I am writing today to tell you about my experiences with Jim Barna Log Homes. I began my journey to a log home at a Log Home Show in Charlotte, NC in 2002. I had been researching log homes, and log home companies for probably over a year by the time I attended the show in Charlotte, and actually started out believing I would purchase a log home from another company. I went to the show specifically to check out this companies display. While there I checked out the display of the original company, and I was not as impressed with their offering of homes as I had been reading about them. I did, however, talk to a real estate salesman for a development company out of Charlotte, and he asked about whether I had a lot to build a log home on. After I told him no, he proceeded to tell me of two developments his company was offering on Smith Mountain Lake, and Leesville Lake. I came to Virginia shortly after that and decided that Leesville Lake was the location for me.
Now I still did not have a log home company, and I began researching companies closer to home. I found Jim Barna Log Homes, and as they say the rest is history. I purchased the 30th Anniversary package from Jim Barna, and put down my deposit until I was ready to build. It was in 2006 after many modifications to the plan that we started building a Grandview Barna home. We flipped the plan around, and moved the front to the lake side, and added more windows, and added a shed dormer on what was the rear to appear to be the front. The folks at Jim Barna were always very patient with my wife, Beth and myself as we went through the process of getting the perfect plan for us. Along the way during this process, shortly after I had made a deposit that Mike Okuley came into my log home present and future. It turns out he was building a Grandview Barna home over in Bedford, VA just a short drive from my home in Lynchburg. Mike was in the process of becoming a Barna distributor, and this was his model home, and office. We were very fortunate that Mike was there for us to learn from, and watch as he built his Grandview. I learned many things from this process, and since we were reversing our home due to having a lake front home he definitely helped us with ideas on how to accomplish this. I stole more than a few ideas from Mike, and he helped me more than I can repay, and he was not my distributor. I had not known of Mike, but we became friends along the way, and he still helps me now. I recently added a stairway off the back of my porch, and Mike helped me get the needed materials, and when my original contractor was unable to build a log railing, Mike introduced me to a local contractor who builds homes for Mike’s homeowners. There are at least three Jim Barna log homes in the development where my home is located on Leesville Lake. All of them have held up very nicely.
I could not be happier with my Jim Barna Log Home as it turned out to be spectacular, and every one of my family, and friends has been impressed with the quality, and solidness of our home. The employees of Jim Barna that I came to know, and love were always very helpful, and held my hand as my wife and I went through the process of building a log home. I went through the Jim Barna Log Home building class for new owners which included a beginning to end tour of the log milling facility in Oneida, TN. Also, we built a small log home indoors at a building on the grounds of Jim Barna. That really impressed upon me that I had definitely made the right choice in a Jim Barna Log Home.
I am going to send Mike some updated photos of some recent work we have done, and some of the landscaping improvements to our lot. Thank you for the opportunity to tell you how happy my wife and I have a Jim Barna Log Home. We consider our little sanctuary in the woods.
Clifford I. Phillips, OD
1216 Regency Woods Place
Lynchburg, VA 24503
"My husband and I had dreamed of building a log home, but we always thought it was out of reach. Just out of curiosity, I contacted Jim Barna Log Homes, we were fortunate enough to be connected with David Dysarczyk. David started us out by inviting us to the open house at the Jim Barna plant.
We were impressed with their operation and very impressed with Mr. Dysarczyk. We wanted a custom home, which was no problem for David. He worked with his staff to design our perfect home. He was with us throughout the planning and construction of our home. We had a few minor problems and setbacks but David was always there to correct them.
David also helped us with hiring our contractors, which were also wonderful. We have been living in our home for three years now and we love it more every day. We would recommend Jim Barna Log Homes and highly recommend David Dysarczyk if your dream is owning a log home."
Dowanna and Bryon Ramsey
We began our log home quest in 2001, attending log home shows, subscribing to magazines, visiting build sites and manufacturing facilities when possible.
After two years of research, we narrowed the choice of our log home package down to two manufacturers, but when we attended the factory open house tour at Jim Barna Log & Timber Homes, we were convinced that this company represented the culture and customer service level that we were looking for. They worked with us as we did our construction blueprints, lined up a dry-in provider and assisted us as needed during the construction process.
We have owned our Jim Barna Log & Timber Home for 11 years now and are totally satisfied with the choice we made. Although not our intent originally, we became distributors for the company in Virginia, and have now been privileged to assist over three dozen other families achieve their dream of owning an authentic log home.
