Whatever else you can call Dave Byers, he’s no square.
Byers, owner of Parksville’s One of a Kind Creative Woodcrafting, is staking out a niche on Vancouver Island with a custom-made, insulated log he invented while running a large business in New Brunswick. The logs, which can be made in a variety of sizes and with various types of wood, are used to create round yurts by stacking the logs vertically, instead of the traditional horizontal construction of whole-log cabins and homes.
“Round is the new square,” said Byers, whose company also makes round cedar hot tubs and barrel saunas as well as custom furniture of all shapes. “I love everything round.”
Byers moved to the Parksville area with his wife Shirley in October of 2015, after his 34,000 sq. ft. woodworking shop in Belleisle, NB, collapsed during an epic, 17-foot snowstorm earlier that year. Due to an “insurance loophole,” the couple lost nearly everything. They sold the rest and moved west with little more than some tools and a dream to re-establish a business on Vancouver Island.
“I’ve always done woodworking,” said Byers, 63, who at age six helped his father build his first log cabin. “I don’t know anything else.”
One of a Kind can do all kinds of woodcrafting jobs, but what really sets the business apart is the insulated log Byers created over a period of a couple years back in New Brunswick. The logs are made by laminating rounded wood pieces to a block of rigid, compressed foam, and can be made in a range of sizes and lengths. The “logs” are triple tongue-and-groove, and are assembled with caulk and sealing tape to create an airtight, round log building.
The invention was sparked by a request after he constructed a campground yurt of 2×6-inch cedar, which adds privacy and security to structures that are typically built of canvas and lattice.
“We showed this to a First Nations group that had campgrounds back east, and the chief said, ‘Finally, someone came up with what looks like a 21st-century tipi,’” Byers said. “’How can we live in one?’
“I said, ‘Oh, my God, you can’t. There’s no insulation; it’s only an inch-and-a-half thick.’
“But how can we live in one?’ That’s what started me on the road of coming up with the insulated log, the insulated floor and the roof. And we did the first one back east there.”
The construction of the logs allows for various types of looks in different rooms of a single house.
“You can have knotty pine in the great room and cedar in the bedrooms,” Byers said. “One we’re working on in Ucluelet, they want cedar on the inside and outside. Because we’re making the log, we can give you your choice and be room-specific with your wood choice, which has never been done.”
Byers invites clients to offer him a challenge by calling him at 250-415-9628 or using the project order form on his website, www.oneofakindcw.com. Project quotes are free.