May 062011

Timber Framed boathouse under constructionOver the years we have had an increase in demand for seasonal and non-house timber frame buildings and structures. So, in our updated website, we feature more of our boathouses, gazebos, studios, pergolas, car ports, cabins, and of course, barns.  The craft of timber framing nicely dovetails with a wide variety of structures. And we certainly enjoy building unique and different structures….

There is a long tradition of magnificent and architecturally significant boathouses on the lakes of the Adirondacks. Most of the traditional Great Camps were built on lakes, and boats were important for transport and access as well as recreation. We have had the privileged of building a number of timber-framed boathouses in the last 15 years, and most have been built on sites that are inaccessible by road. Which, aside from presenting some construction challenges, means that boats are vital to the clients gaining access to their properties, and our boathouses serve a very real function of sheltering these boats. Some of these boathouses are elaborate Adirondack structures with beautiful enclosed spaces, while others are and graceful “car ports” for boats. In the winter when the lakes ice over, the boats are lifted and hung out of the water within the protection of the timber frame boathouses.

Traditionally barns in the North East were timber framed. One architectural historian has referred to them as the “Cathedrals of rural America.” And although the last decades have seen a dramatic loss of many of these historic structures, we are proud that the timber framed barns that we have built in NY and VT are enhancing the traditional agriculture landscape.

 Seasonal  kitchen, residence, teaching space, greenhouse, and root cellar, for agricultural instituteAs long time instructors of timber framing classes at the Yestermorrow Design Build School in VT, our classes have built many timber frames for garden sheds, picnic table and sand box shelters, wood sheds, of course cabins, and even sign posts. One of the cabin timber frames cut by our class is now the home office for a local writer—just far enough from his house to allow him uninterrupted attention.

We also recently built a timber and log cabin high on the side of a mountain, which is only accessible by vehicle seasonally. In the winter, the owners ski or snow shoe into their cozy retreat, which features a photovoltaic electric system and a composting toilet.

On a different note, we are negotiating building a timber frame band shell for a local Adirondack town. As you can see, size, shape, form and function can be infinite in the world of timber framing.