Post-and-Beam


wrote:

Logs interest me less than PAB's, but maybe slightly more than sticks. I have a problem with the idea of many kinds of sticks, unless for smaller-scale homes, in which case, their scale renders their stick- structure more like PAB anyway, and that's how they might do well to be approached.
Post-and-beams (what I prefer to call them, over 'timberframes') are probably cheaper in the long run, and maybe even in the short too, if you factor in many other things that some people don't seem to consider. (And there is value to be had beyond mere money).
All things out of consideration, however, they're still not that much more expensive than sticks, and so still worth it for what you get, which is far more.
Another thing is whether PAB's (at least their frames, bents and/or sections) are (more) conducive to being prefabbed offsite; if a shorter time is needed to build them once onsite (and even in total); and if there is less environmental impact to the site.
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Oh dear. No slam, but where did you get the idea that PAB wasn't much more expensive than sticks, assuming you mean 2x studs? Large chunks of lumber are HUGELY expensive in themselves, the labor for the joinery is very expensive and the erection of the heavy timers is very expensive as well. And get this, all of it is purely cosmetic!
There is no structural reason to warrant large timbers for home construction. Here's a pretty accurate rule of thumb for residential construction using conventional method. Materials = $X Labor = 2x $X
For PAB I'd guess the cost is: Material = 4x $X Labor = 4x $X And I'm probably too conservative. Further, you still have to use sticks or some such other filler material between the PAB's. There's a reason why you never see small PAB homes. Almost all of them are large because the people that can afford them won't live in a small house. I designed Mike Greenwells house and in the ceiling of the living room, up at the 2nd floor level, was a douglas fir ridge beam 18" wide x 24" deep x 28' long and that beam alone cost $9,000. and it was supporting a network of perpendicular, smaller beams (rafters) which were supporting even smaller purlins, all douglas fir. The sheathing was exposed and pickled, driftwood finished 2x6 T&G southern yellow pine with 12" of closed cell foam on top and standing seam steel roofing. I did the shop fabrication drawings on all of the steel connection plates which were stainless steel.
PAB is fun to play and dream with but for 99.99% of the population that is all it is, a dream.
I heard of a concept the otherday that never occurred to me: using a regular water heater to power a radiant floor heating system. Now the wheels are turning. I wonder which rocks retain heat the best? I would imagine the densest ones, like maybe granite. Did I tell you that I've taken up stone carving? Fun, kinda easy, but pretty dusty. I clamp the stone down and hold the carver in one hand and the shop vac nozzle in the other, about 1" apart. Grind, suck, grind, suck. LOL Gave my first carving to my mother in law for her flower garden and she swooned. Now, I'm researching bigger rocks and how to transport them. My poor ol truck gets bowlegged if I put more than about 400# on it. I wanna do a real big one, maybe 10 ton or more, carve it on site, maybe egrets in flight or sumfink....or the man in the moon. ha!
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wrote:

I'm talking about structural post and beam, as opposed to cosmetic, and have seen a few quotes online of 10%-15% more expensive in total for the finished house, if I read correctly. The actual PAB frame alone is a little more expensive, but I'm still getting 30%-35%.

To me there is and there are other reasons too. From what I'm learning, they last a very long time; are reusable (recyclable); may be able to handle fires better (larger diameter timbers); are cost-effective over the long run; create better spaces; are good for earthquakes and hurricanes; are preferred by many people from an aesthetic/spiritual/historic/natural standpoint (and therefore may have better intrinsic, social, lasting and/or resale/rental value); and maybe more reasons too.

My clients want more than guesswork.

I have seen a PAB design in the book 'The House You Build', by Duo Dickinson, that apparently has the external walls away from the posts and beams (which is what I like-- the idea that you can swing completely around an "external" post from the inside), so that there's no, or less, infill required. I don't yet know how they made the walls though. Perhaps SIP's or 2x4's and some windows.

I already have online. I've seen all kinds of sizes, from sheds and cabins on up to timber-processing factories made of PABs.

Ironically, a smaller house is one way to get a very nice PAB.

You can believe whatever you want to believe.
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First off, both you guys need to get your heads straight on the definition of terms, both of you are all over the map in that regard. Second, as far as cost is concerned, there is reality then there is the internet. Reality always has its way. If anyone is *seriously* considering post and beam construction I suggest they talk directly to someone locally that can provide the materials and the craftsmanship to fabricate and assemble the parts involved and have that person give you a primer on ALL of the costs involved. Otherwise, keep dreaming. Hell, using ya'lls definition of post and beam, the deck I built can be called that. I mean, it has posts and it has beams........ Welcome to Euphemasia, where nobody means what they mean.
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In Richards words, those things are *sticks*, not post and beam like he showed in his drawing and what is normally referred to as Post & Beam construction. Hell, all stick built homes have the stuff you mentioned, but its a rare home that has Post & Beam construction. As far as your cost estimate goes, thats pretty easy when the costs are already known. Everything I've built so far has been within a few cents of what I figured because I called the suppliers up first and got the numbers and my labor was free. Labor is the difficult part to figure the cost of when outside help is required. Post and Beam construction, like Richard has been talking about has huge labor costs not to mention things like cranes, come-a-longs and outright muscle to get the things in place properly.
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o.ca> wrote:

