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Building dream homes

Based in Howard, Ohio, OakBridge Timber Framing offers custom designed and handcrafted mortise-and-tenon dream homes to a discerning clientele throughout the country.

After preparing the timber frame at its shop, OakBridge raises the structure and hands off to the general contractor.

Owned and operated by Johnny Miller, along with partner Levi Hostetler, the third-generation family-based business embraces Amish and Mennonite construction traditions. Skilled craftsmen use their hands instead of power tools — and hydraulic power if needed — to carefully handcraft each timber into a work of art.

Throughout its 27-year history, the company has produced work for clients in 23 states, mostly in the Midwest, West and South. In Ohio, most clients find the company through its website, whereas others mainly come by way of referral.

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“The most gratifying part of this business is creating a wonderful experience for the client,” says Miller.

“The employee experience for working here is also great. We try to make it an atmosphere of where we can all grow as individuals. A company can’t grow in quality without growing individually, so we have our systems and each person working here is responsible to the others to come to work with a smile and be upbeat and motivated.”

The construction process, as Miller explains, typically starts with him meeting with an architect on sight to conduct a land survey.

“We maximize sight potentials and the client’s wish list and start out designing the homes that way. After the design process, we craft the timber frame and cover it with tar paper and typically the local general contractor takes it from there. That’s generally how it works.”

He says the company has built hundreds of homes and completes 10 to 18 per year. Prices range from $125 to $400 per sq. ft. of home space.

Contact: OakBridge Timber Framing, 20857 Earnest Road, Howard, OH 43028. Tel: 866-599-5711.

This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue.

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