The Big Plan

So I have been hinting around about the house addition since the completion of the barn project, or the semi-completion I should say. In the last couple of weeks I have been drawing up plans and putting prices together. I can tell you that the price of lumber and building materials has gone up substantially since I have last built anything for the house.

The addition will be 20’x28′ and it will be a hybrid timber frame and stick built addition. A hybrid is a nice way to go simply due to the prices of SIP panels. A house that might cost you, the homeowner, $20k to cut the frame will likely triple that just in the SIP panels.

SIP panels are great for dealing with the modern times of building codes that are geared heavily towards insulation and air infiltration but the cost of them is enormous. For most of us who want the timbered look in our homes, SIP panels are just beyond our budget.

Enter the hybrid timber frame and stick built home or addition. Basically you are still building a stick frame around your timber frame. Some people will timber frame the main living space of their home to get that wide-open floor plan and then build the rest of the house around the central living area. This works well because you can have the structural benefits of a timber frame with the standard lower costs of insulating the modern stick built home and on the plus side, you still get the stunning affects of a timbered living space.

In our case the timber frame within the stick built structure is strictly for looks and the reward that I get just from cutting joinery. This will still be built as if it is the main structure, timbers are heavy and there can still be issues if you do not execute the joinery properly just from the weight of the timbers.

For this build I will be making plans available to all of you folks. Here are the details of the addition:

-The slab will be poured at 6″ thick with a 12″x12″ footer all the way around the outside and down the center of the slab. This is the standard method for a floating monolithic slab.

-There will be four courses of block to bring the addition to the same height as the existing house. There will also need to be block columns under each wall post going from the slab to the subfloor. Standard subfloor will not support the weight of a timber frame.

-There will be two sets of laminated beams under the floor to support the floor structure. This will allow me take any bounce out of the floor framing.

-There will also be a master bathroom on the north side of the addition, this will be 8’x10′.

-Adjoining the master bathroom will be a 8’x10′ back porch, just big enough for two chairs and a small table. My wife and I enjoy our coffee so this will be a nice feature.

-There will also be a 4’x20′ closet in the space leaving us with a main room with a 16’x20′ measurement. The timber frame will be in the 16’x20′ area.

As this project progresses we will get heavier into the details but that is where we are at at this time. I have begun picking up materials and I have a lot of work to do before I even break ground. I need to get this place looking good and fix all of the little stuff that needs fixing in order to make the bank happy. Unfortunately I need to go through the bank, who knows, maybe we’ll have a viral video or two on the channel that will pay for it all.

With all of that said, look out for new content. It will not be long and I’ll be cutting timbers again, plus you will get to see this one from breaking ground to putting on the roof.

Owning a Sawmill, Why Not?

When I set out to get into timber framing and all things related to it I started out with the thought that I would mill my own timbers with my trusty old chainsaw mill. I had big plans, after all I had milled a ton of boards with my trusty old chainsaw mill. Milling boards for woodworking and milling timbers for timber work are not even close to the same thing.

After milling a couple of timbers I decided that this was just not going to do. So after about five minutes of contemplating I decided that I would figure out a way to get a bandsaw mill. I didn’t care if I had to build it or if I had to somehow scrounge up the money to get a used one. I started pricing out materials… The list started growing and all of a sudden a homemade bandsaw mill would not be much cheaper than buying a used mill, or even a new one.

I started pricing out mills and the sticker shock was a little much but I saw this as a tool that I had to have to do the project I wanted to do. I priced out Norwood mills, Woodmizer, Woodland Mills, you name it. Enter Hudson Sawmills. I had finally found a sawmill in my price range, width of cut I needed for cutting large timbers and length of track needed for cutting long timbers.

I was in business, sort of. I had to convince my wife that I had to have this thing, I couldn’t live without it. After minimal coaxing and a good sales pitch I had the blessing of the boss lady. A few days later I was on the road to Barnevelde, N.Y. with a trailer hooked to the truck and I was sawmill bound. After a quick sale and a ling ride home I finally had a sawmill, something I had been daydreaming about for years.

Setup was easy, the learning curve was even easier. I was amazed at how easy it was to set a log up for cuts and how square I could get my timbers. I was also amazed at how fast it was to cut timbers compared to the chainsaw mill. I could mill four or five logs on the bandmill to one on the chainsaw mill.

To make a long story short I was able to build a huge building for a fraction of the price of buying the timbers already sawn. I was able to have total quality control over my timbers and lumber. That is huge for having a large scale project go well. If somebody was to ask me if they should spring for a sawmill I wouldn’t hesitate to saw go for it.

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