Post and beam is a style of construction that allows you to see the supporting framework of the home. The exposed wood makes a beautiful home that stands apart from conventional framing. The amount of exposed wood can be changed to fit your personal preferences. Pictures are the best way of explaining what it looks like, so we suggest looking through our designs.
In short, we offer exceptional services and materials at a reasonable cost. Our employees have a tremendous amount of experience and will guide you in the right direction. The average length of employment at Habitat is over 20 years! Habitat has been in business since 1972.
The typical Habitat home is finished for between $300-350 per square foot of living space (including our package cost). This figure will vary depending on the level of finish and the region of the country where you are building. This cost-per-square-foot average does not include land or site improvements such as septic, well, excavation, lot clearing, and driveway/landscaping. Adding a garage, walkout level/daylight basement, extra porches, and other design features such as natural stone fireplaces, feature windows/window walls, additional patio doors, etc., can increase the cost beyond these estimates. Our package roughly makes up about $100/sq. ft. of the total cost. More information can be found by visiting our Pricing page.
Our homes are designed to surpass energy codes throughout the United States. You will use less energy to heat and cool your home, which reduces your monthly bills and decreases the home's environmental impact (Net Zero homes are also possible with our systems). In addition, the timbers used in our framing come from a family-owned forest and mill that has been successfully managed for generations. Our high-quality homes are designed to last far longer than the average home, which also decreases the home's environmental footprint. Most designs can be Energy Star and/or LEED certified. Due to our factory-optimized production, there are very few wasted materials during the entire construction process. Habitat's durable and environmentally sound building materials, along with your choice of sustainable interior finish materials, minimize your home's environmental impact.
You can bring us a house design, find one on our Web site (we can completely customize any design), or we can start from scratch based on your input. After preliminary estimates and your decision to proceed with our package, you will be provided a complete set of custom plans from which you or your builder will obtain permits. We are happy to assist you in determining a builder to assemble our package and finish the home. When the permitting process is complete, our workshop will begin building your kit package. After the foundation and first floor system is installed by you or your contractor, our package is delivered. Once assembly of our material package is complete, your building will be weather tight (it will look virtually finished on the outside). Your builder and subcontractors continue to finish the interior.
Typically everything is included for a weather-tight shell, not including any masonry (foundation, chimneys, etc). A local builder typically assembles our package and finishes the home. Once assembly of our material package is complete, your building will look virtually finished on the outside.
Our business radiates from our Western Massachusetts location and we are equipped to ship our packages within the 48 contiguous United States. In general, we specialize in The greater Northeast region (Delaware, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire), but we have done many projects throughout the United States.
Our Showroom at our facility in South Deerfield, Massachusetts is especially useful, as it showcases our different framing systems so you can compare them side by side. We always recommend a visit to our design office, workshop, and showroom if it's possible for you. There is often a house under construction within a reasonable driving distance from our facility that we can bring you to, as well. We periodically host open houses at homes that are either under construction or just finished, so please make sure any contact information you've submitted to us is up to date to receive notifications. Check out our News & Events for the latest event posting, and our Facebook page for Events announcements. Appointments to see customers' finished homes either in your area or near to our office are often possible. We take our past customers' busy schedules and privacy very seriously, and for that reason we typically wait to schedule a private showing of a customer’s home until you're reasonably sure you've narrowed down your decision to work with us, and seeing another home in person would help you complete your decision.
We will design your home so that it will pass local building codes. Because building codes vary from region to region, we try to work with your building inspector ahead of time so that we can adapt any of their special requirements. Our homes and additions are typically designed for 90 mph wind load and a 65 lb snow load. If you live an area that has different requirements, we can make modifications to the package (such as increasing timber sizes) that will allow the design to work in your area. Depending on the extent of these changes, there may be an additional material cost.
From starting the design to being handed the keys, the process usually takes at least six months and about a year is common. We typically return the first drawing and major revisions within two weeks of your initial commitment. Smaller changes are typically done faster. If you start with plans that are close to what you want and only need minor modifications, the total design process might take about a month, but some people like to take a year or more to fine tune the design. The design process is open ended. Also keep in mind that in some areas the permitting process can be quite lengthy. After you approve the design and complete the contract, we can typically ship the package within six-to-eight weeks. This is usually the amount of time the builder needs to dig, install the foundation and frame the first level floor system. Depending on the house and the framing crew, the package is typically weather tight in four to six weeks. Finishing the house varies widely depending on the general contractor, but it is rare to finish everything else in less than three months and six months is typical.
Yes. Ideally, we like to have 1/4"-scale floor plans and elevations - with those plans we can provide a very accurate estimate. Alternatively we can price just about any plan, but the estimates become more vague as the plans get less detailed.
To begin exploring your building plans using Habitat (or if you have additional questions about continuing an existing project with us), please call us at 1-800-992-0121, come by during our normal business hours (M-F 9-5 and the first Saturday of every month from 9-2) and bring all of your ideas and site information (as detailed as possible), e-mail us with as much information as possible about your project and any previous contact with us, or fax in your information to 413/665-4008. Please always include your building location, where you first learned about our company, and a phone number where we can contact you with our questions. For more information about starting the design for your material package, please visit our Working With Us page.
We are typically open from 9-5 Monday through Friday, and from 9-2 on the first Saturday of the month. We recommend calling ahead so we can better prepare for you, but it is not required. Please check our online calendar for more details, especially around holidays. For information on our appearances at home shows or open houses, please go visit our News & Events page. We also are happy to make appointments outside of these hours to better fit your schedule.
Habitat Post & Beam has supplied the materials for over 3,000 homes, additions and commercial buildings since its opening in 1972. We are a member of the Better Business Bureau of Western Massachusetts, and are listed with Dun & Bradstreet. Upon request we will be pleased to furnish you with names, addresses and phone numbers of our bank, supplier and previous client contacts.
We do not provide financing, but may be able to provide names of banks or other loan institutions in your area that our previous clients have used. The most competitive lending rates are obtained through banks specializing in construction loans and permanent financing. Some lenders advertise that they specialize in timber frame and/or log home construction loans.
Habitat homeowners are very proud of their projects and welcome the opportunity to talk about them. Please contact us for referral contact information, and visit our Testimonials page.
Post and Beam and Timber Frame are terms that are often used interchangeably; however, there are some technical differences between the two: a Timber Frame structure typically has interlocking wood-to-wood joinery. A Post and Beam features less complicated joinery, and typically uses hidden metal fasteners for additional strength. Recently, more timber frames have included hidden metal fasteners, as engineers generally prefer the consistency of a metal-to-wood connection over a wood-to-wood connection.
The framing systems also differ regarding assembly. Timber Frame structures are typically assembled in bents, which are entire cross sections of the structure that must be assembled and raised one bent at a time. Often, these sizable bents require larger machinery, a larger crew, and specialized tools and knowledge. Our Habitat Post & Beam package assembles in the same order as a conventionally framed structure (first floor walls, mid-floor, second floor walls, then roof), and most of the tools used are consistent with those used in conventional framing. A Timber Frame structure will require a framer who is very experienced with Timber Frame construction, while our Post and Beam system allows easy assembly, with no specialized skills on the part of a framer who is accustomed to conventional construction.
Contact us today to discuss your building location We are in frequent contact with real estate companies and land developers in many areas throughout the country, and look forward to assisting you with your land search.
Habitat's web site and catalog feature standard plans that can be modified to suit your needs, as well as examples of projects that were completely custom designed as a starting point. Many people bring us their ideas, photos, sketches and plans from their own research as a starting point for their own fully customized package.
Habitat has worked together with independent architects and engineers, providing them with post and beam engineering and technical expertise for our mutual customers' projects. If you already have an architect's plan, we would be pleased to collaborate with you and the architect on your project. Please note that Habitat provides all plan drawings and revisions as part of our service, so an outside architect for developing your plans isn't typically necessary.