In November 2017, TimberHomes raised a timber frame hybrid barn with an upstairs apartment in West Windsor, VT. The 25’x37′ structure has an uninsulated shop space in the downstairs. The cold space is capped by a well insulated and air-sealed floor system that supports a fully functional apartment in the upstairs. The apartment is accessed by a set of exterior stairs which are covered by the roof overhang.
As a timber frame hybrid, the barn’s exterior walls, its roof system, and most of its floor system is stick framed with a combination of rough sawn and standard dimensional framing stock. The timber frame portion of the project was reserved for the “high visibility” locations such as the interior queen post assembly; shed rafters and posts; and the interior and exterior post/hand rail assemblies.
With this timber frame, one can find the TimberHomes’ preferred material choices: Eastern White Pine for the heavy timber members; White Ash for the handrails; and Black Cherry as balusters. The backdrop of freshly primed sheetrock, allows one to appreciate the various colors and grains of the wood. The contrast is one of our favorite ways to present our work!
Being far from the company’s base in Vershire, TimberHomes was grateful to be able to rely on the talent of its subcontractors. To tackle the barn’s electricity, TimberHomes once again called on Harmony Electric of Randolph, VT. Being both stick and timber framed, heated and unheated, the project demanded special attention to air sealing. Fortunately, Harmony is accustomed to working with TimberHomes’ approach.
In terms of insulation, the barn is largely insulated with dense pack cellulose which was installed by Alex Riesterer of Central Vermont Insulation. In most cases, Alex blew in his material from the outside through carefully drilled holes in the wall and roof sheathing. In TimberHomes project manager Sam Heidenreich’s opinion, “Alex did an excellent job and was a real star in terms of the project.”
With one of the coldest winters on record, attention paid to air sealing and an excellent insulation job helped keep the working temperature inside the apartment tolerable. Equipped now with a centrally located wood stove and a mini split heat pump, the apartment is now comfortable despite being completely surrounded by cold air!