Our History

Developing an eye for beauty

Seeing the artistry of true craftsmanship

To this day, John admires the beam structures, and where others see only rafters, beams and braces, John sees the artistry of true craftsmanship, the family memories that have seeped into the joints over decades of use, and the timeless beauty that preservation could provide for generations to come.

Four generations

John’s dedication to quality construction and preservation was passed on to his son, Todd, who worked in the business while attending high school and college. In 1985, Todd became a partner in the company, a move that was inevitable, given Todd’s keen interest in the ancient timber-frame construction method.

Recently Todd’s son, Kayden, came into the business, the fourth generation to embrace the beauty, grace, and elegance of a construction method developed centuries ago in Europe and Asia.

More About Pioneer's Pride

Pioneer’s Pride offers do-it-yourself kits to those who want to build their own timber-frame structures. Designed to easily assemble with simple tools, the kits feature beams constructed with mortise and tenon joints secured by wooden pegs. The timber framework is assembled with a wooden mallet.

Constructed of high-quality, durable, hemlock wood, these Pioneer's Pride timber-frame kits reflect the beauty and strength of early American craftsmanship. Hemlock wood is a strong, but light in weight, making it easy for two people to efficiently build their own original timber-frame structure in a very short time.

Pioneer’s Pride channels the combined 80-plus years of experience of father and son, John and Todd Schlabach. The Schlabachs earned a reputation for their ability to repair barns and specialized in challenging restoration projects, as well as their expertise in building new, timber-frame barn structures.

Schlabach started his career in the construction industry in 1965 when he opened Schlabach & Sons, a construction company located in Hartville, Ohio, that repaired and painted structures, focusing on timber framing.

Over the years, Schlabach earned a reputation for his ability to repair barns and specialized in challenging restoration projects, as well as his expertise in building new, timber-frame barn structures.

In 1997, Todd officially joined the company as a partner, and it was renamed Pro Built Construction. Several years later Pro Built Construction branded itself and began doing business as Hartville Barn Boys. Over the years, Pro Built Construction has lifted churches, replaced foundations, rebuilt homes, repaired barns, built additions of all kinds and constructed brand new timber-frame barns.

Timber Framing History
Timber framing, a distinctive style of building construction in which heavy timbers put together with mortise and tenon joints and pegs to frame the structure, was used throughout the world until roughly 1900. Construction methods changed when the demand for inexpensive, fast housing brought conventional lumber to the construction forefront.

Built to last, timber-framed buildings from centuries ago can still be seen and used today. For an example, the famous Old North Church, located in Boston, Massachusetts, and built in 1723, made famous by Paul Revere and its two lanterns to signal that the British were coming by sea instead of land, is still used for services today.