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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 send it to us. We will send you a reply and answer your question here for others to see. Answers to more detailed questions can be found under the “Design Q&A”, “Engineering Q&A” and “Project Management Q&A” tabs. Ask your question!

Important Note: We have had some web server problems with the question form. If your question hasn’t been answered, we apologize. Please send an e-mail and we will answer it right away.

  1. What type of finishes do you put on the timbers?
  2. What is less expensive, steel joinery or traditional joinery?
  3. What wood species do you work with?
  4. Do you sell barn kits?
  5. Where can I get the steel brackets?
  6. How much would a set of drawings cost?
  7. How long does it take to get a timber frame?
  8. Can I encase my timber frame in glass, like a greenhouse?
  9. What is the cost per square foot of a timber frame?
  10. Why is the price I received from Vermont Timber Works different than the pricing from other companies?
  11. What is the scope of your work?
  12. Can I purchase the blueprints for the Texas Barn? What would a pre-cut kit cost delivered?
  13. With 8" x 8" main support timbers, what distance can I span with 6" x 8" purlins?
  14. 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 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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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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Do you sell barn kits?

All of our buildings are custom designed for the specific needs of each client, and then the frames are shipped in kit form to be assembled on site. We can work with you and your contractor or architect to get the timber frame building that best suits your needs.

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Where can I get the steel brackets?

Our steel connection brackets, like our timber frames, are custom designed and fabricated for each individual project. We would be happy to steer you towards our custom steel fabricator.

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How much would a set of drawings cost?

Our buildings, because they are custom designed, are engineered for site-specific loads. A set of drawings from a barn in Texas will be different from a similar structure in Ohio because the snow, wind and seismic loads in each area are different. We have the ability to generate drawings for your custom project with our specialized software. The cost will depend on the size and complexity of your project; please inquire.

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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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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 per square foot of a timber frame?

Our pricing is based on complexity and board footage (a volume measurement of wood). Because each project is unique, the cost per square foot is different for each timber frame. Some of the factors that affect cost are the species of wood, type of joinery (traditional or steel), size of the timbers, and location of the project. We are happy to run your project through our estimating department in order to give you a proposal that suits your needs and budget.

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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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Vermont Timber Works