Building a post and beam home can be a fun and exciting process but knowing where to start and how to proceed can sometimes be overwhelming. American Post & Beam’s Project Managers are here to guide you through every step. We hope the below will help you better understand the process of designing and building your own custom post & beam or barn home.
Step 1: Creating Your Wish List and Setting your Goals
Contact an American Post & Beam® Project Manager to discuss your goals. Do you want a new home, a custom barn, a pool house or perhaps a small post & beam cottage? Whatever it is, your American Post & Beam® Project Manager will begin by discussing your land and house siting, budget, size of the home, and look at floor plans and photos.
Your Project Manager will also discuss the size-quality-costs decisions of design and construction and how they relate to your project and may suggest a post and beam home plan or sketch a simple layout that will meet your goals, both design and budget. Be prepared to discuss your budget goals and the three items that affect the final cost: size, quality, and cost. With the above information, you and your Project Manager will have established a preliminary concept design.
(Step 1 can take from one day to several months)
Step 2: Enter a Design and Pricing Agreement for Your Post and Beam Home
Once you have set your goals and the preliminary concept is designed you retain American Post & Beam® to create the initial plans by signing a design agreement and making an initial deposit ($2,500 for homes, $1,500 for Barns). Your deposit is credited to your final payment when you take delivery. You may need additional sketches or you may go directly in to plan creation. American Post & Beam’s in-house design department will create concept plans and you will be provided with exact package pricing for your shell components.
The plans for your custom designed home include floor plans, elevations, sections, and 3D perspectives. You will also make preliminary selections for type of sidings, beams, windows, etc. Plans are usually revised a few times to fine tune the design.
(Step 2 can take anywhere from 1 month to 12 months or more. We will work at your pace).
Step 3: Find and/or Meet With Your Contractor(s) and Determine On-site Costs
Your American Post & Beam® representative can assist you in the process of selecting a contractor and can work with you and your contractor to determine the on-site costs as well as applying for permits.
(Step 3 will take approximately 1-3 months but can be up to a year depending on your site and region).
Step 4: Agreement for Construction
Once the design and pricing has been agreed upon and you are ready to begin the building process you will enter into an agreement with American Post & Beam® by signing a contract and making a deposit (10% of your American Post & Beam® package price). American Post & Beam® will create the final construction documents, make any additional plan changes and re-price changes (change orders) if needed. Once they meet your approval the final plans (construction plans) are created. Construction Plans are used by your contractors to prepare the site, install the foundation, and assemble the package.
(Step 4 should take approximately 1-3 months)
Step 5: Site Preparation
Your contractor will prepare the site, which will include running the electric, installing and capping the foundation. They will also prepare a staging area to receive the American Post & Beam® package. The septic, well, and driveway may also be installed during this time.
(Step 5 will take approximately 3-5 weeks)
Step 6: American Post & Beam® Shell Assembly
Once site preparation is completed your American Post & Beam® Package and a American Post & Beam® site supervisor will arrive on site to begin the shell assembly for your new post and beam home, which includes the timber frame, second floor, wall panels with windows pre-installed, and roof panels.
(Step 6 will take approximately 1-3 weeks)
Step 7: Build Completion
Your builder will complete the shell by installing doors, siding and trim, and exterior decks. The interior partitions and mechanicals will then be installed with drywall, interior trim, cabinets, flooring, stairs, and doors completed after. HVAC, plumbing and wiring will be added and, finally, the finishes and details are completed.
(Step 7 can take anywhere from 4-8 months but is very much dependent on the size and complexity of your project as well as the decisions you and your contractor make).
Step 8: Move Into Your New American Post & Beam®
Finally, after all the hard work and planning it’s time to move in and enjoy your new home or barn. Celebrate with a housewarming party to share your beautiful post and beam home or barn with friends and family.