Mike & Linda Okuley
“ I was very pleased to learn how flexible you were in allowing me to customize my home. Your folks were very responsive and easy to work with, and I have learned a lot about log structures”
Perry Ragsdale, Georgia
“I am extremely happy with the whole process of building my Barna log home. My distributor has given the utmost in helping me pick a design, making changes to suit my taste, and finalizing my log package. We have an extremely good working relationship.”
Faye W. Schmoyer
“It was an excellent building experience and the home is a joy to be in. Thanks to the entire Barna staff.”
"When we decided to build a log home we started scouting out log home distributors close by. We went to log home shows and was really overwhelmed but got some good ideas and tips from it. We started working with a log home distributor we thought was good until we got serious and they could not give us references or services we were looking for. When we connected with Mike Okuley, not only did we find that he was just down the road from us the whole time but he was very welcoming to all our questions and concerns in the log home process. He proved himself to be honest and dedicated in representing Jim Barna Log Homes.
We were pleased with our meeting and the journey began. We toured the factory, which we highly recommend. The employees take pride and care in their workmanship of the whole process from beginning to end. Mike also has plenty of patience as it took us several years to get everything in order. Once we had our floor plan in line, Mike got us right to the design team and from their our modified Brookstone ( now the Braggstone) was born. Now for the delivery of our home which was three trailers. Mike was there in the pouring down rain to check off all the contents. We didn’t have to lift a finger. Praise God. We would have been lost.
That is something that no other log home distributor will do for you!!!!!!! Trust us we asked in the very beginning with the other log home company. So again you see Mike is true to his word. He was there all the way through and is still there as our friend. We have entrusted him with a key to our home that’s how true a friend he is to us. He has connections to make your dream come true. Just give him a call and your dream can come true with peace of mind. If we had to do it all over again, there is no doubt we would call Mike and Linda Okuley and Jim Barna Log Homes."
Brad and Debbie Bragg
"Since our youth our greatest dream was to live in a log home. During our time sightseeing through Germany we learned the variety of log homes and log home companies. None of those houses had the spark we wanted. In 1996, when we had almost given up on our dream, my brother in law directed our attention to a log home in the neighboring town. That log home should be from America. We were skeptical, a house from America ?! We took a tour of the house and it was love at first sight. For us, it was clear immediately that we too would build a Jim Barna log home. In August 1997, after almost a year looking for a building lot, came also our log cabin from America. We had selected the standard Briarwood model. We still enjoy every moment in our log cabin and we are still grateful to everyone and the team of Jim Barna who helped us to realize our dream."
Ulrike & Herbert Matrisch,
"We were a bit nervous to order our dream log home from a company overseas. We looked and contacted several US log home companies and from the first moment we had the best contact with Jim Barna. You can feel that this is what they do and they are good at it. They helped us through the whole process of building our log home (which will also serve as a sales model now !), from designing the house, ordering, regulations, transportation as well as building it. The house package has already arrived at our place, the quality of materials is great. We can not wait till we can move in. I can honestly say that if we build again, it will be a home manufactured by Jim Barna Log & Timber Homes as well. It is just the best company in this business. Thank you Jim Barna!"
"The first time I visited Jim Barna Log & Timber Homes in Tennessee, I visualized a large home that I would build for my large family. We have almost completed a five homes project for my ranch including Jim Barna’s 450 square meter Bluff Point and I hope to bring four generations of my relatives around a big table there just a couple of months from now."
Rjazan Region, Russia
We are Mogens and Randi from Denmark. We bought our log home from Jim Barna Log Homes a few years ago. It all began with a dream and today we live in the best house one can possibly get. In Denmark everything is beyond your imagination when it comes to prices and costs. We decided that if our dream has to come true, we had to build the home ourselves. In order to do this, seeing that we are not carpenters or in any other way handcraft people, we needed to learn how to build a log home, learn about the principles and learn how to read a log wall assembly drawing. We travelled to Jim Barna Log & Timber Homes' headquarters in Oneida, Tennessee and joined a Jim Barna one week seminar, where all the above issues were included for us to learn. We got to talk to the Barna people and saw how this company works pretty much like a big family. We got to see how the logs are processed from when they come into the plant until they are ready to be shipped off as part of a new log home. The logs arrived in two 40 feet containers in Denmark. We had a professional builder’s team come and get all the logs out and arranged around the area where the house was to be built. Then we took over from there. We had a lot of fantastic hours with building our log home with our own bare hands. It was hard. But it was great fun. The Jim Barna part of our adventure is outstanding and the quality of the logs is fantastic.
