|April 2015, after some logging, before excavating. (All photos by author.)|
From the beginning we knew we wanted a house that had a significant open space—no walls between kitchen, dining, living areas (note, not rooms). This concept lends itself well to post and beam construction with square posts held together by metal screws, bolts, and brackets. We discovered New Hampshire, however, is a land where post and beam has a niche category all its own: timber framing.
|Etna, N.H., library addition designed by Andrea Warchaizer.|
We were fortunate (after one brief architect mis-step) to find Andrea Warchaizer (Springpoint Design), a fantastic architect who works almost exclusively with timber frames and is an active member of the Timber Framers Guild of North America, which was formed in 1984 as an educational nonprofit. Andrea earned her chops as a designer at Benson Woodworking Company, working with many talented framers; and her architecture degree at Yale. Tedd Benson is credited by some with reviving the “ancient” craft of timber frame in the United States with the founding of his company in the mid-1970s.
“Whereas light frame construction includes many slender sticks of wood simply cut to length and nailed together, a timber frame structure uses fewer, much larger members, shaped at their connections to lock together. . . . Today’s timber-framed house combines the best of the old techniques with the advantages of the new for structural integrity and energy efficiency.”
|N.H. Timber frame home: Andrea Warchaizer;|
We nailed down a few more details with Tom and last week he ordered 250 pieces of Douglas fir from a company near Port Orford, Oregon. Major milestone! Lots is going to be happening—in Oregon and New Hampshire—over the next several months.
|Fine grain and warm color of Douglas fir.|