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Alberni’s own timber king

A locally born and raised construction entrepreneur has been chosen to be featured on a national television reality show.
Luke Koning

A locally born and raised construction entrepreneur has been chosen to be featured on a national television reality show. Luke Koning, owner of Koning Construction, feels the opportunity will be a chance to showcase the west coast and what is offered in custom home building.

Koning started his business almost five years ago in Nanaimo, where he and his wife, Jaclyn, also from Port Alberni, now live. While he was working in the trade, he took some time to complete fire fighter training, but often took on smaller jobs on the side.

“That led to new people calling for houses and it took off from there,” Koning said.

When a previous customer recently purchased a log home plan from Pioneer Log Homes in Williams Lake, Koning and his crew were asked to take on the construction. Pioneer Log Homes also has its own HGTV program, Timber Kings, which follows the careers and behind-the-scenes work of the company. It has become renowned for its unique log homes and the house is one of Koning’s most challenging projects to date.

“They build some of the wildest log homes in the world,” Koning said.

“They are really detailed and more elaborate than the average log home.”

He said working with such expensive logs, amounting to up to $1,000 each, takes a lot of foresight and planning.

“We do a lot of planning down the road before we start anything,” he said. “We spend a lot of time planning the electrical and plumbing accurately because you can’t just drill through two storeys. I am thinking out of the box all the time.”

The filming of the show, done by a crew of six, took place while the logs were being assembled after Koning did the excavation and completed the foundation and basement. He and his employees were on site to help with seismic details, but much of the program will focus on the log package being built in the yard and set up in Nanoose.

“We laid down the roof and the house should be finished by the end of summer,” he said.

The multi-million-dollar project is a three-story, 6,300 square foot custom log home with a 1,600 square foot curved deck and outdoor carvings of wildlife, including salmon and bears.

He said the experience has helped with his continual learning. “The building code is always changing and evolving so I am always getting more education and staying on the cutting edge.”

He said there has been a lot of positive feedback on the home’s progress and hopes the exposure will help the industry on the Island. Koning credits much of his success to his hometown.

“The small town word-of-mouth really helps,” he said. “It all started with referrals from friends and family in Port Alberni and escalated from there. I never thought I would be doing log homes but I have been talking with Pioneer for future projects.”

Watch for the episode, which will be the season finale, to air in March.