Colonial New England quickly earned a reputation for its hardy residents. The terrain and the weather are demanding and you quickly learn to plan ahead and be resourceful. Architecturally the Colonial and the Cape are great examples of form following function. Both of these housing styles made efficient use of materials and space, keeping construction costs down and heating as efficient as possible at the time.
This theme of making good use of the tools and materials you have at hand and consideration of their use and length of service is observed in almost everything that was made during this time.
To the casual observer one might find old New Englander’s “cheap” or “conservative” however as you become more familiar with New England Life you realize that building something to last, whether it be a house or a tool, could mean the difference between life and death, or at very least comfort and misery.
Brooks Post & Beam got its start as a company that helped disassemble, repair, and reconstruct old barns as new residences in the late 60’s and early 70’s. It wasn’t long before it became clear that the demand for barn frames exceeded the supply of available barns for disassembly and renovation and that there was a market for new barns and homes cut from local trees in New England sawmills. Around the same time people were awakening to the tranquility of rural living and there was a growing “back to the land” movement. People were buying property all over the northeast and trying their hand at self sufficiency by raising their own food and generating their own energy. It was only natural that the revival of traditional building methods, such as timber framing with renewable materials and sweat equity, was soon to follow.
As we moved into the high inflation of the 70’s and early 80’s and ultimately another housing boom it became increasingly difficult to afford to build a home. However an emerging energy crisis and the can do nature of new New Englanders were a boon to our business. Our focus on Owner-Builders, timber frame kits, and energy efficiency brought hundreds of new customers to our doors.
Today we continue the evolution of our company and affordable timber frame homes as we work closely with our clients to provide them with easy to erect timber frame kits, educational materials to build the rest of the home, and design alternatives such as hybrid homes or a phased in approach to the construction.
These are just a few of the ways that we are bringing timber frame home construction to the mainstream residential market. Please consider us for your new home or barn; you might be surprised how affordable it is in comparison to a quality built conventionally framed structure.