Gambrel House – Revisited

I want to venture back into a previous blog with an update. While this unique Gambrel-style frame doesn’t look any different yet on the outside, things are happening beneath the skin.

I have lots of pictures – inside and out – to show and will be sharing more in the coming weeks. For those of you who missed the last blog, here is a picture of the Gambrel style timber frame house in Danby, VT.

Gambrel Roof Timber FrameThe historic property has a unique Gambrel roof. This style of roof originated in Europe, but the term gambrel is an American one. In the US, gambrel roofs are sometimes called Dutch gambrel. Note the double slope on both sides of the roof; this design allows for a more spacious second story. This particular timber frame measures 28×38 feet and features many gunstock posts.

Half dovetail resting on gunstock post

Half dovetail joint resting on gunstock post in the Gambrel house

(Need a refresher on gunstock posts? Check out this blog!) 

I am working on the restoration together with furniture maker/timber framer Luke Larson. So far, Luke has removed all of the interior walls as well as the second floor wide boards which are made of rare old growth pine.

Wide board flooring before restoration in timber frame barn home

Wide board flooring salvaged from Gambrel second floor

Restored wide board flooring

Similar wide board flooring, restored & turned into a table top

The next phase will be to remove all of the wall and roof boards. Then we can concentrate on carefully dismantling the frame. At that stage, I’ll check back in with pictures of the open timber frame.

One unique feature of this frame is the ceiling in the master bedroom. It has beautiful domed rafters.

Domed Ceiling in Bedroom of Timber Frame

Domed ceiling in bedroom of  Gambrel frame

Here you can see one of the gunstock posts very clearly. Note how it carries two different timbers at the top of the post.

Gunstock post carrying two corners

Gunstock post carrying  both top plate and floor girt.

The wide wall planks can make beautiful tables like below.

Restored wood used as a table in modern home

Table made from restored wall planks.

Lots of beautiful work can be done with the wood we salvage from a vintage house. Here is an example of a staircase made from restored wood.

planks used as a stairway in renovated timber frame

Wooden wall  planks used as a stairway in a restored timber frame home

How old is this Hand Hewn Timber Frame house?                                                    This Gambrel turned up in a 1940 book about historic houses in Rutland County, Vt. According to this book, the frame may be older than we thought – dating from before the 1800s.

Interested in living beneath these timbers?

Who wouldn’t want a master bedroom with a historic domed ceiling from colonial times? Please do be in touch! We have several timber frames for sale, so do contact us with any questions or interest! We always enjoy talking about frames!

1880s Vermont Vintage Barn for Sale

Exploring a new old barn is always fun for me, but it’s especially nice when the frame is a local one and needs little restoration. I do this work because I am passionate about preserving the heritage and craftsmanship of New England. Each barn we are able to rescue feels like history is saved, at least another 100 years or more.

While I’ve been doing this for decades, I still feel the same thrill each time I find a vintage barn in reasonable condition, restore it and transform it for a new owner who will enjoy it for decades to come.

This post and beam barn, dating from the 1880s, comes right from my hometown of Middletown Springs, VT.

middletown springs vermont barn houses

1880s Barn for sale from Vermont

The vintage frame measures 18’x30’ and is built from sawn 8″x 8″  timbers. The person who built the barn used traditional post and beam joinery and the timber frame structure features 4 bents and 3, 10 foot bays.

The interior design is a bit unusual – part corn crib and part something else. My best guess is that the other part of the barn was used as a cheese house or perhaps as lodging for hired help. You can see in the picture below that this separate section of the barn was finished with plaster. I’ll ask around town with the octogenarians, they might remember something from the 30s or 40s.

barn homes vermont - interior

Plastered section of barn interior

While the barn is currently in Middletown Springs, VT, the current owner is hoping that we can find a new owner to enjoy this piece of history. I am happy to help transport it to a new location in New England or New York.

The barn has a beautiful slate roof that is in great condition. It stands 1 and 1/2 stories tall. The floor boards are also in great condition and the half story measures 2’8” making for plenty of head room on the second floor.

vintage post and beam barn

Upstairs interior view of 1880s barn

This old barn is for sale –  – and with 1100 square feet of interior space, it offers lots of possibilities. It could make a very nice first home, a workshop, studio or camp.

