Move over million-dollar mansions, timber-frame homes can be cost-effective
Fort Collins Coloradoan – June 17, 2016 (Rob White, email@example.com)
When you think about timber-frame homes in Colorado, do you think of multimillion dollar getaway spots in the mountains?
Well, it’s time to think again.
“People equate timber frames to these massive, million-dollar lodges, and it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Steve Rundquist of Brewster Timber Frame. “If we can get in early enough and help design the project, we can keep things straightforward and fairly simple to help keep the cost down. The simplest frame is really beautiful.”
Cover for a Bridge in Wyoming
Timber Framing Magazine – June 2016
It all began with a phone call from a builder. He had a client in Saratoga, Wyoming, who needed a cover built atop a bridge deck spanning a narrow channel of the North Platte River, which runs through his property.
I met the builder and client at the site, gathered input about specifications and general design, and was warned, “It’s all about scale. The scale needs to be correct.” The bridge was to be used not only to get ranch equipment from one side to the other, but also as a family and community gathering spot.
North Forty News – June 2013
by Doug Conarroe
When Curt Busby and his wife, Kelly O’Donnell, lost their home off Buckhorn Road west of Fort Collins in the April 2011 Crystal Fire, the natural thing for this eco-conscious couple was to make something good out of nature’s cycle of life, death and renewal.
In their case, this meant reusing the burned but standing dead pine trees that dominated the 35-acre property that Busby’s lived on since 1998. So they felled and milled the dark, needle-less tree trunks into trusses and framing elements for the new house they’re building on the old foundation on Vortex Drive.
Green Source – The Magazine of Sustainable Design – June 2012
by David Sokol
When Steven Rundquist moved from Brewster, Massachusetts, to Bellvue, Colorado, in 1998, he geared his timber framing company to new residential construction in this area north of Boulder, instead of preserving the centuries-old homes he encountered on Cape Cod. Although Rundquist would look to the same historic precedents in this next chapter of his business, the materials at his disposal were not quite the same. Around 2005 he started hearing about a burgeoning of mountain pine beetles in the area. Five years ago he began seeing the ravages firsthand.
“At that time I was working on a timber frame project in Steamboat Springs, commuting from Bellvue to Steamboat by going up Poudre Canyon and over Cameron Pass. The west-facing hillsides had as much as 60 percent loss of Lodgepole pine. Soon trees were dying on the east side of Cameron Pass. Now it’s starting to show up in the lowest foothills where my home is located.”
North Forty News – February 2005
By JoAn Bjarko
It’s sturdy, energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing, expressive and, yes, more expensive. But advocates of timber framing say it’s worth every penny, and it can still be affordable.
Timber framing has been practiced for centuries in the Northern Hemisphere. “Some structures in Europe are 800 years old or older,” said Steve Rundquist, owner of Brewster Timber Frame Co. in Bellvue, adding that in Cape Cod, where he learned the craft, timber frame buildings are 300 to 350 years old.
For a variety of reasons, however, the craft faded from use during this country’s western expansion, and Rundquist would like to see that change. He is one of small group of local builders and engineers reviving the tradition.
Peter Haney, founder of Rocky Mountain Workshops, said some Colorado pioneers used timber framing for barns, which are still standing. One of the county’s first settlers built a timber frame barn near Bellvue in 1862. About 1865, a city founder used a combination of steel and traditional timber framing for a barn standing in the middle of the golf course at Lincoln and Lemay in Fort Collins. An “amazing barn,” 150 feet long by 50 feet wide, was constructed south of Berthoud in 1874, Haney added.
Haney surmised that the advent of sawmills, combined with a poor timber resource in the Rocky Mountains, contributed to the popularity of typical light frame construction. “It was a fast and easy way to build,” he said. “Timber framing is a very time-consuming way to build.”
Rundquist explained that his craft uses heavy timbers to build the bones of a structure. Wood joinery techniques are used to tie the timbers together for the frame. It can be enclosed in several ways, but the sturdy, beautiful beams remain exposed on the interior.
“The outside looks very ordinary,” Rundquist said. “It’s the inside that catches your attention.”
He is quick to explain that this is not a log home. “Log houses are visually appealing from the outside,” Rundquist said, adding that it is possible to add log siding to a timber frame home if a person wants that effect.