The Manchester Timber Frame Barn – up in time for Winter

I have spent the past few weeks working with a great crew down in Manchester, Vermont. We have been working on completing a large (by early Vermont standards) New England barn, built from the 200+ year-old vintage post and bean frame that I wrote about back in September.

Manchester Barn Home by Green Mountain Timber Frames (800x601)

Manchester VT Timber Frame Barn

With hand hewn wood beams, and coming in at 31 by 41 feet, it’s a beautiful timber frame which originally stood in Middle Granville, NY.

The siding we used to finish the barn came from a different antique barn in the area. The star you see here had been saved from that barn siding by the salvage company and we integrated it into the renovated barn as an art form, more or less.

Star on Salvaged Wood New England Barn

This type of star may have been used originally as a feature in barns to allow birds inside. In the photo below, you can see the bird box we designed in the new, old barn. The bird box is designed around Kestrel Falcon specifications but only time will tell who will inhabit it!

Bird Box in Restored Timber Frame Barn Vermont

Bird Box access inside Restored Timber Frame Barn.

We are hopeful that a Kestrel will come nestle in this nook. Here’s how it looks from the exterior of the frame.

 Bird Boxes from Outside of Timber Frame Barn

Exterior view of bird boxes on barn

As you can see in the picture above, the barn features a total of six of these style of openings, but five of them are faux. 

American Kestrel in Timber Frame barn

American Kestrel

Here is another picture of the guys installing the bird boxes.

Installing the birdbox in the timber frame barn

Installing the birdbox in the timber frame barn

Below, you can see the overhang supporting the future sliding barn doors. We finished it with a beautiful copper standing seam, to compliment the cedar shake roof.

Copper Seam Over Gable Barn Doors

Copper roof overhand above barn doors.

This past week, we focused much of our time on installing the vintage siding.

Siding on Manchester Timber Frame Barn Frame

Adding the vintage siding to the timber frame barn

Now that the structure is nearly finished, the one thing left is to install the cedar shake roof! We are quite excited about the final product!

If you are interested in a timber frame barn or post and beam home, please do let me know! We have available frames at our workshop in Middletown Springs, VT. 

The Timber Frame Gazebo

Available Timber Frames Vermont

Existing Gazebo – Replicated in Vermont

What do you get when you mix a timber frame and a gazebo?

Around the turn of the century, architects and brothers, Charles and Henry Greene designed beautiful structures like this gazebo, using classic post and beam styling. The Greene brothers were active mostly in California, but they built houses across the country and studied architecture at MIT in Boston. To this day, they are recognized as some of the best representatives of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.

Here at Green Mountain Timber Frames, I am currently working with clients who wanted to create a gazebo in Vermont based on pictures and measurements they had made from an existing Greene-styled structure in Rhode Island. To start the process, I called in James Platteter, an extraordinary period furniture maker – check out his web site.  Jim provided the mechanical drawings for the structure the old fashioned way – with hand drawings, not a CAD program. Next, we ordered beautiful new timbers of white oak wood and began to shape and form them into the various segments needed to create the wooden gazebo.

White Oak Timbers for Vermont Timber Frame Gazebo

White Oak Timbers
For Vermont Timber Frame Gazebo

Gazebo Parts for Timber Frame

Piecing Together the Gazebo

Working carefully, with attention to detail, we were able to accurately replicate the Greene brothers’ architectural style. We spent a collective 450 hours building and raising the American Arts and Crafts style frame. Our clients also chose to join the fun by taking part in the raising.

Historic Timber Frame Gazebo American Arts and Crafts Architecture Historic Timber Frame Vermont American Arts and Crafts Architecture The Greene Brothers architectural style is notably influenced by a variety of cultures. Elements of Japanese, Chinese, Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts styles can be seen in their work. We tried to duplicate this eclectic style in the gazebo. We carefully chiseled the ends of the white oak timbers and the diagonal braces to replicate “floating clouds”. Using this hand chiseling technique, we gave the wooden pieces more shadow lines and rounded edges. This style creates a softness that is pleasing to the eye and works well in the design of this gazebo. Jim and I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity. Now that the frame is complete, we will finish the frames roof  by applying red cedar shakes. A stone mason will also be working on the frame, wrapping the block foundation in field stone. When the gazebo is finished in the next week or so, we will be sure to post a picture!

At Green Mountain Timber Frames we do frame restoration, replicas of historical properties, new timber frame structures, and we also have old timber frames and barns for sale. If you would like to discuss a project or see one of the Vermont timber frames we have in stock, please do contact me.

Bennington Project Independence – restored timbers above, restoration within

Like Isaac Newton and gravity – the Bennington Project Independence started with an apple. Or more specifically, an apple orchard. The orchard land and buildings that are now home to the Vermont’s Bennington County premier adult day care center, were acquired in 2004. In 2008, I had the honor of restoring two of its original timber frame barns, transforming them into the dining hall and conference room of this remarkable facility.

Apples and Timber Frames

There were originally two old barns on the property, one from the 1790s and the other from the 1860s. We used both barns in our part of the construction of the new facility, allowing us to hold on to a piece of history and restore the beams so they can stand for another century.

Original Timber Frame Barn Vermont

Historic Barns Before Work Began, Bennington, Vermont”

Original Timber Frame Barn Vermont

The 1790 Barn Before Restoration

The 1790s barn was restored and the timber frame now houses the Center’s dining hall.

Dining Hall from restored Timber Frame

Dining Hall from restored Timber Frame

The 1860s historic barn was transformed into a conference room and bathrooms, adjacent to the dining hall.

It really is wonderful to see how old barns can find new life and bring such a special meaning to a room. The hand hewn wooden timbers lend the dining hall a very warm and inviting feel,and participants enjoy socializing, dining and dancing under the frame.

Restored Beams in Vermont

Dining Hall Ceiling

We are proud to have been chosen to restore each structure. If you are in Bennington Vermont, a visit to the Center is worth the effort.

Here is a picture taken from the outside:

Bennington Vermont Restored Timber Frame

Bennington Project Independence*


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

*Photo Credit: Ori Kaplan

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

Saving Another Old Barn


Saving Another Old Barn

Gunstock Timberframe Barn

This beauty of a Gunstock Barn Frame dates from before 1800! The wide boards on the walls and ceiling indicate early construction and a timber framer who had skills and a real dedication to craftsmanship  Most notable is that the builder was willing to spend extra money on quality sheathing boards.

We are fortunate in our area that many of the old barn roofs were made from slate, thus preserving these abandoned barns for many decades until new life can be brought back into the building.

In other news, I am looking forward to this weekend! I will be spending the next few weeks restoring a gunstock timber frame barn. I will post pictures soon of the entire restoration process. Lots of old barn frames are coming my way, and it seems at time I just can’t save them all…

This beauty from nearby Vermont – could make a beautiful barn home!

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