For someone looking for a bigger space, we can easily add ten-foot shed additions, which would increase the first floor living space to 28’x38’.

If you are interested, please do let me know! The frame comes complete with siding, roof boards, floor boards, and the slate roof.

post and beam barn for sale

Middletown Springs, VT historic barn for sale

Want to check out this barn or another available timber frame we have in stock, please contact Green Mountain Timber Frames!

Hartford Modified Gunstock Barn

Recently, I left Vermont and drove over the border to New York. I wanted to take a closer look at a recently discovered barn. The barn is one in a group of five historic barns in West Hartford. You can see most of the barns on the Available Frames page of my Green Mountain Timber Frames website. 

The barn measures 22 x 32 ft. and is a “modified gunstock” frame. It has gunstock corner posts with drop girt mid posts. The pictures below help explain what this means.

The gunstock style of barn construction was popular before the 1820s. I would estimate that this beauty of a timber frame was built before the 1800s. It features chestnut timbers and the rafters are half-rounds.

When it comes time to restore this fine structure, we will replace the half-rounds with hand-hewn hardwood rafters salvaged from a late 1700s frame and transform it into a custom home, addition, studio or barn.

Here you can see the view from the front. 

Old Barns for Sale

Historic Barn for Sale

Below is the back of the barn. Note how the back side of this vintage barn isn’t painted – a classic Yankee tradition! I guess they were trying to save some money by only painting the side facing the road.

Old Timber Frame for Sale

Back View of Hartford Historic Barn

This picture shows the five-sided ridge beam. This style of architecture gives more structure to the roof system. Timber framers stopped using ridge beams after the 1840s. By eliminating them, I imagine it made the building process go more quickly.

Gunstock 5 sided ridge beam in timberframe

Five-sided Ridge Beam in Modified Gunstock Frame

The rear corner post below is a gunstock post  – it’s tapered like the gunstock of a rifle. The nearer post on the right is called a drop girt post – not tapered. (Please ignore the round timber). This is why I am calling it a “modified gunstock frame”.  It’s a mystery to me why they chose this combination of styles, using both gunstock and drop girt posts. Perhaps they were trying to simplify the joinery – timber joints.

Corner Post - Gunstock Frame - Old Barns for Sale

Corner Post of the Modified
Gunstock Timber Frame

Below are some more views of the interior:

Antique Timber frames for Sale with Chestnut Timbers

Chestnut Timbers in Vintage Barn Frame

Interior of 19th Century New England Timber Frame Barn

Interior of Timber Frame Barn

Please let me know if you are interested in visiting this timber frame gem or seeing the other antique timber frames for sale at Green Mountain Timber Frames –  we encourage visitors! These strong wooden beams would really make a beautiful home or business space.

If you would like to see this frame, or another available timber frame we have in stock, please contact Green Mountain Timber Frames!

Waiting for the perfect frame for your barn style home?

Remember This Beauty of an Old Barn I Wrote About Awhile Back?

Ira Vermont old barn for sale - timber frame barn homes

Ira, Vermont – Antique Timber Frames for Sale!

Well this barn’s still for sale!

The Ira, Vermont farmer continues to hope that someone will save his 1770s gunstock frame.

The original barn is a 32’x40’ hand hewn, modified gunstock timber frame with hardwood timbers and gorgeous wide plank siding and roof boards. In the 19th century, two timber frame additions were added to this historic property, making it much larger today – 32’x87′. The slate roof is still in great condition and adds incredible value to the frame.

My Love For Historic Barns

I’ve driven by this old frame for years and it is one of my favorite historic properties in Vermont. Apart from the beauty of the old post and beam barn itself, the barn is full of original horse powered equipment tools that will be included with the sale of the barn.

The Magic of Barn Homes

If this barn became a custom built timber frame home, the small touches of horse-drawn equipment could help bring a rustic feel into the newly restored living space. Here are a few of the treasures we found inside:

Treasures inside Vermont Timber frames

Horse Tack in Vermont Barn

Horse Tack

We’re eager to help save this historic gem. The farmer is offering the barn and all the contents at a very fair price for anyone interested.

