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Nappanee-Based Company Has Mastered the Art of Log Home Building

Photography Provided

There is something so cozy about a well-built log cabin. Its warm, homespun atmosphere lends a certain life-giving nature to a building that is unparalleled in the construction world. They are also uncannily sturdy, having the ability to withstand hurricane winds and other natural disasters.

According to Orva Yoder, the owner of Yoder’s Log & Timber Pro’s, log cabins make the best homes.

“I think everybody should have a log home,” he says with a chuckle. “I think there’s a good country feeling in it.”

This family business has built a reputation for themselves based on good craftsmanship.

“It’s me and my three sons,” Yoder says. “We all take pride in what we do. That’s part of us — craftsmanship that’s good.”

They also build other kinds of buildings as well, like pole barns, sheds, barns and more.

Many of the logs that Yoder’s company uses for its building projects are up-cycled from dead standing trees out west.

“When a forest fire goes through, it kills the tree, but it doesn’t harm the wood,” he says.

“They get cut down and taken out of the way. It helps. If the old trees are taken away, the new growth can come up.”

Since the homes that Yoder and his sons build are made from whole logs, unless otherwise specified by a customer, the cabins are extremely energy efficient. In the insulation, that is measured by Resistance, or R-Value. The higher the R-Value number, the better the house blocks out unwanted airflow.

“We use larger logs, so it’s an R-38 in the roof,” Yoder says.

No two log homes built by Yoder’s crew are exactly the same.

“It’s a custom-built home,” he says.

At the beginning of the building project, Yoder, the client, and an architect work together to draw out the details of the dream home. Once the client is happy, the plans get sent to Mill Canyon Log Homes in Idaho or Wilderness Retreat Log Homes in Wisconsin.

“They’re both so busy,” Yoder says. “It’s exactly the same thing, as far as how they put them together and how they’re cut and everything.”

Once the timber mill has the order — or kit — filled, it’s sent back to Yoder Log & Timber Pro’s and the work begins.

As the house goes up, the customer doesn’t have to worry about finding subcontractors.

“We get the heating and plumbing guys,” Yoder says. “We finish the homes, too. We put the roof on, we finish the inside, do all the trim work, the hardwood floors and the staining. We don’t have someone sub out this or sub out that. It’s just me and my boys. Once we’re done, they can move in.”

Unfortunately, thanks to poor workmanship by other companies, log cabins have a bad reputation for being difficult to maintain. According to Yoder, that doesn’t have to be the case if the home is built right.

“Our homes are built with bigger overhangs and they’re protected more than a lot of other homes are,” he adds.

To give their customers peace of mind, Yoder and his crew offer maintenance contracts after the building is done. That includes replacing rotten logs, re-roofing, stripping and restraining and other restoration and maintenance jobs.

“We don’t come in, build them, leave and never return,” Yoder says. “We’re there to re-stain them, maintain them for

our customers.”

They also offer these services to those whose homes were built by other contractors. “It doesn’t have to be ours,” he adds.

The maintenance contracts are hassle-free for homeowners. He keeps track of what work the house needs and when it’s required. When that time comes, Yoder contacts the customer and schedules a time to get it done. The contract can also include routine inspections, if the homeowner prefers.

“I tell them that we’ll be back in a couple of years, just look at it, and if there’s a problem, we take care of it,” he says. “It isn’t like they’re paying us a lot of money for it. If they keep it up like that, they save. We’re here for the customers.”

Yoder’s Log and Timber Pro’s is an Amish business based in Nappanee since 1995. Call them at (574) 356-6059 or send them a message on their website, yoderslogandtimberpros.com. Their hours are Monday through Friday 7 AM to 3 PM.

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