Plasma cutting steel staircase Tung oil applied on trim woodwwork Floors milled from site grown trees Septic field restoration Reflecting afternoon sun Birth of a barn on Bragg Hill Radiant floors Solar panel installation Capping off the chimney Proud shape emerges on the hilltop Pumping concrete into the three gables Forming 12x12 Gables Delivering concrete from the sky Parallam beam positioning Flying flitch beam ICF window framing Precision concrete placement Lower level ICF fabrication Newly excavated driveway Finishing garage deck concrete Pouring concrete footers Rebar safety caps Surveying the construction site Checking out the excavation equipment Rapid soil stabilization Testing the soils for drainage Taking Solar Pathfinder measurements Milling downed trees onsite View to the Southeast over the Benzel Family Trust Future meadow to be cultivated Taking a stroll on Bragg Hill Road

Timber Frame Details

click image to enlarge
click image to enlarge

While much of the attention on this blog has been paid to the exterior features of the nascent barn, not much has been said about the interior. One of the most significant and visible features of our home is its grand staircase. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the front door and it will become its predominant visual element. Our staircase will command the giant glass solar chimney that defines the entire western side of the home.  It is the spine that connects and unifies the entire structure.  Our entire stairway will be adorned by massive oak timbers.  Timber framing is a centuries old building technique; it’s sustainable, gorgeous, and just plain romantic.  In our case, it has a special meaning.

Our three story staircase is adorned with strong, massive timbers milled mostly from a single giant red oak tree grown at our current home.  The 100 year old tree was dying of natural causes and was carefully cut down and milled into beams, posts and stair treads for our Chester County barn.  A slide show of photos of the milling process can be seen here.  Seeing it reassembled and re-purposed in its new home is breathtaking.  To us, this exemplifies sustainability.