Post and beam construction is back in fashion

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One of the most striking features of one $7.5 million estate for sale in Orleans (besides the Cape Cod manse’s price tag, that is) is its exposed timber frame construction, also known as post and beam construction. This traditional (and, until now, rather outtdated) house framing method is regaining popularity as more homes, restaurants, bars and public spaces have reintroduced the construction — such as exposed brick and beam — into their interior design.

“The aesthetic of the exposed frame adds warmth to a room, it’s appealing to people who don’t want sterile, conventional looking rooms,” says Richard Neroni, president of W.H. Silverstein, Inc., which developed mill working company Timberpeg — the company that fabricated the framing. “This house is on the larger size,” he adds. “Normally, the size home we build is 2500 square feet.”

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Timberpeg post and beam isn’t a luxury. In fact, it costs about the same as modern so-called “stick” framing. “The cost depends on the overall finish the home owner wants,” says Neroni. “It’s about $200 per square foot.”

And because Timberpeg’s method eradicates the thermal break of normal modern construction by wrapping the frame in sheet insulation, it’s more energy efficient than common framing, as well. Not just relegated to initial home construction, it can be used for additions, too. Timberpeg cuts the posts and beams, insulation, and wood siding to the design specifications and ships them ready for the builder to install. The Orleans home was built in built in 2001 by Harris Custom Builders of Cape Cod, but Timberpeg has representatives in many areas.

Timberpeg also happens to be one of the oldest and largest timber frame companies in the United States. It manufactures frames for homes and buildings both across the country and oversees, using what’s called mortise and tenon joinery fastened with wood pegs called trunnels. It’s behind the walls of many older Boston homes and is a technique used for centuries in England and Europe, and even China and Japan.

Considering jumping on the newly reinvigorated trend for your next home project? Neroni cautions that, “It’s not the type of thing that you and a bunch of friends can do over a weekend. You need an experienced builder.”

Interested in the Orleans estate? Contact Pamela Thompson of Cape Classic Realty in Falmouth: capeclassicrealty.com.

For more into on Timberpeg: timberpeg.com.


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