Timber Frame Cabin on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire

November 9, 2021  |  Photo Credit to Dawn Robin and Annie Johnson, Author Credit to Annie Johnson

As custom builders, we love a good challenge and our recent Barndoor Island timber frame cabin was a standout example.  For this project our client wanted a modest 2-bedroom cabin situated on a picturesque parcel in New Hampshire, on Lake Winnipesaukee’s Barndoor Island.  Our task was to not only design and raise the frame, but also enclose the frame with paneling, insulation, roof boards, windows, doors, exterior siding, and trim.

Various members of the TimberHomes crew from both shops enthusiastically volunteered to be part of this unique 4-week build which involved a barge ride out to the island at the beginning of the week (along with that week’s materials), sleeping in tents, cooking meals over a camp stove in an outdoor kitchen, building from sun up to sun down, and hitching a ride via barge back to the mainland to close out each week.  With daily Winnipesaukee swims and sunsets there to encourage us along the way, this was a build to remember. 

Usually, most measurements and cutting of materials can happen on site; however, to minimize barge trips and camping time on the island, we prepackaged every material into premeasured, precut bundles that were easily moved on and off of the barge by skid steer each week.  This was a considerable feat of organization and involved more than one extensive checklist. 

Months prior to the raising the shop was buzzing with tongue and groove paneling being perfectly pickled while every last panel, roof board, siding plank, and block of insulation were cut precisely to length (and mitered and beveled, when necessary) using our plans.  Even roof underlayment and vapor barriers were rolled out on the floor of the shop and precut.  We also planned ahead for hundreds of pounds of fasteners (nails, screws, staples, and the like) needed for every aspect of the build and packed them carefully into crates along with our full complement of tools, batteries, cords, and hoses.

In the near future, this timber frame cabin will receive a deck overlooking the water and interior finishes by a general contractor, while the TimberHomes crew will exchange their favorite Barndoor Island dinner recipes.