In the Press

The press team at Kennebec Journal occasionally writes about some of our exciting custom timber frame, post & beam and log home projects. Below are a couple of articles that you might find interesting.

The Capital Weekly  featured Grand View Timbers in their 2007 Home Design Concepts.

Click here to read “Log home business is family affair.”

From the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel
Life & Leisure Section
Sunday, January 16, 2005

Timeless Tradition – Home Sweet Home

Rustic Home Built with Love and Help

By:  Lynn Ascrizzi, Staff Writer

Sharp gusts of wind whipped snow across icebound Little Cobbossee and thrashed giant white pine trees growing near the shore.  It would take more than 50-mile-per-hour winds, however, to rattle the massive, rustic-style home of Matt and Tammy Morrill of East Winthrop.  The two-story, 2,500-square-foot home is brand-new, but its design echoes a timeless tradition that conjures up the romance of late-1800’s lodges built out West.

A south-facing, front entry, built with an inviting porch that extends the width of the cedar-shingled house, boldly announces that visitors are entering a distinctly different residence.  Four, peeled white-pine tree posts and hefty mortise-and-tenon trusses support the porch overhang.

“It’s a hybrid – a post-and-beam and log home,” said Matt Morrill, 28 who designed the house.  Morrill, an architectural and civil engineer, graduated in 1999 from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and worked for three years for Coffin Engineering in Camden and Augusta.  About five months ago, he launched his own business, Grand View Log and Timber Frames, which he runs from a home office.

That blustery day, while the Morrills 4-month old son, Jack, kicked his heels in glee in his baby carrier, a huge granite fireplace radiated a glowing warmth, and radiant heating installed under the home’s extra-wide, pine flooring made the place snug.

“It’s comparable to hardwood,” he said of the floor boards cut and milled in Mercer.  “I didn’t think hardwood flooring would fit the house design.”

Their handcrafted dwelling, makes elegant use of Maine’s raw materials, notably, the interior’s exposed white-pine posts that soar to the second floor.

“The posts are round tree trunks, about 16-to-20-inches in diameter,” he said, of the widely-spaced, vertical supports.  Equally hefty, pine-log beams stretch across the kitchen into the living area, supported by mortise-and-tenon joined trusses that weigh 1 ½ tons.  The solid posts were stained with Sansin’s Log Stain, which gives them a natural, matte finish.

Sheetrocked walls set between the vertical posts are painted Cheyenne Green, a deep-moss color.  Bonneville casement windows provide exhilarating views of the lake, whose opposite, wooded shoreline is restricted from development.  Two glass doors in the dining and the living room offer entry points onto a wide deck that overlooks the water.  In the kitchen, counters are inlaid with dark-green tile.  Red, birth cabinets were crafted by cabinetmaker Donald Doyon of Augusta.

“We get to see great sunsets,” Matt Morrill said, of a west-facing window.  Upstairs, the master bedroom also gives a pleasant view of the water.  A roomy upstairs bathroom houses a Jacuzzi.

Downstairs, two architectural eye-catchers are a mighty, 40-foot-tall (from basement to top) fireplace chimney and a load-bearing central archway, both built of silver-gray Belfast granite.  As the chimney neared completion, for good luck, the Morrills dropped the family’s boots and shoes into hidden crevices in the stonework, and also included a collar from their big Newfoundland, Henry.

The Morrills’ home office is located opposite the living area, set behind the 8-foot-wide chimney.  Since starting his own business, he has built three information kiosks designed by John Kennedy of Hallowell for the Kennebec River Rail Trail.  Currently, he is building a section of a log cabin for the Annual Maine Log Homes Show, to be held in March at the Augusta Armory.

“The white pine came from my parents’ land.  I can’t stress enough how family and friends helped us,” Matt Morrill said, of the new house.  His father, David Morrill is a draftsman at Bath Iron Works; his mother, Sue Morrill, owns and operates Black-Eyed Susan’s Greenhouse in Augusta.

“My mother power-washed all of the rocks outside and brought them into the house on a wagon,” Tammy Morrill, 30, said.  “My mother-in-law hand-dipped all the exterior wood shingles in her greenhouse.”  Her parents are Claudette and Jerome Masselli of Augusta.  Her father owns Jerome’s Auto in Chelsea; her mother is a retired state accountant.

More than a $100,000 of materials and “sweat equity” went into building the home.

The Morrills, who both graduated from Cony High School in Augusta, met in Boston and have been married for two years.  She graduated from Wheaton College in 1996, and is currently assistant to state Department of Education commissioner Susan Gendron.

“When Matt proposed to me on Valentine’s Day, he spelled out ‘will you marry me?’ on the ice, with Christmas lights, and took me up in an airplane at night to see it on the lake (Little Cobbossee),” she said.

The lake-shore property, set in a picturesque niche between two vintage camps, was formerly the site of a summer camp owned by her late grandfather, Adelard Labbe.  Before the Morrills built their home, they lived on the property, in the old camp.

While building the new home on that site, they had to move five times in the same place, into makeshift arrangements.  “I’m glad not to be in temporary kitchens and a huge pile of sawdust,” she said.

“The stairs were cut from a pine tree on the front lawn,” she said.

“Nothing was skimped.  We put our money into quality, doing a lot of the labor ourselves.  We’re using it as a show home for our business,” he said.

As he spoke, Henry slept peacefully, curled up like a big black bear on the kitchen floor.  Near him was another wood-work creation designed by Morrill – a rustic “dog stand” made of sanded pine and raised on short logs, with indents to hold stainless dishes for food and water.

“It’s better for dogs to eat from a raised platform, not from the floor.  We’ve already made one for my mother-in-law’s dog,” he said.


The Kennebec Journal recently featured Grand View Log and Timber Frames and it’s barn raising of the Docks to Doorways project in Belgrade, Maine.

To view the photo click on

SNAPSHOT: Docks to doorways
By Joe Phelan
Staff Writer

Kyle St. Michael hits a chisel with a hammer as he makes the pocket a little bigger to fit the beam that the crane is moving into place on Friday in Belgrade Lakes village. He was part of the crew building a timber frame structure for the Maine Lakes Resources Center being built by the Docks to Doorways. The 3,500 square-foot building will house laboratory space for Colby College’s environmental scientists, offices for the Belgrade Lakes Association and Belgrade Regional Conservation Association. General contractor Mark Gliniewicz said that he and Matt Morrill, of Grand View Log and Timber Frame bought the timbers from a Bucks County PA, company that takes down old post and beam barns and then sells the wood. He said that Morrill reworked the salvage timbers that came from several different barns to make the new structure.

Docks to Doorways – Maine Lakes Resource Center
Belgrade, Maine