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Top Ten Coolest Timber Frames by VTW (according to Mike)–#3

By Mike McLaine on March 20, 2015

The first day of spring has arrived!  Well at least by the calendar it has; the thermometer at my house was 14 degrees this morning, which is not exactly the warmest spring weather.  But here in Vermont we are prepared for another two months of killing frosts; we typically don’t plant our gardens in my town until Memorial Day weekend.

Speaking of Vermont, I am reminded of what I consider the #3 coolest timber frame Vermont Timber Works has built–the Night Pasture Farm in Chelsea, VT.  Check out the rest of The Top 10 Coolest Timber Frames (According To Me) here!  This frame was cool because of its complexity and design.  The timber frame was set into structural panels that were fabricated off-site by Foard Panel in West Chesterfield, NH.  Our friends at Bonin Architects were awarded the AIA NH People’s Choice Award in 2013 for this project.

View from the back side

An evening shot of the residence

When we were fabricating the timbers in our shop we pre-assembled the keyed beams to ensure a tight fit.  Here’s a picture of Tom and me below, with Kellin double checking our work.  The keys are made out of cherry, and the beams are Douglas fir.

Cherry keys and black steel

Pre-assembly of keyed beams in our shop

The raising of the project went very smoothly, thanks to all of the issues being worked out ahead of time.  The deck was ready for our timbers, and we set to work doing our assembly and raising on site.  You can see the end of the cherry spline in the picture below.

Timber Bent

First Bent raised and braced on the deck

As we motored along on the project the crane was able to reach over the house to set the brackets on the back wall.

Brace being set by crane

Crane setting brace

Here is a closeup shot of the cherry spline detail between the plates.  The detail in the joinery is quite outstanding.

Spline out of cherry

Cherry spline joinery

Once our frame was set the panel company put the decking-clad panels right on top of the timbers.  The contrast in color between the timbers and the decking really makes the color of the Douglas fir stand out.

Decking installed

Decking installed right on top of timbers

There is more to these posts than meets the eye:  compound joinery, tricky post base and rafter connections, and chamfer details.

Canted posts

Beautiful view from Porch

Here’s a shot of the brackets on the back side of the house.

Timber Bracket roof overhang

Roof overhang with timber brackets

Here’s another shot of the brackets.  Notice the slight curve to the braces.

Timber Brackets

Back side view of the overhang brackets

Moving inside we can see some of the fine workmanship.  This is a view from the loft over the kitchen area.

Loft view area

View from the loft area

Here is a view of the living area.

Living Room

Heavy Timber Living Room

The kitchen and dining areas blend seamlessly into the rest of the house.  Check out the built-in bookshelves in the chimney:

Living Room View

View from Living Room

And finally, the stone mason has a keen sense of play, and craftsmanship with this particular detail.  Don’t try this at home.

True craftsmanship

Vermont Craftsmanship

Thanks for stopping by our timber framers’ blog! If you like this timber frame home, or have any timber work questions, we invite you to get in contact, ask an expert, or share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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  1. Will Fawkes says:

    That house looks beautiful. The timber frames were a perfect choice for this sort of construction. My brother recently bought some land, and we’re planning on building a house soon. I’ll show him this for inspiration. Really, great work.

    • Sandy Connolly says:

      Thank you Will, we are glad you found us and wish your brother all the best on his timber frame project!

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