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Thread: Timberframing

  1. #1

    Timberframing

    For those who cannot find logs, or are timid to erect a log home timberframing is an interesting alternative. While most of the industry is geared toward the high end market there are a few companies that will sell a frame for about $12 s.f. If you have a frame erected then the hard part is done and an inexperienced individual can install the panels that encase the frame and finish out the inside. No inside walls are load bearing so you can build freely. I'm considering this option because 80-100 logs can often be as expensive as the frame. And having someone come erect a frame for a few thousand more will insure that the whole project is straight and true. Once the frame is up and the roof is on the project can go as slow as it needs to.

    Will

  2. #2
    LHBA Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Johnstown, PA
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    Timberframing

    Will,

    I have considered timber framing in the past. What companies have you found that will sell you framing at $12 sf???

  3. #3

    Timberframing

    I'm looking at Cowee mountain right now. They are out of N.C. go to timberframesales.com.

    Also there is Goshen...timberframemag.com

    If you register on the timber frame association website and tell them what you are looking for then they will give your mailing address to a ton of companies and you will get alot of great info.

    good luck,

    Will

  4. #4

    Timberframing

    oh yeah,

    up in your area vermontframes.com looks like a good value.

  5. #5
    LHBA Member
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    Johnstown, PA
    Posts
    1,004

    Timberframing

    I've gotten plenty of literature from numerous companies over the past few years. There is a lot more that goes into a timber frame home after the frame is up. The walls(SIP's) tend to cost a lot. Realistically I can't see one being built less than $80-90 square ft and that would be bare bones. Most timber frames usually run around $125-$150 sq ft all said and done.

  6. #6

    Timberframing

    You can get a 2000 sf frame raised for around 35k. About 25k in panels. (roughly the cost of the frame in panels) Everything else is pretty standard work. If you want to sub out all the work I'm sure you can spend another 200k, or you could use alot of the class info to save a ton.

    Will

  7. #7

    Timberframing

    a friend of mine just built a timber frame house for his in-laws. he is a timberframer and built the house from scratch. i saw it go up and know that there is a lot of carpentry and fabrication work that goes into the frame on the job site as it is going up. kit frames have similar problems to kit homes. just think about who is making the money, it isn't you or i, it is the kit company and their products are cheaply made. timberframing is a time-tested craft done in many cultures for over thousands of years, built by craftsmen that spent their whole lives learning this craft, passed down from generation to generation. if you are seriously considering a timberframe, find a local craftsman that has built timberframes, or learn how yourself. your final product will be 1000 times better than a kit house. a good resource to start with is going to:
    www.tfguild.org
    that is the website for the timber framers guild, which is dedicated to the true craft of timberframing.

  8. #8

    Timberframing

    "Their whole lives" might be a bit grandiose.

    What I *have* noticed about timber framing is that a magnified sense of self-involved grandiosity seems to be part of the trade. The first book I picked up was by Tedd Benson "The Timber-Frame Home". Talk about overblown grandeur. The guy considers himself the Norm Abrams of Timber Framing. The two of them can't praise each other enough.

    For example, on pages 52 and 53, Benson shows examples of different homes he's built . He doesn't reveal who he built the homes for except for one: Norm Abrams. He just couldn't help name-dropping.

    He yammers on, indirectly, about how skilled a builder he is without really providing any of the necessary information on how to build anything. Fortunately, good books are out there. Try "A Timber Framer's Workshop" by Steve Chappell. It's not rocket science, though every book out there covers their butts by saying any 'self-designed' timber frame should be reviewed by a "real" engineer, implying that ultimately, you will never be as competent as you should be (or they are), yadda, yadda...

    Remember, in the old days, there weren't any good books on timber framing and, in the *really* old days, plenty of carpenters couldn't read anyway. So... yes, it took years of apprenticeship to learn the trade.

    Nowadays, all you need is common sense carpentry, an ability to read and a good cacluator. Don't be intimidated. The world is divided into dumb people and dumb people who read smart books. 8)

    Patrick

  9. #9

    Timberframing

    The thing that is appealing to me about a timber frame home is that after the foundation is done and the frame is ordered and cut in the shop (wherever that is) you just have it delivered and put up by those who cut it in a few days. Then the panels can also be cut in a shop and delivered to be put on in a matter of days. The problem with being an owner-builder ,I have learned first hand, is coordination. This isn't always your fault either. The contractors generally don't have as much time for you and they are the most unreliable and lying bunch I have ever known. By having your house "dried in" in a matter of a few days and with coordination from only a coupe of contractors your house is less likely to lay half finished getting rained on for months. Then as an owner builder you have the luxury (necessity) to wait on people who said they would be there last week and things of that nature.

  10. #10

    Timberframing

    Yeah... contractors... what a bunch of scmucks...

    "Hey", he says, "wait a minute. *I'm* a contractor! Humph," he says, "Customers... all they do is whine, whine, whine..." :wink:

    Anyway... if you can afford it, that's the way to go. Have them assemble your timber frame on the spot and have them put on the panels the next day. Of course, you can get the same service if you want a custom built log cabin (not a kit) and some of them are very nice. There seems to be a business for just about any kind of building or building method.

    I'd love to build a strawbail house, personally, but in Vermont, at least, everyone is horrified by the idea.

    Patrick

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