New England Timber Works Unlimited, LLC

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Timber Frame Homes - The Past Inspires Our Future

In an age of rising home-heating costs and increased awareness concerning “green” issues, some environmentally-conscious consumers might ask if timber frame homes, often known as post and beam homes, are a wise investment idea. After all, timber frame homes often feature soaring main rooms with lofted ceilings, arched entryways, panoramic windows, and thick, hand-hewn beams of precious woods such as Eastern white pine, Douglas fir, hemlock and Western red cedar. Can such timber frame construction truly be a wise use of natural resources? Can these lofty open-spaced timber frame homes be efficiently heated and cooled?

To answer these questions regarding timber frame homes, New England Timber Works Unlimited soundly replies “Yes!”

Timber frames homes of today evolved from the Great Halls of the Middle Ages that speckled the European countryside in abundance. Originally designed to hold up thatched roofs which allowed smoke from cooking fires to escape while keeping out wind and rain, timber frame homes grew in popularity with the advent of peg and joint technology in about 1200 A.D. As trading routes flourished and new architectural styles and materials became available, the affluent class distanced themselves from “common” building styles and materials such as post and beams in favor of more elaborate and complicated designs that could not be readily imitated.

Fast forward through Tudorism, Victorianism, Minimalism, etc. and today timber frame homes are again returning to their esteemed place in historic design aesthetics. Not only do timber frame homes possess warmth, nobility and charm, and evoke powerful connections to ancient traditions and history, but these ruggedly-built structures possess far more stability and structural integrity through their exoskeletal designs than do the majority of houses built today. Since no internal load-bearing walls are required for support – walls which are necessary in ‘traditional’ stick frame construction – timber frame homes have the ability to house magnificent open spaces that inspire awe and appreciation for other architectural elements. Timber frame homes thus use fewer resources for the additional inner walls which often clutter and confine most of today’s residences.

Energy fuel costs and efficiency are also addressed through New England Timber Works’ use of stress skin panels in the construction process of our timber frame homes . This revolutionary technology can be credited with much of the renewed interest in timber frame homes and their construction, and NETWU utilizes these panels on all our new timber frame homes.

Stress skin panels normally consist of two exterior “skins” or surfaces surrounding a hard plastic foam core. Comprised of skins usually made of plywood and gypsum board with an expanded polystyrene core that varies in thickness from two to twelve inches and can be up to 8 feet by 24 feet in size, these stress skins are light and easily applied to timber frame homes and yet compare in strength with that of an I-beam. The results – a tight and efficiently-sealed home that maintains itself from visit to visit and earns an Energy Star designation for federal and state construction standards for energy efficiency.

For the aesthetics of design, wise use of renewable resources, durability and longevity, and energy efficiency for conservation goals, New England Timber Works Unlimited offers timber frame homes that feature compelling craftsmanship and timeless elegance.





*Ask about "Green Building" with New England Timber Works!

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