Red Oak Flooring, Box Beams and Rare American Chestnut!
Tuscarora had the opportunity to partner with Kevin Schwieterman Construction on this beautiful, one-of-a-kind home build. What makes this new home project so special is that it was designed and built for the Schwietermans by the Schwietermans – specifically Zak and Mindy. With Zak working on most of the construction himself, he was able to build the home exactly how he and Mindy envisioned, including the addition of their own special details throughout. One key to the project was the reclaimed, circle sawn Red Oak flooring. Zak says, “We wanted true wood floors with the character of reclaimed wood. When Rod and Cody showed us a sample of the circle sawn Red Oak flooring, it was a “that’s it” moment for Mindy and I.”
The outside of the home has a complimentary use of materials – stone, brick, metal and Tuscarora reclaimed White Oak beams for the entrance. These massive Aged Sawn White Oak box beams help this grand entrance stand out and repeats a similar design for the rear patio. White Oak was chosen for the exterior beams to provide more durability during Ohio’s various seasons and changes in weather.
Once inside the home the circle sawn Red Oak flooring and box beams provide an outstanding greeting. This wide open space feels very cozy due to the natural warm hues of the Red Oak. A complete stair package was also included with solid timber beams for posts. The flooring was finished with Loba, a waterbased topcoat, giving the floor a smooth finish and added durability. For Zak, the box beams are one of his favorite aspects of the home. “Installing the box beam trusses in our own home was the most rewarding part of the build. Rod and Cody were on the same page with us and were very knowledgeable when it came time to install.”
But, for Mindy, the most exciting part of the build involved one of the rarest reclaimed wood products – American Chestnut. “Watching Zac turn the pile of reclaimed American Chestnut into my dream cabinetry and use the left over wood for other unique details to add character to the house was really a favorite part of the build for me.”
Zac’s professional craftsmanship can be seen in the cabinets throughout the home. American Chestnut looks similar to Oak but is softer and is peppered with unique, small black holes from a bug that burrows through the tree. Because of the marks this bug leaves behind, American Chestnut lumber is often called Wormy Chestnut. The cabinets were finally finished with a Loba topcoat.
What Makes American Chestnut Lumber So Rare?
The American Chestnut was among the largest, tallest and fastest growing trees in the Eastern United States dominating much of the Appalachian region due to its huge size. The wood was a preferred species for building because of its lighter weight strength and resistance to rotting. The chestnut itself was also a highly valuable commodity in rural economies. This all changed in the early 1900’s when a blight fungus almost completely wiped out this species. Some consider it the greatest ecological disaster to strike the world’s forests. Because of the blight, there has been essentially no chestnut lumber sold in the U.S. for decades. Today the USDA considers the American Chestnut to be functionally extinct. Since its root system is not affected by the blight it remains intact and sends up new growth but eventually the blight kills the tree before the tree matures. Visit the American Chestnut Foundation to learn more.
With specially built American Chestnut cabinets, reclaimed Red Oak flooring and custom Box Beam trusses, this truly is a one-of-a-kind home! Zak and Mindy agree, the partnership with Tuscarora helped make this home possible and that Tuscarora “has top-notch carpenters and craftsman, is professional, very knowledgable and yet, down to earth and easy to work with.” Please contact us if you would like more information or if you have questions about your own custom reclaimed wood project ideas!