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Timber Frame Additions & Renovations

(Note- this article originally was posted prior to 2012, when the economy was recovering from a severe recession and the foreclosure crisis. But while the economic conditions have changed radically, the reasons for building additions are largely the same.)

An interesting development in our business this year has been a complete shift from new home construction to additions and renovation work. I have to assume this is in reaction to the difficulty of financing a new home due to low appraisals and uncertainty in the housing market. However, families and couples grow and get older and there are changes in our lives that compel us to improve the space we live in. Many people are choosing to renovate or add on to their homes rather than build new.

There are of course many reasons to choose this path over new construction beyond just the state of our economy. For example, you might be happy where you are due to the neighborhood, proximity to work and/or schools, and have no desire to take on the stress and effort required to sell your home, pack up all your belongings, and physically make the move.

Many people, when faced with the decision to add on or renovate their home, approach a general contractor or timber framer for advice. Builders inexperienced with post and beam and SIP construction may feel intimidated, or worse, underestimate the task at hand. It is advisable to work with an experienced timber frame builder when considering renovations and additions to your post and beam building.

This year, 90% of our work has been additions and renovations to existing timber frame homes. When designed properly, it’s not difficult to add on to your timber frame home without having to move out of your house. Since the frame is self-supporting, the addition can be built against the existing building, leaving the outside wall intact. Construction can proceed through the enclosure, roofing, windows and doors, exterior application and most of the interior work before you even need to cut out the wall between the old and the new. This allows you to continue to live in your home without the inconvenience of excessive noise and dust, not to mention potential harm to children on a construction site.

Our free spline joinery system and familiarity with Stresskin panels facilitates the connection between the old and new construction. We can custom-fit timbers to join with your existing walls and frame without sacrificing structural integrity or the appearance of the frame. We have benefited from years of experience renovating and adding on to homes and barns and have a number of tools and techniques to simplify the process and amplify the quality and efficiency of our work.

Our employees are all family men and are quite comfortable around children, pets and families. They are conscious of your need for privacy and respectful of your property.

If you are considering adding a timber frame addition to your home, whether it is a post and beam, log home, or conventional construction we are happy to discuss your options and show you around some of our completed and ongoing projects.

Author: Paul Freeman