Did we mention there’s a corn crib?

There is a smaller timber frame – a classic Vermont corn crib – right out back on the same property in Ira, Vermont. This addition could be an entryway, guest house or office in your barn style home. Someone has expressed interest in it, but it may still be available.

Timber Frame Old Barn Corn Crib

Timber Frame Corn Crib

Help us save these barns! Please pass the word along.

If you would like to visit these barns – or learn more about historic post and beam homes – please contact me. I began timber framing because I respect this time honored craft.  I’m trying to help the owner find someone to love this old timber frame and all of the history it holds.


An Evening of History, Music & Timbers

After working for so many months to restore this Vermont timberframe, I was looking for an excuse to invite friends to come on over to Sissy’s Kitchen and see the restored frame.

This gunstock barn was originally from Pawlet, Vermont, so I wanted some of the people from the town to come and see the restored frame.

My second passion aside from timber framing is music, so when a former client of mine told me that 3 Penny Acre, a very fine band from Arkansas, was traveling through Vermont and staying at their own barn style home, I saw an immediate opportunity.

Historic Restoration_Celebration of New England Heritage

Invitation to a night of music at Sissy’s

The band was looking to add another gig to their tour, and I thought the frame would make an ideal spot for a night of mellow music, delectable food and starry skies.

I checked in with Sissy about having a concert and she was game – offering to provide the crowds with tasty picnic style meals.

The Vermont summer cooperated with us and it was a beautiful evening. It was a grand event with over 100 folks showing from Middletown Springs and Pawlet, Vermont.

Partying and Music at Historic Timber Frame, Vermont

The crowds enjoy the music at Sissy’s

The band played on into the evening and captured our hearts. It was such a success, that they will be coming back again this summer to record with local musician,Jim Gilmour.

Evening under the Reclaimed Timber Frame

Evening under the Reclaimed Timber Frame

Meanwhile, the antique timber frame is still for sale and looking for a new owner… 

If you would like to see this Vermont timberframe or some of the other frames we have in stock, please do contact me. Green Mountain Timber Frames is working to find someone to love these old frames and all of the magical history they

Celebration at Sissy’s – in the barn frame!

Sissy's Old Barn Frame Restored - Party!

For folks who have been following the Gunstock story, this past weekend Sissy had her first round of parties under the restored timber frame! In the photo, you can see tables set for a family reunion of 25. The two 12 foot tables, created out of vintage barn planks and timbers especially for this space, easily accommodated the large and happy gathering.  

During this event, I stopped by for my first view of the frame under lights. It was lovely to see the old barn frame full of new life. Several family members mentioned there was a magical feeling to the whole evening and we hope to be hosting many more such evenings under the timbers!

If you would like to see some of the frames we have in stock or find out more about our current projects, please do reach out. We are working to find someone to love these old frames and all of the magical history they

Another Vermont Barn Worth Saving

Can you help me save this old barn from Ira Vermont?

Ira Vermont old barn for sale

Ira, Vermont Barn for Sale

In 1959, a Vermont farmer hung up the horse harnesses for the last time. One last time, he must have closed this barn door, never to go back in.

In 2013, his son decided it was time for the old barn to find a new owner – and a new beginning. And he contacted me.

Where is Ira, Vermont?

Ira Vermont Map

The town of Ira, Vermont is named after Ira Allen, brother of the famous Ethan Allen, who captured Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, with the Green Mountain Boys. Ira is located just north of my hometown Middletown Springs, Vermont. And this old post and beam barn was built back when the Allen brothers were roaming our area. Further additions were added in the late 1800’s to increase the size of this old timber frame barn to 32 feet wide by 87 feet long.

I’ve driven past this barn for 40 years and never knew its story. It is an honor when I get the opportunity to learn about a barn that is right here in my proverbial backyard.

I checked out this big, beautiful barn last month. It’s a special frame and I would love to help out the family and find it a new owner as quickly as possible. I’ve reached out to some former clients and am asking for your help too. 

