Arrow Timber Framing offers values and artistry

Alex Peru, Reporter
Alex Peru, Reporter

BATTLE GROUND — For Bert Sarkinnen, owner and chief designer for Arrow Timber Framing, timber frame projects are not just a business product, but a way of life based in deeply rooted values.

The Battle Ground specialty contractor service Arrow Timber Framing specializes in hybrid timber framing. Under this construction method, timber framing is incorporated into other construction methods. By not utilizing a full timber frame construction, hybrid timber framing allows for flexibility in design and implementation of timber frame motifs.

Bert Sarkinnen (left) and Matthew Duvall (second from left) stand with the Arrow Timber Framing team in front of a truss at the company’s Battle Ground shop. Photo by Alex Peru
Bert Sarkinnen (left) and Matthew Duvall (second from left) stand with the Arrow Timber Framing team in front of a truss at the company’s Battle Ground shop. Photo by Alex Peru
The company can work with clients to design timber frame designs that integrate into the rest of a home or building. Photo by Mike Schultz
The company can work with clients to design timber frame designs that integrate into the rest of a home or building. Photo by Mike Schultz

Arrow Timber Framing officially came into being in 2008. However, the business had existed since 1995 as Arrow Construction, which specialized in high end framing. Sarkinnen said that he was introduced to timber framing by a client who wanted to integrate timber framing into his combination shop and home.

Sarkinnen said that after researching timber framing for the project, he “fell in love with it.”

“I’ve always enjoyed seeing a structure,” Sarkinnen said, and the exposed beams of timber frame construction show the structure of a building.

“It’s a craft, it’s a challenge,” Sarkinnen said, calling his passion for timber framing a “natural romance.”

Arrow Timber Framing currently employs approximately 12 employees. While the company primarily handles projects in Washington and Oregon, its reach has grown across the country over the years.

The company has shipped projects and framing kits to states as far away as Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama and Florida, according to Matthew Duvall, sales and marketing representative for Arrow Timber Framing. The main client projects undertaken are “primarily custom homes and commercial,” Duvall said.

Bert Sarkinnen, owner of Arrow Timber Framing, said the floating gazebo created for Bethany Vineyard & Winery was one of the most memorable projects he has worked on. Photo courtesy of Arrow Timber Framing
Bert Sarkinnen, owner of Arrow Timber Framing, said the floating gazebo created for Bethany Vineyard & Winery was one of the most memorable projects he has worked on. Photo courtesy of Arrow Timber Framing

Duvall said that he began working for Arrow Timber Framing after working for years in marketing and sales. A referral from his pastor helped secure a job with the timber framing company.

The company has completed both large and small projects, from home accents such as mantles, to pavilions and outdoor living areas, to incorporating timber framing into entire house interiors and exteriors.

While Arrow Timber Framing is committed to providing quality, creative and artistic timber framing solutions, Sarkinnen and Duvall both emphasized how important quality customer service and relations are to the company.

Customer satisfaction throughout the contracting process is a driving force behind Arrow Timber Framing’s operations. “In its simplest terms, it’s putting a long-term smile on people’s faces,” Sarkinnen said.

At Arrow Timber Framing, the aim is not to supply a product that supplies happiness in and of itself, but rather is designed to complement the relationships, home life and contentment that a client feels makes them happy.

“Long term happiness,” Duvall said, was a driving tenet of the business. “We deliver joy, [we] deliver happiness.”

The company not only holds itself to high quality standards, it is built around five core values. The first value is “help first,” and means that employees of the company look to help others when they can.

 

Arrow Timber Framing provides framing services for outdoor living spaces that complement natural surroundings. Photo by Mike Schultz
Arrow Timber Framing provides framing services for outdoor living spaces that complement natural surroundings. Photo by Mike Schultz

Sarkinnen and Duvall both emphasized the second core value of “humble confidence.” They said that they know the skills and capability of the company, but temper that knowledge with humility towards clients.

 

The third core value is “driven to learn and do.” This means that representatives of the company are both actively driven to accomplish goals and to learn new skills.

Arrow Timber Framing’s fourth core value is “work for the long-term good.” This means that the company values quality work that supports both the business and the client, as well as works in a safe and responsible way. Finally, this value means that workers in the company are honest and open with themselves and with others.

 

Interior structures are a staple of Arrow Timber Framing, and show off the structure of the building by exposing trusses and frames. Photo by Mike Schultz
Interior structures are a staple of Arrow Timber Framing, and show off the structure of the building by exposing trusses and frames. Photo by Mike Schultz

The final core value of Arrow Timber Framing is “happy and delighted.” Team members strive to be content with themselves and life, as well as being pleasant to others. This includes avoiding cynical attitudes and speaking with respect about other people.

 

The five core values all contribute to Sarkinnen’s stated goal of helping facilitate long-term happiness in clients.

Arrow Timber Framing serves as a specialty contractor, and thus often works closely with architects and contractors to integrate hybrid timber framing into building projects. However, Duvall said that the design process always starts with a sit down meeting with the client.

“It’s really understanding the project, the scope of work and understanding their style and just making sure we’re going to be a good fit working together,” Duvall said. “If you can get that right, the rest of it’s easy.”

With 76 projects completed this year so far, and 91 total projects completed last year, Arrow Timber Framing has completed a vast array of projects. However, for Sarkinnen and Duvall, some stand out as unique.

 

Some of Arrow Timber Framing’s projects focus on timber frame accents that complement the overall exterior design of a house. Photo by Mike Schultz
Some of Arrow Timber Framing’s projects focus on timber frame accents that complement the overall exterior design of a house. Photo by Mike Schultz

 

 

Sarkinnen referenced timber frame signs and sign structures created for Timberline Lodge in 2010 as being memorable for the requirements they had to meet. He also said that building a floating gazebo for Bethany Vineyard & Winery was memorable because it was so “special.”

For Duvall, his first job with a client in Florida was memorable for the “no boundaries part of it.”

Arrow Timber Framing seeks to serve its clients with quality products and customer care. There is a devotion to customer satisfaction that means the company will see projects through to the end. “We will cross the finish line,” Sarkinnen said.

Duvall echoed one of the core values and said that the company provides meaningful work and projects by “working for the long term good.”

For more information, go to arrowtimber.com or call Arrow Timber Framing at (360) 687-1868.

About The Author

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Alex Peru is a 2017 graduate of Washington State University Vancouver. He has a bachelor’s degree in History and a double minor in Political Science and Business Administration. Peru grew up in Battle Ground, and graduated from CAM Academy in 2013. He worked for The VanCougar, WSU Vancouver’s campus newspaper, for three years, including one year as the editor-in-chief. When not working, Peru enjoys reading books about history, working on cars and enjoying the outdoors in Clark County’s beautiful rivers, lakes and forests.

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