Kentucky timber frame clients


The first time we met David and saw several of his timber frames we knew this was what we hoped to have for our house.  We wanted a house that would be beautiful, strong and show the creativity, craftsmanship and joy of its builders.  We got more than that from David.  We feel privileged that we are allowed to be the caretakers of something built to last for the ages.

Working with David was one of the best parts of building the house.  He encouraged us to understand how best to integrate the needs of the timber frame with the design of the house, and thus to improve the plan. We were inspired by his love of his craft and the wood it uses.  He took the time to explain the theories behind his ideas and helped us clarify our choices and how each choice affected the whole.   Despite geographical distance David was able to communicate clearly by email, letter, drawings and phone, giving thoughtful guidance throughout the design process as well as lending a supportive shoulder through some of the rougher parts.  When the frame went up it was just as we expected but even more beautiful than we had imagined.

David was very honest and conscientious throughout the project.  We were always clear how framing options affected costs and how much we owed at each stage of the project.  When the inevitable delays and problems occurred these were clearly communicated and amicably resolved.

David has an amazing ability to visualize the whole frame and to keep that vision in mind as he looks for just the right recycled timber or walks his woodlot finding just the right trees.  He then crafts this wood with incredible precision into a functional and beautiful sculpture.  The curving live edges of many of the beams and knee braces show the beauty of and respect for the trees that provided the wood.  The intricate joinery complements the beauty of the wood with the skill of the craftsman.  All this planning and work come together with the raising of the frame.  We watched in awe as the carefully choreographed event unfolded.  In no time at all our house had bones, and a soul. David put so much of himself into our frame, it was clear he didn’t want to leave it behind.

The memory of the raising and the celebration that followed has helped sustain us through the sometimes frustrating days that followed.  Now, as I look around while working to complete the interior I can’t quite believe we’ll get to live inside this wonderful space.  The biggest problem may be how to arrange the furniture so no part of the frame is hidden.

Jean Merritt and Bob Navazio

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