It's another nice little build, Ken, and I think they conform well to human scale. Just because the wood is scaled down, too, doesn't mean it's not a PAB. There are a lot of gorgeous PAB cabins out there that I often find far more attractive than many stick-framed houses of any size.
Don, as I've already insinuated, if not mentioned, they appear to be far less than what you're suggesting (which would stand to reason, unless perhaps you factor in greed or lack of knowledge and experience) and there appear to be far more perks with PABs that you don't get with sticks. (Prefab used to be, or was/is supposed to be, cheap was/is it?)
Frankly, I'm unsure I like sticks all that much, now that I think about it, and would probably want a serious discount to have one designed/built for me. So there's an added cost for sticks right there. If you design for McMansion stick-builts, then I suppose I can understand where you're coming from.
A quote from: http://timberframeconsultants.net/pb_vs_tf.htm
"A simple way to compare timber frame to stick built is to point out that conventionally framed homes can be pretty dull unless they get tricked out substantially with crown moldings, paneling, tray ceilings and so on... These kinds of treatments can cause construction costs to equal or exceed the cost of timber frame construction. ...even a 5/12 pitched ceiling done in timber framing with wood decking is visually exciting and gives the room a very spacious feeling. Compare that to... see that even with a steeper pitch, a cathedral, sheetrocked ceiling is somewhat cold and austere."
As always, your incentives to do my homework/research are, oddly enough, appreciated.
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I'm reading more about them and they're looking less attractive, versatile, recyclable, and more expensive (such as in the long-run) the more I read. Apparently, they were designed to lessen the skill- set requirements of the average tradesperson. Do we include "intangibilities" such as desirability or level-of- happiness, in the cost-benefit analyses of stick-builts, or anything else for that matter?
There's the nice Rideau River near here that I'd like to swim in, but it may be too polluted. Do we want/need the cars and/or industries responsible for the polluting, or do we want/need a clean river right in our backyard (that we don't need a car to get to) that we can swim in and eat fish/ducks from?

Not yet. I am looking at about 4 years to set everything up (probably more than just a house).
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Tip: Now is a good time to buy land as it is just about bottomed out pricewise. It may go even cheaper but thats a gamble. When we built in 2002 we already owned the land, which we paid $3500 for and at the time we applied for the construction loan the lot appraised at $24,000. What that means is the equity in our lot was assumed as the major part of our down payment, but we still had to come up with another $10k at closing. None of that has anything to do with the $40k out of pocket I spent during construction, especially in the last month or so before we got the CO. Everything costs more than it costs and takes longer than it takes. Keep in mind that you pay the increasing interest on the construction loan while the house is being built. Its a monthly payment and increases with the amount of money the bank doles out. They don't give you the full loan amount up front but rather issue *draws* while the thing is going on. In July 2002, the last full month of construction on the new house we had to pay more than $2500 for the monthly payment on the house we were living in and the new one. Thats tough and we continued to pay that amount til we sold the old house in Nov 2002.
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o.ca> wrote:

Yes, it was standard stick built construction and there's no shame in that. Its affordable, very strong and if done properly meets all codes.
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yahoo.ca> wrote:

Lots of sites have *conditions* that are less than ideal and the experienced framer will deal with it accordingly using the design basics and any required engineering. I've seen threaded rods 30' long from the top plate of the 3rd floor to the pin footings and perimeter beam under the existing grade and this is all normal stuff or what you refer to as WC. Quite frankly, I don't even know what qualifies as abnormal as far as framing construction goes. BTW: Much of this stuff was on islands without roads leading to them so the framers had to be especially cunning because the big box was not right around the corner to bail them out. The barge dropped the lumber and the hardware on the beach and the doods just got r done, whatever it took, and always exceeded the code inspectors wrath. The stuff in Richards pretty pix is much more extensive all the way around.
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wrote:

