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McKeown log-home enterprise another bonanza

There are those people that are fortunate enough for everything they touch to turn to

gold.Charles Anderson &uot;Andy&uot; McKeown is one of those people.Aside from being a fire

captain and paramedic, he has delved into several different venues of occupation.

In the early 1980’s Andy had a landscaping business, before opening &uot;Handy Lube and

Tire Express,&uot; which he built from the ground up.He started a chimney-cleaning

business, and with the help of one partner, worked a pulpwood operation with two

pickups, a farm tractor equipped with a home-made crane boom to load wood, and a

16-foot utility trailer.He has even installed water mains in Greenville.

No one could ever say that Andy avoided work – hard work.And when he sold the

businesses that he created, they were successful.&uot;Dana and I each always wanted to live

in a log cabin,&uot; McKeown said. &uot;We just never realized until a couple of years ago that

we shared that dream.&uot;They had studied house plans for several years, when they decided

that a log home was the way to go.

And so, after much hard labor, they built their first log cabin home, located north of the

business-district, on Hwy. 185. &uot;Our first home was built over a period of a year, because

if another job came along that was ‘paying,’ naturally Andy went to it,&uot; Dana McKeown

said. &uot;Our house was a ‘not-for-pay’ job, so it had to wait.&uot;

Never letting an opportunity go by, Andy turned their dream into a business venture, and

now they have a log home building business together.Timberland Homes, as their

company is called, is the exclusive representative, classified as &uot;dealer/builder&uot; for

Summit Homes, for the state of Alabama.

The home that &uot;Timberland Homes&uot; is constructing will have approximately 5,000

square feet of living space when completed, and sits above a beautiful two-acre pond in

the Forest Home community, on Dickens Field Road.

&uot;These houses are built with a state-of-the-art foundation, using the latest technology in

the blocks. The patented technology is called ‘Ice Block Foundations,’ and is 87-percent

stronger than cinder-block construction,&uot; Andy McKeown said. &uot;Insulation-wise,

Ice-block has an &uot;R-50&uot; insulation value, where the cinder-block only carries an R-1 to

R-2.&uot;&uot;These blocks cost more, but that is because there are 5/8-inch reinforcement bars

(re-bars) in the blocks, and a concrete ‘slurry’ is poured into them once they are in place.&uot;

McKeown says that the basement of an ice-block foundation-home does not require any

air conditioning, because it is so tightly insulated.Safety-wise, McKeown said that log

homes are superior. &uot;When bad weather hits, the wind-load limitations are safer for log

homes than any other type of structure,&uot; McKeown said.

McKeown said that quality is not spared with respect to the wood used, either. &uot;The logs

used for the walls are Western Red Cedar, and the beams are made of Douglas Fir, which

is actually stronger in this type of home than Cypress,&uot; McKeown said, &uot;and the inside

walls are tongue-in-groove White Fir.&uot;

While it took the McKeowns a year to build their own home, the huge three-story home

in Forest Home will only take six months to complete, from the excavation of the ground

to the final nail driven.&uot;I have an excellent crew working for me, and they really take

pride in their work. Martin, Vernon, Tommy, and Les are instrumental to the business’s

success,&uot; McKeown said.

McKeown said that he believes that he has finally found what he is ready to settle-in and

work with. &uot;If all goes well, I will be retiring from the fire service within a year,&uot;

McKeown said, &uot;and this is what I will be doing.&uot;

The McKeowns will soon have a website on the internet, but in the meantime, they have

traditional means of inquiry. &uot;We welcome those interested in calling us at

334-382-0841, and we can schedule a visit to our model home, located at 110 Pinedale

Street in Greenville,&uot; McKeown said, &uot; Or you can check out Summit’s website at:

www.summitloghomes.com.&uot;