Category 1: Homes and Major Structures


  Sawyer: Mike Collier
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Equipment: LT15 

Project Dimensions: 40' X 60', 2,800 sq ft 
80% of lumber cut on the mill: 25,000+ BF
Estimated Savings: $40,000
Wood Species Used: Cedar

FIRST PLACE - An Island Getaway

“When I retired, I needed a project to satisfy my creative spirit and to keep me physically active. All my life I wanted to build my own home, and as I always loved construction, and woodwork in particular, this was the perfect dream project.” More than three years ago Mike Collier began building his 2,800 square foot house. “I cut 80% of the wood which equated to over 25,000 board feet for this project,” Mike said. Using his Wood-Mizer LT15, Mike saved around $40,000 on lumber while using mostly local wood to build his water front lodge-style home on Gambier Island near Vancouver.

Gambier Island is 17,000 acres of pure isolation. The island is only accessible by boat and, with just 200 long term residents, it is the perfect place to get away from it all. The first obstacle that Mike had to overcome was deciding how to transport materials. Due to the remoteness of Gambier Island, the cost of bringing in materials is very high. Mike had the idea to utilize local trees, many of them on his own property. He took cedar from blow-downs and clearings and turned them into lumber using his very first Wood-Mizer purchase, an LT15.

Mike built a post and beam structure using non-dimensional cedar logs. After more than 80 custom shaped and fitted log pieces were erected into the basic structure, traditional framing methods were used to fill in the walls and frame the roof. “The cedar was used for all exterior wood including board and batten siding, decks, railings, door & window trim, fascia and soffits. Fir was milled for all the major beams, two interior stairs, some of the ceiling, general trim, and some handsome furniture.” When talking about the most important features of his LT15 Mike said, “The ability to handle 18 foot logs up to 28" in diameter and be powered without electricity was the most helpful. Low maintenance of the machine was also essential.”

After the three year project was completed, Mike claimed, "Given that the island was only boat accessible, I have a great feeling of accomplishment that I was able to do this. The house could only be built because of my Wood-Mizer sawmill."








  Sawyer: Ross & Joslin Bennett
Location: Henniker, New Hampshire
Equipment: LT15

Project Dimensions: 28' X 32', 2,050 sq ft 
75% of lumber cut on the mill: 20,000 BF 
Estimated Savings: $25,000
Wood Species Used: Eastern White Pine

SECOND PLACE - Room to Grow

Thoughts of an expanding family had the walls closing in on Ross and Joslin Bennett of Henniker, New Hampshire. Realizing their current space wasn’t large enough for any new additions to their family, the Bennetts started outlining a plan for building themselves a new, more family-friendly home. The number one requirement for their new home was that it had to be large enough for a family of three. One more important factor that went into the planning process were the desire for the couple to be able to build something together and to be able to build on family land.

With requirements met and plans approved, the couple, along with their friends at Daystar Builders, began the daunting task of building their new home. The plans called for a 1,350 square foot, two-story home built on a 700 square foot unfinished basement. During the build, approximately 20,000 board feet of eastern white pine was cut using the Wood-Mizer LT15.

“Even though this is one of Wood-Mizer’s smaller models it was amazing what just the two of us were able to accomplish,” said Ross, speaking specifically of the dependability and portability of the LT15 mill. Sawing over 75% of the wood used in this build, the couple estimated the savings from using the Wood-Mizer mill at approximately $25,000.

Two years after the start of the project, and just one week before Joslin’s due date, the house was finally completed. According to Joslin, they were still finishing the upstairs trim work just one week before the birth of their daughter. “We knew we had to wrap up the work on the house when our midwives came to visit the house, and we realized we needed to move the chop saw out of the way to make room for the birthing tub,” she said. When asked about their feelings on the completion of their home, the couple responded, “The feeling of bringing our new daughter into the home we built for her was breathtaking.”








Sawyer: Richard & Sharon Maki
Location: Monarch, Montana
Equipment: LT15 

Project Dimensions: 35' X 60', 2,100 sq ft 
90% of lumber cut on the mill: 16,000 BF 
Estimated Savings: $50,000
Wood Species Used: Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine, Spruce, Douglas Fir

THIRD PLACE - Home for a Growing Family

During the course of three and a half years, Richard and Sharon used their LT15 to expand a 600-square-foot cabin into a beautiful 2,100-square-foot family home."We needed a place to live, as our daughter, husband and two boys moved to Montana and were living with us. We decided everyone needed more space." 

With the exception of the stairway support fir, all of the wood used for the cabin was taken from standing, dead trees on the Maki's property. "This project was quite an undertaking, but [our LT15] performed extremely well." After seeing their finished cabin, Richard and Sharon said, "[It was a] great feeling of accomplishment. We are happy to have a unique and rustic home to live in."




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