Featured Log Homes Builder: Pioneer Log Homes of BC
Pioneer Log Homes of B.C. is fortunate to have better than 40 years of experience doing just what they love best: rolling up their sleeves and hand-crafting noble Red Cedar logs into stunning cabins, homes, and other log-hewn structures. To overstate the obvious, there’s real work involved—just ask them when they’re peeling the bark off a full-size house log—but it’s work that they absolutely relish, day in and day out.
Bryan Reid, Sr. founded Pioneer Log Homes of B.C. back in 1973, and their multigenerational company remains a proudly family-owned one. Their close-knit team—master craftsmen, designers, and salespeople—are dedicated not only to constructing the very finest log buildings but also to satisfying their customers’ hopes and dreams at every turn. Andre Chevigny is the General Manager, and handles the day-to-day running of this multimillion-dollar company with a global client list. He manages more than 120 employees and millions of dollars worth of log inventory in the yard. As refined and time-tested as their building process is, they also treat every client’s commission as a unique—and exciting—collaboration: an opportunity for mutual inspiration as well as the never-gets-old satisfaction of transforming a blueprint into an elegant log-frame masterpiece.
I hope you take a few moments to browse the gallery of stunning images provided by Pioneer Log Homes, as well as additional company information, and invite you to get in touch with them if you’re intrigued by their services!
Based in gorgeous Williams Lake, British Columbia, Pioneer Log Homes primarily use Western Red Cedar for their logs. This grand conifer, exclusively found in the coastal and interior rainforests of northwestern North America and hugely important to the region’s indigenous peoples, offers up truly champion-grade wood: fragrant and straight-grained, naturally insulating due to its airy and lightweight character, and famously rot- and pest-resistant. (They do occasionally use Douglas-fir or Spruce for structural floor and roof beams, and they’ve certainly reached for other species when particular projects have called for them—but Red Cedar’s their go-to medium.)
Few trees exhibit the natural character of Western Red Cedar. They love taking advantage of especially beautiful logs, highlighting gorgeous buttressing or unique burls in their design. That’s part of the charm of a log home, after all: the individual grains and contours of the wood create an utterly unique environment and summon the living, breathing forest that provided the building material in the first place.
Besides harnessing Red Cedar’s innate qualities—which also include standout acoustical dampening—they season and air-dry each and every building log to ensure a timber structure that’ll undergo minimal shrinkage, checking, and settling.
At Pioneer Log Homes of B.C., they produce a wide range of log-frame structures: handsome little cabins and elegant rustic-style homes, yes, but also barns, gazebos, playhouses, hotels, and other diverse creations. Besides commissioning a Pioneer Log Home for yourself, you can stay in rental cabins, cottages, and chalets they’ve built at resorts scattered across the globe: from the Wilderness Rim Resort in British Columbia to the Eagle Brae Highland Log Cabins in Scotland and the Woodbridge Luxury Chalets in the Austrian Alps. And via their Pioneer Cedar Living division, they also offer exceptional Red Cedar carvings and furniture—a natural outgrowth of their main focus, and a great showcase for their crew’s chainsaw and hand-tools gurus.
Pioneer Log Homes has built as large as 112,000 square feet (the world’s very biggest log structure, in fact), but most of their projects are on the order of 2,500 square feet—a footprint that generally calls for some 100 to 125 logs. Their primary building styles include “full-log” homes, in which house logs are all stacked horizontally, and “post-and-beam,” which alternates horizontal and vertical logs. Each offers its own aesthetic virtues and unique finishing options.
They initially put together their projects on-site in their Williams Lake log yard: hand-peeling the raw logs, scribing notches, insulating lateral grooves, hand-polishing the corner notches, molding and fitting each and every log to play its essential structural and artistic role in the final construction. Once they’ve finished this preliminary log-shell package—and meticulously catalogued all its components—they dismantle it and ship it to the building site for efficient reassembly and finishing touches under the watchful eye of one of the Pioneer master craftsmen.
A Pioneer log home combines the natural splendor of Red Cedar fibre with the artistry of their hand-done woodworking. They customize and integrate each log into the home through precise dimensioning and fitting work, reinforced with their finely tuned joinery utilizing wood screws and rods. Their approach draws on venerable European woodworking methods that their craftsmen have mastered over years of training and apprenticing. Their hallmark “Pioneer Shrink Notch,” which takes such traditional joinery techniques to the next level, ensures peerless inter-log fastening that impressively seals out moisture.
Given the quality of their construction and the durability of the their wood, Pioneer log homes really stand the test of time—not just decades, but centuries even. This means holding up against the full force of Mother Nature: Their homes, which you can find the world over in all sorts of different climates, have withstood earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes. They engineer their homes based on their environment, so in a tremor-prone region like California they’ll secure the log shell and roof to the foundation and pursue other structural safeguards—reinforcing the seismic resilience that the wooden, nail-free frame already offers.
Pioneer savors both sides of the job: the joy and honor of working with some of the finest and most distinctive wood on the planet, and the pleasure of making their customers’ dream homes materialize before their very eyes. Their team brings the Pioneer Log Homes standard, maintained over four decades of dedicated service, to every single facet of their business: from draw-knifing bark and intricately carving log ends to hashing out the perfect home designs with their clients.
Besides their devotion to building the greatest log homes in the world, they’re also intensely committed to environmental sustainability. From carefully honed selective harvesting to the diligent reforestation practices they abide by, Pioneer Log Homes of B.C. is as much about celebrating the health and perpetuity of our magnificent forests as anything else. Really, this craft is a celebration of the beauty and strength of Western Red Cedar (and the other native species used): After all, they can only take partial credit for the rustic grandeur of their homes, given Mother Nature’s done a lot of the aesthetic work for them.
By the way, you can get an insider’s look at their process and their team at Pioneer Log Homes of B.C. on the program Timber Kings, which airs on HGTV Canada. It’s certainly been a whole new adventure working on the show for them—and I would imagine an absolute blast.
Pioneer Log Homes of British Columbia Ltd. 351 Hodgson Road Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada V2G 3P7 Phone: (250) 392.5577 or 1 (877) 822.5647
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