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Timber Frame Cottage Raising: Preparation

by Tara

While Tyler spent the week working in sunny California, I held down the fort and got us ready for the long awaited frame raising of our little timber frame cottage! I set a date, invited some friends, and then proceeded to obsess about the weather every half hour for the rest of the week, checking to see if we'd have sun on the day I'd chosen.

The first stage of preparation was to schlep the timber frame we cut two summers ago from our neighbors storage shed to the house site. Thankfully I didn't have to do this alone—our friends Jeremy and Jenna helped (thanks you two)! After we had them on sawhorses near the house, I covered them with tarps and strapped everything down with a zillion bungees so the timbers would be safe and dry until raising day.

Jeremy Unloading Timbers at House Site Jenna & Tara

I also spent several hours with Charlie at the house site where we ran through our raising plan numerous times in the hopes of saving ourselves any headaches on the big day. We also began planning the pony wall installation (we'll be framing out an 18" high wall around the entire perimeter of the house, the first course of our strawbale walls will rest on it, safely off the ground).


Next on my to-do list was extending the posts of our house by one foot. Tyler was worried about how low the ceiling would be, and wanted to raise things up a bit. To do this, I met with our friend Rick, who was able to acquire a pair of 3-foot-long castoffs from a local timber framing company for us. The beams weren't the same size as ours, so we cut and planed them down in his workshop. Thanks Rick!!

Tara Cutting Timber (by Rick) Rick Cutting Timber

The following afternoon, I cut the castoffs into 1-foot lengths using our chop saw, then sanded and stained them in the hopes that they would match our timbers. It turns out the wood grain is vastly different, so it's pretty obvious they aren't the same, but we can cover the extensions in some creative fashion later. Maybe we'll put a facade on them so it looks like the posts are sitting on stone plinths?

Tara Sanding Cottage Timber Frame Post Extension Cottage Timber Frame Post Extensions

Finally, I attached the finished foot-long extensions by counter sinking holes in the bottom of the chunks 6" before driving four 12" TimberLOK screws into the end of each one.

Counter Sinking Cottage Timber Frame Post Extension Screw Holes

I had originally been concerned that this process would somehow weaken the structure and make our house "wobbly", but Tyler, Peter, Charlie, and Rick all assured me it would be fine. Sure enough, after I was through, I no longer held any doubts about the structural integrity of these puppies. They are sturdy!

It has been one hell of a week! Between hauling heavy things up to the worksite, making trips to the lumberyard and hardware store, and calling to coordinate a thousand tiny details with Rick and Peter and Charlie, there has been very little down time. I'm exhausted. Tomorrow morning, I'll be fetching Tyler from the airport, and the day after that, we raise the frame!



Your tf is looking good,i got a question for you,computer question,when you highlight something in blue,for example "the timber frame we cut two summers ago" and when you click on it,it takes you to a link about that,how do you do that? in laymans terms.
Posted by BRUCE WOLLISON on May 1st, 2014 at 1:52 PM
Hey Bruce,

Thanks about the frame! To your question, you can make links by typing this in sort of thing in your HTML code:
<a href="http://google.com">go to google</a>

Does that help?
Posted by Tyler on May 2nd, 2014 at 11:16 AM
no,could i call you ,what would be a good time,i am not that great on computers,i know how to copy and paste the http:// etc. and make a link that way,was just looking to rename it,and make the same link ,like you do,in blue,looks a lot better.
Posted by BRUCE WOLLISON on May 2nd, 2014 at 11:55 AM
I think i got it,thanks,took me 3 hours,i am a computer nerd in training.
Posted by BRUCE WOLLISON on May 5th, 2014 at 12:29 PM