I'm getting some blurring on the definitions of things, both online and in the books I have at home. For example, in one of my books, their concept of P&B has no apparent wood joinery (they call stuff with that, 'timber frame'); while I've read timber-frame as used to describe stick-builts using wood studs, whose joinery seems to be nails and/or metal brackets. As far as I understand; studs are "posts" that generally rely on nail-joinery and wall-sheets for lateral stiffness/support; while posts in P&B structures rely on brackets and wood mortise-and-tenon or metal brace/ bracket/bolt joinery.
Inspired by one of Rico's comments a month or 2 ago, I figured that if Don, was an artificial intelligence floating around the net, an emergent being from an autonomous, self-learning/replicating "virus bot" released at the dawn of the internet, I might be able to somehow initiate a summons for his specific consciousness, and see if I could pull in some clearer results. Seems AI still has a long way to go... Although he could still be one and maybe the scientists of long ago and no one else for that matter just haven't realized it yet. Except maybe Rico. (That might explain some of my spam)
So until further clarification, I will try to refer to any "wood- joinery post-and-beam skeletal framework" construction, no matter the size of the timbers, as 'Timberframe Post-&-Beam' (TP&B).
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I believe you and I, inspite of what others have to say, understood what post & beam construction is. You, by way of your posted drawings. I, by way of my explanations of the terminology and reference to my experience. If you search the web long enough you'll find just about any and every thing, until you're right back where you started. I mentioned this about 2 years ago as something I learned while editing a book on this topic. The massive amounts of information on the web and the inability of many people to determine whats right and wrong. If you and I decide brown is blue and 7 is 44 we can still have a conversation with that common understanding. But if either of us does not agree implicitly then the conversation is ruined.
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wrote:

Fair enough. Let's just have fun and chat. Life's too short. :)
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Seior Popcorn-Coconut> wrote:

While we're on the topic of wood, there is another venue I have been persuing with wanton abandon. Vintage furniture refinishing and restoration. I've already embarked on it and the going is sort of slow. Currently on the bench is an 19th century floor lamp and a 18th century spinning wheel. Both were in drastic shape and some might say unsalvageable but I like impossible challenges. Both have been reduced to the lowest common denominator and are in various states of disarray right now. I have maybe 20 hours into each thus far. The lamp will be a hybrid from various era's and the spinning wheel will be true to form, at least as true as my research allows. Parts are missing from the spinning wheel and I am making them from scratch from wood I have harvested here on our land and air dryed in the workshop. I have quite a bit of raw wood stored and stacked. I have an FLW looking square tiffany style lamp shade from the 20's that will go on this lamp and it is in shades of browns thru ivorys with some orange and yellow accents. And I hand turned a piece of spalted hickory on the lathe in the shape of a 3" acorn that will go on the top as a finial. The shaft of the lamp is a conventional colonial style and it currently has a new chestnut stain that looks mahvelous and some of the turned areas will be accented with a cream colored enamel and then the whole thing will receive multiple coats of satin poly, hand rubbed with 4/0 steel wool between coats. The hardware is bright brass. Oh yeah, I also had to turn another piece of hickory for the transistion from old lamp wood to new lamp hardware and that turned out pretty good too. Did you know pure rubbing alcohol will dissolve 300 year old hide glue? I'm gonna put the lamp in this antique store over in Edinburg with a $400 price tag on it and see what happens. BTW: Get me your mailing address and I'll send you one of my custom pen creations. I sent 2 to Ken and wifey a couple months ago and they liked em. I do them a little differently than most other people do, of course! I've made about 300 of them so far and have them for sale on various sites but I mainly just give them away to family and friends. I just like makin' em. Doing lathe stuff is like therapy.
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Saw one of them 40's radios recently but it was fully restored and expensive. Gonna keep my eyed peeled for one in disrepair. Lots of little antique/junk places around here and we've made it a habit to patrol them when we see them. This lamp I'm working on is a floor lamp and was previously refinished by someone that had no business doing so. The did a poor job of restoring the raw wood, then put a heavy dark stain on it and then poly'd the whole thing. Its very difficult to get poly off without taking some of the wood surface off too, requires a careful touch and a precise eye. I have neither, so its been fun. I'm flying by the seat and there have been many errors and many readjustments in end game plans but all in all its working out nice. I want to find one of them old fashioned cloth covered cords rather than the plastic stuff that is the norm today, I think that'll make a cool touch. Did I ever send you a pik of that acorn I turned awhile back out of spalted hickory? I'm going to modify it for the finial on the very top. This thing should top out at about 60" high when its all said and done. I'll send you a pik when its all done and ready for presentation. Then, on to that old spinnin wheel.......
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Yeah, them prewinter chores, they're starting around here too, just came off of 4 straight days rain. Send me a pik of a completed anemometer, I might make me one. Got a new toy this morning and I'm gonna tear into it this afternoon. Was at walmart this morning and they were running a sale on cheap solar lanscape lights, the kind you push into the ground and has the solarcell on the top. Only $3.50 each so I got 2. I'm gonna open it up and see whats what. Wondering what it uses for a battery. I got some ideas on ways to supercharge a solarcell. Do solarcells work off of any light source, or just the sun? I understand the principle but don't understand why they work. If they work off of any light source, then why not put them all over the inside of your house, along with mirrors and fresnel lenses and turn all that light into juice? Everybody has a table lamp, right? How about putting solar cells on the inside of the lampshade? I mean, all that light is bouncing around inside the lampshade, and not paying any rent for the priviledge of doing so, so why not put it to work?
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wrote:

Beats ending up in a landfill, so good for you.

Cool.
Why not.

Sounds great. I'll hit you up once I settle down.
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