Initial Preparation

Once you have decided to build a timber framed home, it is important to educate yourself about timber frame construction. For many of our customers, learning about the timber frame system is an exciting part of their project. We encourage you to look through some of the many books and magazines about timber framing. Two books that we recommend are: The Timber-Frame Home and Timber Frame by Tedd Benson. The first explains the timber frame system very clearly from the foundation to the finish details. The second is a coffee table book with photographs of beautiful timber framed projects that will help you generate ideas for your own home.

While building a timber framed home is not more difficult than building a common stick framed home, it does take careful planning. Mostly, you and your builder need to understand how timber framed construction interfaces with the other systems in the house such as plumbing, electrical, heating and heat recovery ventilation (HRV). For example, many people who build timber framed homes do so because the timber system allows for open floor plans. However, with an open floor plan, fewer interior walls exist for electricians and plumbers to run their wires and pipes through. These contractors need to be more creative in using the interior walls that are available, by using common plumbing walls and built-in chases between floors or in closets, and by running wires through SIPs. Stacking bathrooms above one another and locating the mechanical room in close proximity to bathrooms and the kitchen can help to simplify the installation of these systems.

As you get ready to design your home, do yourself a favor and enlist an architect or designer with experience in timber frame construction. Designers not familiar with timber framing, may draft a complete house design package without any allowance for the timber frame system and add timber posts only as an afterthought. For a timber framer to incorporate a frame into these plans often requires costly reworking of the design. The design needs to incorporate the timber frame system from day one. Alces Post & Beam, Inc. offers a complete architectural design service to help ensure that your home melds perfectly with the timber frame system. You can read more about this service in the "Our Design Service" section.

We also urge you to hire a builder or contractor with experience in timber frame construction. His/her familiarity with the details of this system will be invaluable in helping you keep within your budget and ensuring a quality finish of your home. In the central Vermont region and especially the Mad River Valley, we can recommend builders and contractors who we have successfully completed projects with in the past.

Our interest in your project extends beyond providing you with an Alces Post & Beam timber frame. We also want to see your home finished with the highest quality craftsmanship and attention to detail so the frame can be enjoyed in its full beauty. Proper preparation for building your timber framed home will ensure the successful completion of your project.

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