Located near Barrie, Ontario, Timmerman Timberworks is a proudly family run operation going on over 15 years of business.
Located near Barrie, Ontario, Timmerman Timberworks is a proudly family run operation going on over 15 years of business. Timmerman, which means carpenter in Dutch, stems from brothers Henry and Michael Krans’ heritage and admiration of traditional joinery and timber frame structures of all kinds. Henry and Michael grew up working under their family’s influences of building traditional stick framed houses. While this sparked their initial interest in building, the brothers would eventually be drawn to the beauty of wood along with its sustainability and renewability.
Timmerman has done both commercial and residential timber frame construction. The timber frame is the heart of their work and greatest source of pride. It was the lasting impression of wood that inspired them, and the fact that when a timber frame home is cared for, it can stand for hundreds of years. This type of permanence is what the brothers love.
Timmerman is well engaged with the local community, employing 16 people in the Barrie area. Timmerman thrives on the apprenticeship program that has provided passionate employees eager to learn about timber frame construction and ultimately build a career and passion, not just a job. Working with apprentices who are new to the field and who have yet to become accustomed to more orthodox methods of woodworking has the added advantage of allowing the brothers to develop training that reflects Timmerman’s unique methods and styles of building.
Timmerman remains unique in its commitment to laying out and cutting each piece by hand. Unlike the machine cut pieces used by some of their competitors, Timmerman’s hand cut products provide greater versatility and a much broader pallet of materials. More importantly, they are proud of their own distinct style and design.
While the goal of the company is to expand its space over the next few years, going from 8,000 sq. ft. to over 24,000 sq. ft., Timmerman wants to ensure they do not become a factory focused on volume, instead growing slowly and carefully with teamwork and a family-like feel as their top priorities. If they can continue building the high quality projects they have, then their reputation will continue to exceed them.
Timmerman supports the local forest industry, sourcing wood from Muskoka Timbermills in Bracebridge. While customers are curious about where the wood is sourced, so far the demand for local or certified wood is not the top of mind. Henry believes it will take education and time for customers to understand this aspect of his industry.
Although not well versed in social media, Henry understands the value of such tools in the overall education and awareness on the part of wood producers. He sees this as one of the main advantages to being part of the Ontario Wood community. Ontario Wood provides a social media platform and helps to build the Timmerman brand while also providing networking opportunities with other Ontario Wood producers. In addition, they are fortunate enough to receive other perks, including free booth space at the most recent Spring Cottage Life Show to showcase their work. Henry acknowledges that promoting all types of producers is beneficial even for the value-added product that Timmerman produces.
“We are the stewards of the resource.”