A Ready-to-Build Timber Frame Cape

The Very Fine House is our modern take on the classic Vermont Timber Frame House.

Advantages to purchasing a "Very Fine House" from TimberHomes Vermont

Straightforward: With the Very Fine House you get the “Best of TimberHomes” designs without the additional planning and design cost.

Semi-customizable: This two or three bedroom cape comes with some pre-designed “add-on features” that can simply be tacked on to the bill without having to pay or wait for a quote.

Energy Efficient: All of our buildings meet and often exceed Vermont’s stringent residential building code. We utilize state of the art windows and air sealing products used in Passiv House construction.

Zero Emissions: The very fine house is designed to run on efficient electric heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. This means cleaner air in and around your home and more efficient use of the world’s natural resources.

Hybrid Design: The “hybrid timber frame” option (recommended) offers a timber frame core and stick-framed exterior walls and rafter system. The Hybrid is the best of both worlds. You get the look of a custom full timber frame with the savings of a less expensive “stick-framed” house.

Interested? Get in touch! : Send us an email » or call: 802-685-7974

Very Fine House 2 Specs

The Basics:

  • 1.5 story house
  • 2 or 3 bedrooms
  • building foot print 24′ x 32′
  • Livable square feet: 1,536

Preliminary specifications:

  • Building footprint: 768 square feet.
  • Approximate finished square footage 1536 square feet.
  • Concrete slab on grade.  Thickened edge, frost-protected slab, sanded and stained for finish floor. “Glavel” underslab insulation R-20. Roxul board slab edge insulation R-15.6
  • 2×6 walls insulated with dense pack cellulose: R-21 insulation value.
  • 2×4 truss rafter roof, 16 inches deep, insulated with dense pack cellulose for R-61 insulation value.
  • Air sealing three times better than the requirements for the VT energy code.
  • ZR-5 Alpen Windows.
  • 2 window color options: White & Bronze.
  • Shiplap exterior siding.
  • Standing seam metal roofing.
  • Pine exterior trim and casings.
  • Pine and Cherry interior trim.
  • Pine window and door jambs.
  • Planed and oiled timber frame.
  • Cabinets built in our TimberHomes Vermont shop featuring pine boxes, pine face frames, and cherry panel doors.
  • Maple butcher block countertops.
  • Timber frame stairs featuring cherry treads and pine risers.

Fine Woodworking

Our timber frames are built using natural timbers from our local forests. We work with high-quality timbers and individually choose the wood for your house with care. Trees are unique and, as such, are not perfectly uniform. This means that your Vermont cape will be unlike any other.


Required additions not included in base price:

  • Well or water system connection
  • Septic
  • Gravel Driveway
  • Provision of power to site
  • Site clearing and leveling

Options at Low or No Additional Cost

Much of the details of the Very Fine house are customizable with no or low additional cost. These go a long way in making this feel like a full custom home.

  • Window color: 2 choices, white or bronze.
  • Lighting fixtures.
  • Roof color.
  • Countertop material.
  • Plumbing fixtures.
  • Bathroom tile.
  • Concrete stain, color, and sheen.
  • Interior trim style and species.


These pre-designed options allow you to build your dream home without having to pay the premium for designing and building a custom home from scratch.

These features include:

Energy Efficiency

  • Upgrade windows to Alpen ZR-6 series. Better performance and more color options.
  • Provide Heat pump water heater and other features needed to meet Efficiency Vermont rules.
  • Add a TimberHomes Vermont Solar Shelter.
  • Rooftop Solar.
  • Backup generator.

Aesthetic Decisions

  • Change concrete floor to pre-finished hardwood.
  • Add dimmer package to lighting.
  • Add accent lighting package.
  • Change drywall to veneer gypsum plaster.


  • Change bathtub to walk-in shower.
  • Custom kitchen design & layout.
  • Add a wood stove.
  • Forked-post entry
  • Backup generator
  • Add woodshed or other outbuilding.
  • Wrap-around screened in porch or deck.
  • Full Basement.

Included Appliances and Mechanical Systems

The appliances and systems are priced out for mid-range quality. Mid-range tends to be plenty-good and much thriftier than your luxury brand items. A detailed list is available upon request.

Included Appliances

  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Electric Range
  • Range Hood

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning

  • Mini-split high efficiency heat pump provides heating and cooling. One outdoor head, two indoor heads.
  • Backup electric baseboard (for extreme low temperatures, if required).
  • Electric water heater.
  • Whole house ducted HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation).

Lighting & Plumbing Fixtures

  • Electric panel, wiring, and outlets.
  • Typical LED lighting. Recessed, wall sconces, etc.
  • MBR tub with tile surround.


Full Timber Frame VS Hybrid Timber Frame

When you build a full timber frame house, in some ways you have to build the structure twice. On a full timber frame we often have to build stick framed walls with 2×4’s or 2×6’s on the outside of the existing timber framed exterior walls. We call this a “shell” or a “curtain wall.”  The reason we do this is so you can see the beautiful timber frame that you paid for and because it is hard to insulate and run electrical and plumbing in a wall that is full of timbers.

The Hybrid Timber Frame has no timbers on the exterior walls or in the roof system. Instead we make the “curtain wall” structural using conventional “stick framing” or “balloon framing” techniques. The result feels largely the same on the inside but saves you a lot of money. The interior timber frame is still holding up the second floor and part of the roof framing and has the classic “structure with soul” feel of naturally curved timbers. See the pictures below for the difference between the two options.