What is involved in the building process of Copper Creek’s spectacular homes?
Efficient office staff, knowledgeable hardworking employees and excellent sub-contractors. One of which we are talking with today. Chris Lennox of Combined Timber Crafts teams with Roger Cesario of Copper Creek Homes, building some of Crested Butte’s most unique custom homes. Chris was kind enough to answers a few questions about his work.
Chris, How did you become interested in this kind of work?
Well, in 1926 my grandfather opened furniture stores which my dad ran. Along with my grandmother, my grandfather designed countless pieces of furniture and home accessories and sold them at 6 Lennox Shop locations up and down the eastern seaboard. One project that he took on was fully restoring a Pennsylvania farm. Once finished, graced the cover of House Beautiful.
I studied architecture and building the 1st year of college and continued at Western State University in their industrial education program. I worked for Spring Creek Timber Construction and the first project with them was helping out with timber frame trusses and I was so intrigued with how all the components came together and created a jaw dropping effect once set in a home.
What kind of woods do you use and how many homes do you complete a year?
We mostly use reclaimed Douglas Fir either in its “as is” state, that is direct from dismantling an old structure with its natural patina, or re-sawn. We have also worked with heart pine, northern white pine along with oak timbers. Depending on the size of each project, we can finish 2-4 jobs a year. Some projects in particular can take an entire year.
Your work is unparalleled. How do you decide on design?
I give each project its own identity, whether it’s joinery, truss design or type of wood. The diversity helps keep each home unique. Clients like what we do. Collaborating with architects, general contractors and the homeowners allows us to come together with amazing designs to express our creativity.
Tell us about your employee’s.
Having knowledgeable employees is the key to putting out a quality product. I rely on the fact that employees can grasp and understand what we build. Finding employee’s that have extensive backgrounds in construction, wood working and furniture making are top components of a perfect timber frame. I am extremely fortunate to have a crew that can generate perfection job after job. My employees are the backbone of my company.
Copper Creek Homes and Combined Timber Crafts work together a lot. What do you enjoy about the relationship?
Combined Timber Crafts and Copper Creek have worked together for 12 years and both understand the complexities involved in building high quality homes. We share the same goals of providing work that is the highest quality. Producing one of a kind homes for each and every one of our clients. The process of identifying, locating, and acquiring material and then executing the work and craftsmanship details is challenging to accomplish and takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. Having completed multiple projects together, Roger and I understand how to work together for our common goals and the vision for our clients.
Last but not least is the constant overseeing of work by NELSON, Chris’s handsome Lab.