The original barn is a 32’x40’ hand hewn, modified gunstock frame with hardwood timbers and lovely wide plank siding and roof boards. With the modifications done to this historic property in the 19th century, it’s much larger.

The original slate roof alone is worth 10 grand and is in great condition.

A real historic gold mine.

What is interesting about this barn is that it is still full of treasures from the past. Below are some pictures of what I found inside. When the seasoned farmer walked out in 1959, he left so much behind and much of it is well preserved.

Old Timber Frame Barn Treasures

There are several horse drawn equipment pieces.  Planters, cultivators, harness equipment, hay conveyor, etc. The pieces may fit well with local museums showcasing the  horse powered era.

Ira Barn Treasures

Horse Tack in Vermont Barn

Horse Tack

And check out this adorable corn crib that’s right out back of this barn!
Timber Frame Old Barn Corn Crib

There is even a little stairway inside the corncrib:

Staircase in Vermont Timber frame house

Folks can contact me if they are interested. I’m trying to sell for the owner. I can’t buy it at this time but want to help the son find a new owner.

If you would like to visit any of these barns – or learn more about all the details (I can always talk barn) please let me know. I’m trying to help out the owner and find someone to love these old frames and all of the magical history they hold.

Photo Recap of Restoring the Gunstock Timber Frame

(Or Sissy’s Frame as she now is known)

One great bonus of restoring this most recent frame has been the proximity to my house and “office.” In this panorama, you can see the restored gunstock frame in the center and behind the trees towards the right hand side is a view of a barn I have restored in my workshop – right next door!

Green Mountain Timber Frames and Sissy's Kitchen

Panorama showing Gunstock frame and Green Mountain Timber Frames’ Workshop

And here’s a shot of me and Sissy standing in front of Sissy’s Kitchen and a shot I love of the finished frame.

Old Barn for sale in Vermont

Old Barn for sale in Vermont!

Timber framer Dan McKeen and Sissy in Vermont

Restoring this frame has been a lot of fun, with no small credit due to Sissy for her culinary delicacies served with the love of home cooking. Lunch by Sissy's Kitchen Well earned Sissy's Lunch

Here the smiling crew raises the first wall of the frame:

timber frame barn raising

The happy timber frame crew

Smiling crew ready for Sissy’s lunch

By the way – we found an old-fashioned mower  – and sprinkler! Check out below and you can see Sissy mowing the lawn inside the restored frame.

Restored Gunstock Frame with oldfashioned Mower

Sissy mows the lawn

Old fashioned sprinkler in VT

The frame is only on display at Sissy’s – it’s still available for sale and inquiries are welcome!

Who wouldn’t want to take this old barn home with them…?

Interested? Send me an email!

Roof on Old Restored Timber Frame

This shot shows the roof we just finished.

Sissy’s Barn – Finishing up Restoration on the Gunstock Timber Frame

I’m feeling good about how this frame has shaped up. This week, we finally finished the roof details, so the plastic sheeting is gone. The roof is now all metal, protecting the old timber frame from the elements. This is the fourth roof that has covered this frame in her long life.

This picture shows the southeast corner of the frame, from the inside. (Was hoping to have lunch in their today but the weather had other plans.)

Inside the Restored Timber Frame

Southeast corner – afternoon light in the timberframe

I want to take the time to “clean the carpet” so to speak but I’m looking around for an old reel lawn mower to do the trick. It just seems the right way to go. I’ve been asking around town if someone has one I can borrow. (Please do contact me if you have one!)

Since January, I’ve put in about 600 hours of restoration work on this old frame. My friends and colleagues have put in 400 hours, just in the past few weeks.

Here she is: hundreds of years of history, 1000 hours in 2013…

restored timber frame barn available barn for sale

Sissy’s Barn has a summer guest – looking for a permanent home

Sissy’s frame is still looking for a new home! Please let me know if you are interested. You can also check out some of my available frames at:!available-frames/cqps

Memorial Day – Just me and the Timbers

Here’s a picture of some of the work I did on Memorial Day on the Gunstock frame over at Sissy’s.

Vermont Timber Frame Restored

It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed some hours working on the frame.

It’s lovely to see the frame up without plastic and that afternoon light…