Today, insulation requirements in Denmark is sky-high and many other log-home companies face problems with their quality and do not get a permission to build without insulation. We managed to prove the high values of the pine species used for Jim Barna Log & Timber Homes, and today we live in our log home with no insulation in the walls. It’s warm, the air is dry which eliminates allergies and yeast grown. We are so grateful that Jim Barna does take log home building seriously. In our own company our philosophy is: Make money but do it with grace and a high standard as the ultimate focus. This philosophy matches perfectly with the philosophy of Jim Barna Log & Timber Homes’. We wish you all a fantastic future and we are looking forward to getting the next load of logs from you for our log siding project and machine-house project.
Mogens and Randi Plesner
"We were truly amazed by the quality of the Jim Barna materials package, the flexibility offered by Jim Barna and the craftmanship and support of their international master log home builder, Mr. Gabor Bodan. We closely worked with Jim Barna and Mr. Bodan for quite a while to create our dream home. We are more than satisfied with the outcome and proudly show our new log home to our friends. We encourage any customers to work with Jim Barna Log & Timber Homes and with Mr. Bodan’s international log home building crew in the future."
Marton Orosz and Family
Godollo Domonyvolgy, Hungary
"As I think back, I was fortunate to meet Mr. Jim Barna, the man who started it all with his bare hands; that was something that impressed me greatly. He knew what it took to build my dream, and he promised me a stunningly beautiful log home... and he was right. As I move through my house I still get moments of being awestruck from its stunning beauty. Those classic lines of its structure intermingled with the unique grain structure of the hardwood like yellow pine that comes alive with age. From the moments of initial design, to the exciting day of delivery, and to the challenges of construction, the Barna team was always there helping me build my dream. They call it the Barna experience, an experience I highly recommend if you want a house as stunning as mine."
"After a half year research into American log houses, I decided to order my log summer-house from Jim Barna. I got a friendly phone call from their export manager and we had a long chat about the possibilities. As there was not a suitable model available for our purpose, we decided to draw the plans and Jim Barna’s architects transferred our idea into a log house at a reasonable cost. For several months we exchanged almost daily emails and had conference calls to finalize the architectural plans and to discuss other details. I got valuable guidance about the size of windows, log treatment and insulation options. Their website was very informative and anything I did not understand was explained clearly on the phone. The log home package was delivered in closed sea containers door to door. I was so pleased that there were plenty of extra materials so I did not have to worry about running out. I was recommended an independent, highly trained log house building team from Hungary who erected the house in two weeks on the foundation we organized ourselves. The summer house is really well designed and built, especially the doors and windows are excellent with good opening mechanisms and mosquito nets. The logs are impressively thick, insulating the house so well against the British chill without any extra insulation in the walls. We chose cathedral ceiling for extra headroom and square logs with dovetail corners that look fantastic, minimalist and at the same time show high quality carpentry. In the beginning I was skeptical about the comment made by the builder that one does not have to heat a log house. However, I have learned that during sunny days in the Winter the logs collect heat and retain it so well that the temperature inside rises without any other heat source. My log summer house is ecological and healthy as the log naturally “breaths” so the air inside is fantastic with a pleasant smell of wood."
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
"I have been working with Jim Barna Log & Timber Homes since 1996. Initially, I worked directly with Mr. Barna who always followed his dreams. One of Jim’s biggest dreams was to offer the best available log home products and customer service to our clients both in the US and Internationally. Due to his international heritage, Mr. Barna always supported our work at the international department therefore we gained great experience in delivering authentic American log home packages to international destinations. Every morning when I step in to my office I feel great pride to be able to be a member of the Jim Barna organization and I do my best to pass Mr. Barna’s legacy on to our international distributors and their customers."
International Sales Director
Jim Barna Log & Timber Homes
Oneida, Tennessee, USA
"I ordered a custom log home with help and consultation from the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Jim Barna Log Homes. My home travelled about 2500 miles by rail, boat, and truck and the product I received was of good quality, was very simple to put together, and my log cabin looks great! I’m looking forward to enjoying my home for many years to come and I would not hesitate to recommend Jim Barna Log Homes."
Terra Nova, NL, Canada