Premium wooden house construction is an art and one of our greatest passions. However, as time goes by we all need change. For us, Pieter and Johannes, owners of Rustic Homes, that time is now as we have decided to leave Rustic Homes and take on a new venture. We would like to assure our current clients that our craftsmen never cut corners and we are still fanatical about quality.
The interior design of a Rustic Home is all about the high quality finishes we use. Windows should frame the views they look over and yet be durable. Timber windows in luxury wooden homes are often chosen for their aesthetic appeal, while we recommend aluminium windows and doors in harsh coastal conditions and high wind-driven rain areas.
The staircases in our wooden homes are often more than just a means of getting from one floor to the next. By selecting a special timber or interesting railings, the staircase can be the focus of a room. A well fenestrated stairwell can be a feature of your home.
Feature fire places are also key to a well designed Cape home. The most cost effective are wood burning, freestanding with closing doors. We use stainless steel flues with a heat shield and double flues through floors and roofs.
As a modern building material, wood offers exceptional possibilities. Its potential for engineering and infinite shapes is limitless and it shows additional benefits as one of the most environmentally sustainable building materials in the world... as long as the wood comes from an FSC approved source and not a tropical rainforest on the equator.
At Rustic Homes we promote the use of local timber, specifically the Pinus radiata, a superior Californian pine tree grown in and around the towns of Elgin and Grabouw in the Western Cape. This wood, in its treated form, is very good for the structural elements of timber homes.
Rustic Homes is all about sustainability. We are careful of our footprint in all respects from carbon to the direct impact we have on the often natural landscapes we build in. Because the bulk of the timber structure is put together in our factory in Grabouw, the impact we have on site is minimised. Our houses are well insulated reducing the need for both air-conditioning and heating. We have installed many solar electrical systems and ensure that the panel installation is neat and inconspicuous.
If the Forestry Exit Strategy, that is currently ruling the management of Grabouw's plantations, is not reversed by September 2015, it will be too late to save the region's 100-year old forestry industry, with the loss of 12,000 jobs. This is the message from the citizens of Grabouw, led by the Grabouw Development Forum (GDF), who are calling for an urgent amendment by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to the current lease of Grabouw's plantations, which will enable the leaseholder, Cape Pine, to manage the plantations to ensure their future viability instead of clearing the land of pine trees in accordance with the current terms of its lease.
Pieter Silberbauer, MD of Rustic Homes is a member of GDF and has dedicated many resources to this issue. "We have reached the tipping point", he says. "If the terms of Cape Pine's lease are not changed within eighteen months, young plantation trees and forestry infrastructure will have been decimated to such an extent that they will no longer be capable of attracting investment in the future. That will signal the death knell to a sustainable industry that is of critical economic and social importance to Grabouw."