McKeown log-home enterprise another bonanza
Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 7, 2000
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: