Advanced CAD software programs allow us to redesign and modify most details very easily. These changes can be sent to clients quickly by mail, fax or email to help expedite the design process. We will generate custom plans based on your specific needs and make subsequent revisions to those plans, all at no extra cost.
Part of our material package is your Habitat-provided custom design. We work with you to create your own design based on your own ideas and/or the library of plans we have to offer. Blueprints include custom floor plans, elevation plans, foundation plan and complete structural plans for assembly of Habitat Post & Beam material package that are typically needed for building permits. Changes made to these plans are at no additional cost. Our primary goal is to make certain that the final design fits the site, local building codes, and our client's needs.
New plans take about two-to-three weeks to generate. Revisions generally take less time, depending on the complexity. Two or three revisions are not unusual. As many revisions are done as are necessary until you are satisfied.
Our large-format printers and copiers are capable of producing full-color designs and renderings that are visually effective presentations. Once floor plans and elevations are complete, a 3-D image is generated that allows the client to see the home with a more realistic perspective. This is a very important visualizing tool that helps prevent mistakes in design and layout.
Habitat uses both AutoCAD® and Chief Architect® for designing, rendering and engineering.
We include a custom design and a pre-cut material package kit for a weather-tight shell (when our material package is complete, your structure will appear finished from the outside; your contractors will continue to finish the inside), shipped to your site to be assembled on your prepared foundation by a local builder. Habitat supplies a specific detailed list of materials supplied for each home and addition package. A specification list can be found on our Specifications page.
Close to half of our material packages are for additions. We will design an addition to your home that will not only meet your needs, but will look like it has always been a part of your home. Our additions can be added to any type of home construction. One exception may be that some existing home construction does not lend itself to adding a full timber frame above/on top of the existing structure (i.e., to make a top floor over an existing level).
We ship anywhere within the contiguous 48 United States. The shipping cost within the Northeast is included in your package price, and is insured to your construction site (islands with ferries may incur additional costs). Shipping costs beyond the Northeast will be added to your package price. Offloading and inventory of materials is done on site (or at a predetermined mainland point in the case of an island site) by you and/or your contractor. For areas outside of the contiguous 48 states, we will need to discuss your situation and work together to determine if we can adapt to your particular situation.
The Habitat material package is shipped to your site, where it is offloaded and inventoried by you and/or your local contractor, to be assembled on your prepared foundation by a builder that you hire. Habitat can work with you to help you find a framer, general contractor, etc., and in many areas we may have some suggestions for you. The final decision as to who builds your home is yours.
Our building system is designed so that any competent builder can construct our package. It is pre-notched, numbered and labeled for easy assembly. Our pre-engineered building system assembles easily and predictably.
Many homeowners with do-it-yourself experience have successfully constructed their own homes and additions. We will provide you with technical assistance.
We own our own railroad site adjacent to our factory, which is important for economical delivery of large timbers. Rail flat cars of #1 Douglas fir are offloaded by forklifts and stored on large, covered drying racks until needed.
Habitat uses the finest woods available for post and beam construction, stamped and graded by the National Lumber Association. All posts, beams and rafters are #1 Douglas fir, guaranteed to be 75% free of heartwood. Kiln-dried premium western pine, western red cedar, and Douglas fir tongue and groove decking is specified for the second floor and roof. All pre-constructed wall panels are comprised of stamped and graded kiln-dried spruce studs, 1/2" 5-ply CDX fir plywood, red cedar clapboards siding, knotty cedar vertical siding, white cedar shingle siding, and smooth primed cedar trim. For more information, go visit our Specifications page.
We use a variety of wood joints and hidden fasteners depending on the framing members being connected. With the inclusion of hidden fasteners such as lag bolts, barn spikes and custom steel plates, we are able to surpass the limitations of traditional wood joinery. We typically do not use exposed metal connectors on any of structures unless specifically requested for decoration, or required due to high wind and earthquake conditions.
We design, engineer and manufacture all of our material packages in our modern workshop here in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. Habitat Post & Beam does not subcontract its work. All fabrication is done under factory-controlled conditions and is quality-control checked before shipment.
The Habitat Post & Beam design and engineering department is open for technical assistance via phone Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. Structural construction details, a material list, guidelines for assembly, and complete, engineer-approved working plans are included with your package.
Habitat Post & Beam, Inc., warrants that for 20 years from the day of product delivery we will be responsible for any major structural defects that occur as a result of the material we supply; this warranty is transferable. Defects resulting from improper construction, improper or lack of maintenance, negligence, use of substitute materials, or the effects of damaging natural occurrences are not covered under this warranty. Individual manufacturers' warranties apply. Manufacturers' (shingles, doors, windows, etc.) warranty stickers/cards/ paperwork can be found in or on packaging upon shipment - please keep in a safe place.
Habitat provides pre-built factory panels comprised of kiln-dried 2x4 studs 16" on center as a solid nail base for securing cabinets, siding, etc. (It is the recommendation of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association that cedar clapboards be nailed with 1 1/2" penetration into solid wood every 16-24"), and 1" Styrofoam bonded to 1/2" CDX plywood is included for on-site application (additional insulation - fiberglass, spray foam, etc. - is locally supplied and installed.) See our Framing Systems page for more information. We do not use stress skin panels. We believe that while stress skin panels provide a high R-value, there are inherent problems that have discouraged our use. For additional information, visit our Framing Systems page and scroll down to "The Habitat Wall System vs. Stress Skin Wall System."
The wall system uses 1" Styrofoam bonded to 1/2", 5-ply CDX fir plywood for on-site application. Additional insulation (fiberglass, spray foam, etc.) is supplied and installed by owner/contractor. We offer a High-R option that replaces the 1" R5 XPS insulation with 1.5" foil-faced polyisocyanurate R10 insulation. The roof system insulation is made up of staggered layers of foil-faced rigid urethane insulation (6'"total), and 1/2" 5-ply CDX fir plywood nailbase over the decking. Higher R-Values can be obtained with an additional layer of insulation; R-50 is a common option.
See our Framing Systems page for more information.
A common problem with timber frame construction wall finish is the eventual separation of Sheetrock from the posts and beams as the structure ages. Habitat includes a dado (groove) in the exterior wall posts and beams into which the Sheetrock is slid during construction, which allows it to remain tight and true.