As you move forward in planning your timber frame home, you’ll likely look at timber frames from more than one company. That’s the easy part. Then you’ll begin to compare what you are purchasing from the company.
You’ll find that each company has a slightly (and sometimes drastically) different package. And then you’ll find that many companies will sell a partial package and some companies will only work with you if they are providing all the items that their timber frame kit includes.
You should question what materials and services are included. Some of the items that are necessary and may be included in your agreement with the timber frame company…or outsourced, either by you or by the company are:
Customer Service/Sales – You can work with a salesperson who will hand the project off to a designer at another location and the fabrication is handed off to yet another facility. Or you can work with a company where the sales person is the customer service person and is the person who will be very hands on during the design, development, and completion of your home. That person will have full responsibility for your new timber frame home, from soup to nuts.
Design – You’ll find some companies have designers on staff. These designers can usually work with a plan from their portfolio, revising it as needed to make it work better for you, or they can custom design a home. Other companies will work with a designer (either local or at a distance) or will send you to a designer or architect. Email us for a look at a full set of builders plans that you can expect with a Goshen home.
Timber Frame – of course.
Decking – for the ceiling and loft, if called for in the design.
Insulated Panels – Panels can be used to wrap a timber frame or to be a structural part of a hybrid home. What is the insulating material? Polyurethane, expanded polystyrene, polyisocyanurate…and variations of these are most common. Are the panels prefabricated? Are they sheathed on both sides…or on one? Do they have conduit and junction boxes built in (wherever you and your contractor/electrician specify) or do they just have chases for wiring?
Installation – Will the raising and panel installation be performed by their own crew, will they subcontract it, or will your contractor be responsible for this step?
Some companies have dealers/representatives who are contractors and you will purchase your package from them and they will complete the home. While this may be an option for some, if you aren’t building where they are located, it may be problematic if they are subbing to a contractor who has never worked with timber frames and he/she is expected to raise and enclose your home. If you are working with a company who has no contractual ties to the contractor, you can be more selective in choosing your contractor and can make sure that they are a good fit for you…not just for the timber frame company.
Other companies will ship their package and you are own your own. They will send a manual and your contractor will need to raise and enclose your home.
Some companies will send an experienced crew…the crew who has cut and/or pre-assembled your timber frame prior to delivery and who has installed insulated panels on their frames for years.
So..you can see that comparing apples to apples is not an easy thing to do. On top of all these differences, you have to ask how they will communicate with you..telephone, online, mail, etc.
We definitely don’t want to discourage you, but we do want to encourage you to ask questions and consider your options. At Goshen Timber Frames, we’ve created our entire process to be client-centric and to be flexible enough to allow for individual decisions. While our three favorite words are plan, plan, plan, we also live by “the buck stops here”.
You can visit our new FAQs page for an overview of what a Goshen Timber Frames’ package includes. And you can always give us a call at 828-524-8662 or drop me an email@example.com, too. We’re here to help.