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Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ’s

The questions below are the ones our clients ask us most often. If you have a question, please take a moment to “Ask the Timber Framing Experts”. We will send you a reply and answer your question here for others to see.

  1. What finishes can you do on the Timbers?
  2. Will you deliver to my state/country?
  3. What type of finishes do you put on the timbers?
  4. Do you have trusses in stock you can sell me for a faster turnaround time?
  5. What is less expensive, steel joinery or traditional joinery?
  6. What wood species do you work with?
  7. Will you work with an architect or contractor of my choosing?
  8. Why don’t you list prices on your website?
  9. Can the Vermont Timber Works crew erect my frame or do I need to hire a contractor?
  10. Do you sell barn kits?
  11. Do you sell just the steel brackets and plates?
  12. Do you sell plans of past projects? How much would a set of drawings cost?
  13. Can I order Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) with my Timber Frame from you?
  14. Does Vermont Timber Works custom design timber frames?
  15. Can you rush my order?
  16. Can Vermont Timber Works Hand Hew my timbers?
  17. How long does it take to get a timber frame?
  18. Do I need drawings or plans before I contact you for a quote?
  19. Does Vermont Timber Works use Reclaimed Wood?
  20. If I buy the frame elsewhere will you send a crew to assemble it for me?
  21. Can I buy the frame from you and erect it myself?
  22. Can I rent your crew/tools/equipment?
  23. Where can I find someone who will custom design me a House that can incorporate a Timber Frame?
  24. Can I visit your workshop?
  25. Can I encase my timber frame in glass, like a greenhouse?
  26. What is the cost of a Timber Frame? Can you estimate a cost per square foot?
  27. Why is the price I received from Vermont Timber Works different than the pricing from other companies?
  28. What is the scope of your work?
  29. Can I purchase the blueprints for the Texas Barn? What would a pre-cut kit cost delivered?
  30. With 8" x 8" main support timbers, what distance can I span with 6" x 8" purlins?
  31. Is there any possibility if I supplied CAD design for a small project: self supported white oak timber gable deck roof, your group could quote its production with joinery and shipped to Connecticut?

What finishes can you do on the Timbers?

We can finish the timber with a variety of textures including Rough Sawn, Planed Smooth, Semi Sanded, Hand Hewn, and Weathered. Learn more about timber texture options here.

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Will you deliver to my state/country?

We have delivered Timber Frames all over the country and even internationally. We may have even delivered to your state or neighborhood before.

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What type of finishes do you put on the timbers?

We typically use Minwax products (depending on application), but are open to new suggestions and products.

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Do you have trusses in stock you can sell me for a faster turnaround time?

Unfortunately not. Everything we do is custom and made to order, so we don’t have anything in stock. If you need trusses, they will need to be custom fabricated for your project.

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What is less expensive, steel joinery or traditional joinery?

Traditional joinery is normally less expensive than steel joinery. However, some clients prefer the look and aesthetic of the steel plates so we do offer steel connections at cost competitive prices. Often with big trusses and large loads steel joinery becomes less expensive than traditional joinery.

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What wood species do you work with?

We can use whatever species of wood is available to us, including (but not limited to) Douglas fir, hemlock, pine, white oak, red oak, cedar, southern yellow pine, cypress. We can use timbers that are either rough sawn or surfaced (S4S).

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Will you work with an architect or contractor of my choosing?

Yes. We have a good working relationship with many architects and building partners and will be happy to work closely with any other company or building professional you chose to be apart of your project.

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Why don’t you list prices on your website?

Because every project we do is completely custom, every timber frame will have a unique cost. Giving baseline prices could be misleading because many factors could change the price of the frame. The best way to get an accurate quote is to call our office and speak to one of our sales reps. After getting an understanding of your needs, they will present your plans to our estimator for a custom quote.

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Can the Vermont Timber Works crew erect my frame or do I need to hire a contractor?

Our crew can come to the site with the frame and erect the timber frame on site.

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Do you sell barn kits?

This question can be tricky. In a way we do, as in we can fabricate the timber frame and ship it to you in pieces as a “kit” for you or your contractor to put together. However, we’ve found that when people refer to “kits” they are generally referring to something that is typically at a lower price point, that is mass produced from a few models that the customer can choose from. Kits are the right choice and a great option for lots of people, but this is just not what we do at Vermont Timber Works.

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Do you sell just the steel brackets and plates?

We don’t do any of the steel fabrication at our workshop, and every piece of steel that goes into our timber frames is custom designed and fabricated for that specific project. We only provide steel fabrication services to Timber Frames we are fabricating.

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Do you sell plans of past projects? How much would a set of drawings cost?

Because everything we do is custom to each client, their location and individual needs, we don’t sell plans or designs of past projects. You can reference a particular project as inspiration, and we can help you come up with something similar, but we won’t replicate the exact same structure for you exactly because your location will be different and require different structural engineering to comply with your local building codes.

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Can I order Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) with my Timber Frame from you?

Yes. We work with Foard Panel to offer a SIPs package in addition to your timber frame.

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Does Vermont Timber Works custom design timber frames?

Yes. Whether you have plans, a sketch, or a basic idea of what you’re looking for, we can design you a custom timber frame specifically for you and your project.

