Who Builds It?

Timber Home Living - - Annual Buyer's Guide -

Most tim­ber framers will cut the frame, de­liver it to your site and raise it. At this point, some will con­tinue to fin­ish the home’s con­struc­tion, while oth­ers will turn over the job to a con­trac­tor. Is there any ad­van­tage to one way or the other? Not re­ally. Some framers are ex­cel­lent builders, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to fin­ish work in a pre­dom­i­nantly wood home. Oth­ers may not be as ca­pa­ble or move as fast as you’d like. Or you may be build­ing your home far from your framer’s shop, and hir­ing a lo­cal builder may be more prac­ti­cal and af­ford­able.

Who­ever builds the home, the best qual­i­fi­ca­tions are that the per­son pro­vide re­li­able, qual­i­fied sub­con­trac­tors and that you feel ca­pa­ble com­mu­ni­cat­ing your needs. If you use a builder other than your framer, start by ask­ing the framer for re­fer­rals. Al­ways check out the ref­er­ences, and make sure the builder has all the li­censes and ap­pro­pri­ate in­sur­ance re­quired by state and lo­cal laws. A builder doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily have to have ex­pe­ri­ence fin­ish­ing a tim­ber home, although it cer­tainly helps. Two of the main dif­fer­ences be­tween com­plet­ing a con­ven­tional home and a tim­ber home that a builder will en­counter are know­ing where and how to hide the elec­tri­cal wiring and plumb­ing lines in a home with very few walls on the main floor, and how to prop­erly in­stall the in­su­lated pan­els that typ­i­cally en­close the outer por­tion of the frame. If the gen­eral con­trac­tor isn’t fa­mil­iar with tim­ber fram­ing, many com­pa­nies can ar­range to have a tech­ni­cal as­sis­tant or a whole crew go to the site to co­or­di­nate the frame rais­ing and panel in­stal­la­tion. Af­ter the tim­ber frame and pan­els are fin­ished, the house is com­pleted the same way as a con­ven­tional home.

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