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Barn Kit vs. Timber Frame Package

By Caitlin on May 18, 2018

Sometimes when new clients call us about a potential project they have questions about Barn Kits, if we provide them, and how our services compare to companies that sell kits. In this post I wanted to go over in very general terms, what a barn kit provides (generally, because every company is different and for specifics, you should inquire with the Kit company you’re interested in) and how that compares to the Timber Frame Package we provide at Vermont Timber Works.


What A Barn Kit Includes (Depending on the company you purchase from):

What is included in a Barn Kit can and will vary from company to company, but most include almost everything you (or a builder or contractor) will need to put together a complete barn. Most don’t include things like a foundation, roofing, windows, nails, HVAC systems, plumbing, electricity, or flooring. So you’ll have to hire people to come install these things for you or do it yourself. Some Kit companies will offer “upgrade packages” that may provide some of these additional things. And while some Kit companies will only deliver the Kit itself, some will offer building services, which is generally a third party builder that they’ve contracted for the job on your behalf. However, anything more than just the delivery of the Kit is going to have a higher cost.


What A Timber Frame Package from VTW Includes:

With A Vermont Timber Works Timber package, you get a custom-designed, hand-cut Timber Frame shipped to your building site in “ready to assemble” pieces. We only provide the Timber Frame skeleton so the roofing, siding, foundation and flooring, etc. will have to be provided by your contractor or builder. For an additional cost, you can elect to have one of our site supervisor come to your site to guide your contractor or builder in assembling the frame, or you can choose to have our crew come out and raise the Timber frame entirely.


The Differences between a Timber Package and a Kit:



A Timber Frame design from Vermont Timber Works is 100% customized. We don’t have any designs or pre-engineered plans that you can choose from or customize, so what we do is always completely custom from start to finish. Every frame we design has been specifically designed and engineered for our client’s individual barn, taking into consideration their land, their location, and their intended use of the barn.

Many barn kit companies allow for a variety of customization to their established designs and plans. So if you build with a kit, you can choose from stock designs and have them altered to fit your needs.



Many kits have pre-built components that are shipped and then assembled at the build site. The level of pre-fabrication varies by company and by design. Kits will have more components than a Timber Frame package.

Vermont Timber Works fabricates each Timber Frame by hand in our workshop in Vermont, and ships the frame dis-assembled to the build site.



The price of a Barn Kit will vary by company and you should always do your research as not all companies and not all kits are created equal in design and quality. Typically, a barn kit is going to cost less than a Timber Frame package.

A Timber Frame Package is more expensive than a barn kit because it is completely custom designed, it requires highly skilled labor to handcraft and assemble the frame and requires high-end superior quality materials used to construct the frame.



Both a Barn Kit and a Timber Frame Package will require a contractor, builder, or labor from the owner to complete. A kit generally needs a builder there to begin assembling the components once they are delivered.

A Timber package will be the same unless you choose for our crew to assemble the Timber Frame. However, you’ll still need a builder or a contractor to pick up the work from there and assemble the rest of the barn after the skeleton is complete.



To put it as a relatable metaphor, a barn kit is a nice suit you can buy and have tailor fitted to your specific measurements. Our Timber frame package is a custom suit that was designed and handmade specifically for you according to your tastes. Both suits serve the same purpose, both can be of good quality. It really all depends on your preference for how custom, unique and high-end of an item you’re looking to invest in.


Have a question about Timber Frames or VTW’s Timber Frame Package? Submit a question on our Ask the Experts Page. Looking to speak to a sales representative? Email us at [email protected]. Interested in signing up for our Newsletter? Sign up Here.


About the Author


Caitlin is a writer and a full-time Marketing Assistant. She has worked at Vermont Timber Works since 2017.
1 comment
  1. Wow! It looks like the framing timber is freshly harvested and kiln-dried.

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