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Can you rush my order?

Sometimes we can expedite things depending on the workload in our shop, sometimes it’s just not possible. If you need a faster than usual turnaround time, please mention this early in the process.

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Can Vermont Timber Works Hand Hew my timbers?

Yes. We pride ourselves on being a custom shop that fabricates all our frames by hand. We can hand hew your timbers as they would have been done traditionally with an adze and slick.

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How long does it take to get a timber frame?

Our process involves two distinct stages: the shop drawings and the fabrication. Shop drawings normally take a couple of weeks to prepare and a week or so for you and your team to approve. After approval and authorization to order the timber on your end, we can be on site within 10-14 weeks. Depending on our work load and your scheduling needs we may be able to push the project faster.

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Do I need drawings or plans before I contact you for a quote?

Having drawings or plans already prepared when you contact us helps us provide you with a more accurate estimate for the cost of your timber frame, and gives us a clearer idea of what you’re looking for. That being said, it is not required. Some clients send images of projects that they like to give us a sense of what they are looking for. In all cases, we always strive to design a frame that meets each client's vision.

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Does Vermont Timber Works use Reclaimed Wood?

Yes. If you’d like us to use reclaimed wood for your frame or for part of the frame, let us know and we can source reclaimed timber for you.

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If I buy the frame elsewhere will you send a crew to assemble it for me?

No. It is not cost effective for us to have our crew erect anything they didn’t also fabricate.

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Can I buy the frame from you and erect it myself?

Yes. We can fabricate the frame in our workshop, and then we can ship you the frame disassembled with each piece numbered and with a set of detailed shop drawings so that you can assemble the frame yourself. We are always available by phone or email to answer questions and help you with the process.

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Can I rent your crew/tools/equipment?

This is not a service we provide. If you are doing the project yourself or with your own crew, you will need to rent or buy some tools. We have a list of tools that we use that we can forward to you. We do offer a "site supervisor" for additional cost who can travel to your location and help your crew assemble and raise your timber frame.

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Where can I find someone who will custom design me a House that can incorporate a Timber Frame?

Often times we recommend people start with sketches and your own research and find an architect or designer whose work you like. After a set of plans or drawings have been made, we can design a timber frame that will work with your plans.

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Can I visit your workshop?

Yes. We are located at 16 Fairbanks Road, North Springfield VT, 05150, and we are open for visits from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

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Can I encase my timber frame in glass, like a greenhouse?

Although there are ways to make this type of building work, please remember that wood is a natural product with some moisture content, and over time will dry, shrink, crack, and sometimes twist, causing changes to the structure and sometimes disturbing the glazing.

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What is the cost of a Timber Frame? Can you estimate a cost per square foot?

This is the most common question we receive, and the most difficult one to answer. It’s like asking what is the cost of groceries, or the cost of a car. The price all depends on the specifics of what you’re buying. There are a variety of factors that will determine the cost of a timber frame including the size, type of the structure, and where it will be located. Frames are engineered to meet site-specific snow and wind loads. Frames on the sea coast or in the mountains are engineered for higher loads and therefore they are more expensive. Wood species is also a factor, as native hemlock is less expensive than free of heart Douglas fir or oak. Complexity contributes to the cost as well, as a fancy hammer beam frame is much more expensive than a simple barn design. The best way to determine the cost of your project is to give us a call and talk through the options.

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Why is the price I received from Vermont Timber Works different than the pricing from other companies?

It's hard to compare apples to oranges, so unless you have specific prints with true dimensions, our interpretation of your frame may not be exactly like that of our competitors. We also have an in-house engineer who works closely with our estimator to ensure that we have provided a quote for a structure that will stand. We prides ourselves in the fact that we use the highest standard of timbers, fabricate everything from scratch with hand tools in our shop, and still practice the old artisan style of cutting each piece with precision without the use of high tech machinery. Our quality speaks for itself and sets us apart from the others.

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What is the scope of your work?

As a timber framing company, our scope is to design, build and erect the timber frame. Your contractor or professional crew will enclose the structure as part of their scope. We can supply decking and coordinate with SIP (structural insulated panel) companies for you, although you might find it more cost effective to buy directly from those companies.

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Can I purchase the blueprints for the Texas Barn? What would a pre-cut kit cost delivered?

All of our frames are custom designed and custom engineered. As such we would need to engineer the Texas Barn for your location for the site-specific wind loads, snow loads, and seismic loads. The cost of the barn, which can be delivered in kit form, will depend on the amount of timber and where it will be delivered.

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With 8" x 8" main support timbers, what distance can I span with 6" x 8" purlins?

Questions like yours come up a lot. We would need much more information to answer the question. Like, where is the building located so we can calculate the snow and wind loads, what kind of wood you are planning on using? Douglas fir is stronger than white pine, so fir purlins can span farther than pine purlins. There is more snow in Vermont than there is in Texas, so purlins in Texas can span farther, but the wind loads in Texas might be higher near the coast, so that is a factor we consider too.

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Is there any possibility if I supplied CAD design for a small project: self supported white oak timber gable deck roof, your group could quote its production with joinery and shipped to Connecticut?

We would be happy to provide a quote. Please email your file to sue@vermonttimberworks.com.

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