July witnessed the culmination of intense work over the past year in designing and organizing what will be TimberHomes’ Montpelier shop. The shop’s work/storage area is 54′ x 72′. An 18′ x 24′ office “bump out” projects perpendicularly from the north side of the main structure allowing for the visual enjoyment of intersecting gables.
While the structure’s timber frame and stick framed portions are just now getting underway, the preparation to get to this point was considerable. Though a reasonably flat location (for Washington County, VT), the site did require a substantial amount of excavation. Father and son team, Kevin and Allen Farnham from Plainfield did an extraordinary job of digging “the hole”; creating the horseshoe driveway; installing the septic tank and lines; and trenching for the mechanicals. In preparation for the concrete work, they did incredibly precise work in screeding the needed 12″+ of crushed stone to within a 1/2″ tolerance (of level) over a pad which measures well over 4,000 sq. ft.
As an example of an “Alaskan slab”, the shop’s floor has a “thickened: outer perimeter of 12″ of concrete and rebar. The center of the shop’s slab will be only 6”. In order to save on the cost of concrete, the slab design called for a 2×6 wooden grid to be built on top of 4″ of EPS foam, radiant tubing, and 15 mm Stego vapor barrier. Crushed stone was used to fill the 2×6 grid for thermal mass. Unfortunately, the excavator’s boom was not long enough to reach the center of the building, and Kevin and the TimberHomes crew had to wheelbarrow the material into place. Indeed it was hard work for a hot day!
Additional thanks is due to the other subs involved with the project .Integrity Electric of Montpelier and O’Riordan Plumbing and Heating of Calais we’re instrumental in preparing the mechanicals below the concrete. The concrete was once again handled by Steve Heller of Randolph. While the timber and stick framing have yet to begin in earnest, the stage has been set for what is promising to be a giant leap forward for TimberHomes. As a complement to the existing Vershire shop, the Montpelier shop holds a lot of promise to become a regional center for heavy timber construction, and value added products from the area’s forest resources.