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Blog Cabin Carpenter: Ryan James Heryford

Meet one of the carpenters responsible for building DIY Blog Cabin 2009.

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Ryan James Heryford had abandoned any starry-eyed dreams of Hollywood. And then, without warning, Hollywood came knocking.

Heryford, originally from Iowa, moved south and worked in the restaurant business to meet locals and make connections. "It wasn’t long before a guy said ‘You are the right size for construction,’ because I am small and a little dexterous." Heryford discovered a knack for roofing and, after gaining several subsequent years of experience, took his talents on the road as the owner of his own firm.

After traveling up and down the Eastern seaboard, repairing hurricane-ravaged homes, Heryford made the move to California to pursue a long-held passion for acting and music. But even armed with the right connections, he grew disillusioned with the LA scene. "I wanted to go back home to the mountains where I love the people and the culture and just live life," he adds. Heryford settled in North Carolina and found a home — and a new career — at The Preserve at Little Pine. Heryford was quickly drawn into the DIY Blog Cabin project, handling jobs big and small, whatever needs to be done. "One day I am on a heavy equipment deal, one day I am sanding, one day I am building something I’ve never built before. The duty of the day. We do it all," he adds.

An opportunity to appear in the Blog Cabin series as a guest carpenter came unexpectedly. "They called us into the office and threw it straight at us," Heryford says of the offer extended to both him and fellow construction crew member Allen Crawford. The experience thus far has proven a dream come true, and he couldn’t have found a more perfect foil in Crawford. "My favorite moment of filming would be the improv comedy that manifests as we deal with unforeseen circumstances, like a snow storm," says Heryford, "or when Allen gets his truck stuck."

Today, Heryford lives on site and often devotes spare time to tending the gardens or putting finishing construction touches on the equestrian center. "Living at Little Pine makes it feel more like a home than a workplace," he adds. "It’s like having access to your own big farm."

Learn more about Ryan's sidekick, carpenter Allen Crawford.

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