Tuesday, September 25, 2007

T-Burg Timber Frame -- Week Two

This is the 2nd blog post in a series intended to follow a timber frame home project from beginning to end. At the end of the first 40 hours, the Woodhouse crew had erected 90% of the interior frame and about 40% of the structural insulated panels on the project. This post will show the progress made over the next 20 hours and will illustrate some of the specific project details of a typical Woodhouse timber frame home.
The photo above shows the project at the end of day 9. The 2nd floor system has now been completed giving the installation crew a secure base from which to finish the remaining frame and SIPs.

This photo details a bit of the frame (the post located between the great room and the kitchen). There are a couple of things you should take away from this photo. First, it clearly shows the superior timber that we are fortunate to use (27-year relationships with our timber suppliers does count for something!). This is douglas fir and is specified #1 or better (it's much better!), free of heart center (FOHC) and is very dense. Many of the timbers on this project are actually 100% clear grain.
In addition, you can see how tight the joinery is on a Woodhouse timber frame. All of the joints that you see are housed (recessed in a 1/2" "housing" that eliminates gaps and resists movement over time). Although all wood of this size will check (non-structural cracks) and move as it dries, the combination of the superior grade of timber combined with housed joinery will reduce such movement and ensure a more elegant finished product.

I took this photo to more clearly show how we install drywall (blueboard) on to the frame first and then install the SIPs over it. Looking straight ahead, you can see the drywall is located between the frame and the panels. Installing it this way allows us to attach the drywall to the frame members themselves, install the panels, and then, from the inside, screw the drywall in to the panels. This means that, as the timber posts, beams, and braces shrink and move slightly as they dry, the drywall will move with them ensuring a tight joint between the timbers and the drywall over time. To me, this is an important detail and it is the combination of all of these small details (superior grade, housed joinery, exterior drywall attached to the frame, and many others) that results in a truly superior timber frame home.

This photo shows the project on the morning of day 11 after 60 hours of work. The interior frame is complete as are most of the wall SIPs. Conventional trusses are being installed in the 2nd floor of the hybrid portion to the right
and roof trusses are already being installed over the mud room to the left.
The next post will show dramatic progress because I was not on site to photograph for about 10 days and, as I write this, the crew has completed the installation of our package and moved on to the next project. The contractor is now beginning to finish the exterior and frame the interior walls!


Eric said...

You mention the frame was raised by a "Woodhouse Crew". Is this standard procedure on the Smartwood packages??

Furthermore, we are due to visit the finger lakes later this fall. Do you allow open house? We have spoken to Greg B every once in a while and are continuing to maintain a relationship through phone and e mail while I get my "ducks in a row". He has been helpful and patient.

We have visited Howard Palmer's (Spelling?) place a while ago, but his Smartwood Saltbox is considerably different than the Oak Meadow we like.

aldrin james said...

It is getting better. I can see that it is almost done and it looks so perfect. It looks so fascinating. I can wait to see the finish product of your work.

Maine Timber Frames Builder