A connection with the forest

Jim Pownall & Co. is a small-town home construction company that produces some mighty impressive results


New Denver is a tiny community in the West Kootenay, but it has produced some big talent in the business of building log homes.

Jim Pownall & Co. is one example; this small company specializes in log and timber frame home construction, and has been building quality homes since 1974.

Pownall has a genuine connection with the materials he uses. He likes to search for wood in the forests surrounding New Denver that has an interesing shape, then incorporate the natural growth pattern into the homes he builds. The results are genuinely spectacular.

Living in a small community like New Denver, it's not suprising that Pownall and his crew often become good friends with their clients, who then serve as references for their work.

The company normally stocks fir and hemlock, but can source most other species of wood, given adequate lead time. Pownall and his crew, all highly trained professionals, prefer to use seasoned or winter-cut wood, or dry standing timber. They proof clients' plans before the building begins in order to eliminate any short- or long-term problems.

We caught up with Jim Pownall, and he answered a few of our questions.

You've won a couple of Best of Business awards now. To what do you attribute your company's success?

My crew and myself enjoy our work.

What do you like most about your work?

Happy customers and doing interesting projects.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

My first job was building my own home. (I learned) patience!

What are your passions outside work?

The outdoors.

Do you have any advice for someone going into business for themselves?

Do good work and be fair to your crew and your customer and yourself.

I've heard you say the trees or logs speak to you when you're doing a project. Can you elaborate on that?

They all have a place where they want to go.

Sandra Albers

Since 2007, Sandra has enjoyed hearing about new businesses, expanding businesses and unique businesses, as well as learning more about the long-time successes in the business community of the Kootenays. She writes, as well as copy edits and proofreads, for both magazine and website, and welcomes input from our readers. View all of Sandra Albers’s articles

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