of the flood water. The fact that the old building presented a much greater resistance didn't hold water (no pun intended).....so no front decking was allowed.
Once approved, True North got the log home plans for the new structure under way.
Jim had wanted a workroom upstairs, but due to council height restrictions and the Environment Agency's 5 foot rule, there was only room for storage in the attic. Jim got busy organising the foundations and the piling, which was necessary for his location. He intended to do a lot of the build work himself, but took our offer of four guys from True North to erect the shell package.
A couple of months later, two large 40 foot containers arrived. Jim's site was about 150 yards along a narrow track from where we could unload the containers. The team had started laying the sill plates and first logs within hours of the arrival of the trucks. Eleven days later, the last of the windows and doors went in and the shell was watertight.
Just a few doors away down the lane, a similar-sized conventional, brick building was also just getting watertight......but that home had taken over six months to build!
Jim continued the with interior on his own, learning trades as he went and fitting it in when he could, while still doing his day job.
Today, Jim and Jackie have a beautiful home they can be proud of and which is keeping their feet nice and dry.
If you're interested in seeing a full gallery of the log home building process, visit the True North Log Homes Facebook page to see the story of Jim's home from start to finish. Or you can also check out a full range of log home designs on the True North website.