Based in Somerset West, we build timber frame homes in the Western Cape as far as the Breede River on the east coast and up to Velddrif on the west coast. We design and build homes that are both of a high standard and aesthetically pleasing.
Backed by over 20 years’ experience, our business is spearheaded by well-respected industry stalwart and thought leader, Werner Slabbert.
More about Werner.
Slabbert, whose holiday home construction fell into the hands of unscrupulous timber frame builders, prompting his career change from broadcast engineering to timber frame building, is deeply passionate about his trade.
“When I realised that the builders had disappeared and my house would not be built, I took a month’s leave from work and finished the construction of my house with the help of a carpenter,” remarks Slabbert. “During this time, I was approached to build another log home, which I was reluctant to do, given my lack of experience at the time. But thanks to my growing reputation for solid building practice and sound business ethics, the orders kept coming in,” he says.
Slabbert’s hard-earned experience was complemented by his efforts to educate himself on the subject of timber frame construction. “At the time there wasn’t much going on in South Africa in terms of timber construction, so I read up a lot about how the Australians were building with timber, completed a number of courses with a local timber construction association and spent a great deal of time with the late Victor Booth, a well-respected timber frame engineer, considered a ‘guru’ of his trade in South Africa,” says Slabbert.
“Given that almost all my early commissions were from people who had been defrauded by unscrupulous builders, it was important to me to play my part in elevating the standing of the trade, not only from an ethical perspective, but in the line of good and legally compliant building practices as well,” he adds.
Apart from building the successful and well-renowned log home building business, Eco Log Homes, Slabbert has played an active role in promoting timber construction throughout South Africa by contributing his time and expertise to various non-gain projects. “I felt I could use my passion for my trade to make a difference in the sector by promoting timber construction in South Africa. I continue to do this on a voluntary basis, because it is my belief that if an industry is elevated and promoted, all of its constituents will reap the rewards,” Slabbert remarks.
Acting as vice chairman of what was known as the Institute for Timber Frame Builders (ITFB) for two years, Slabbert took to the helm of the Institute for another four years, during which time the ITFB merged with the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA), of which he is still a board member. Slabbert is the chairman of the working group of the SANS (South African National Standards) 10082 document at the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), lectures on the subject of timber frame construction at various universities and has presented numerous papers on the subject at various conferences.
A correctly built, quality timber frame home should not necessarily be cheaper than conventional brick and mortar building. We urge anyone interested in having a timber home built not to do so based on low pricing, as this is false economy in the long run. There are many excellent reasons to build a timber home (see below); cost savings should not be one of them.
- Wood comes from trees and trees absorb CO2 and give off O2 over their lifetime, which means that your timber house or construction behaves like a carbon sink.
- Wood has the lowest embodied energy of all building materials, making your timber home the sustainable choice.
- A timber home can be packed densely with your choice of insulation materials – saving energy and money on heating and cooling.
- Timber has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than any other construction material on the market and performs well under fire conditions.
- A timber house touches the earth lightly and is ideal for building near sensitive environments or hard-to-reach sites.
- A timber structure makes for a warmer, kinder, environmentally friendly house and a healthier place to call home.