Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for American Post and Beam™

There are several questions which we find to be very common amongst people interested in building a barn house, carriage house, or barn.  We’ve outlined some of those questions below.  You can click on the question to jump down to the answer.

Why should I build an American Post & Beam™?

There are a myriad of reasons for building an American Post & Beam™. Whether you’re building a custom home, carriage house, barn or even a pool house or addition, we offer the same benefits:

  • A personal and dedicated project manager who will meet at your convenience, visit your building site and serve as a sounding board and liaison throughout the entire process.
  • Design consulting staff you can work with directly to make changes and updates to your plans in real time.
  • An award-winning design department with over 100 years of combined experience.
  • Energy efficient homes through a combination of good design and materials including Low-E windows, and insulated panelized wall and roof panels.
  • Top quality materials including optional FSC Certified select structural post and beam timbers cut on state of the art CNC equipment.
  • Not just a home but a building experience you will enjoy and remember for years to come.

So no matter what project you have in mind, you can feel confident knowing that American Post & Beam™ has the design skills and experience to turn your vision into a reality – built with the highest quality materials with energy-efficient building methods.  The result is always a space designed uniquely for you. We don’t want you to rearrange your lifestyle to fit one of our designs, we want to design a home to fit your lifestyle.

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How much does an American Post & Beam™ Home cost?

As Warren Buffet says, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”

American Post & Beam™ homes and barns are comparable to custom-built and architect designed homes.   Our homes are, as you would expect, more expensive than many stick/conventionally built or modular homes.

04-bluehillbaygreatroomFor planning purposes we find many of our homes will finish for around $175-$210 per square foot, including the American Post & Beam™ package and the contractor’s costs (excluding site work).

The cost of a home is influenced and controlled by many factors with major items being:

  • Material selections
  • Windows
  • Building shape, size and square footage
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Site requirements
  • The cost of labor in the area where you are building
  • Choice of finishing details like cabinets, masonry, flooring, and lighting and plumbing fixtures.
    *Exterior decks, garages and porches are typically much less per square foot and should be determined separately.

The American Post & Beam™ design and building shell materials (see What is included in an American Post & Beam® package? for details)  can vary but is usually between $75 – $90 per square foot depending on choices you make.  Major factors influencing costs are square feet of open space areas, amount of post and beam frame, windows and doors, and siding materials. The cost of labor also varies quite a lot across the country.

It is important to note that an American Post & Beam™ package also includes a site supervisor, interior stairs and railing balusters, pre-installed windows (which will save time and labor), use tax and shipping. Many post and beam companies do not include these materials and services in their package prices.

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What is the difference between ‘post and beam’ and ‘timber frame’ construction?

“Post and beam frame” and “timber frame” are construction systems using exposed large wood timbers made up of vertical posts (6″ x 6″ or larger) and horizontal beams (6″ x 8″ or larger) used to support the buildings floors, walls, and roof.

To us the term post and beam describes systems that use simple half-lap joinery (two timbers are notched or let-in to each other at approximately half their depth). Our post and beam frames do not use knee braces for structural integrity.

We define timber frame as a joinery system with more complicated joining details called mortise-and-tenon. Timber frame designs usually have more beams closer together for floors and roof and usually require large numbers of knee or angled braces at beam to post connections. These features can be added to your American Post & Beam™ for aesthetic consideration but are not necessarily needed structurally.  While the knee braces are nice to look at their numbers create a different look. One person once said that they felt an American Post & Beam™ had a more “barn-like” look while timber framing felt more like a “ski lodge.”

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The advantage of our post and beam frame is that, by design, it is a simple, uncluttered collection of post and beam timbers designed to support the building and create open airy spaces within the building. By using post and beam we avoid bearing walls that tend to close in spaces. Post and beam takes less time and labor to cut and assemble on site. Timber frame is best for customers who want to see lots of exposed beams fairly close together and more wood-to-wood joinery details.

Our post and beam system, with its simple joinery and fewer timbers, will cost less for materials, cutting labor, and on-site installation and finishing than mortise-and-tenon.

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How long does it take to build an American Post & Beam™ home?

American Post & Beam Move InIt is important to note that the design process is equally as important as the building of your home. All American Post & Beam™ homes begin with conceptual drawings and may go through several modifications before final drawings are completed. We will work with you to design the home that best fits your needs and lifestyle. With this said, the design process can take anywhere from 2-10 months, but over the years we’ve seen an average of 4-6 months to completely design a custom home or barn. Simple barn plans will take much less time and for customers who know exactly what they want, this process can also go much quicker.

From ground-breaking to move-in, 6 months is the average time.  The American Post & Beam™ weather-tight shell usually goes up in about 2-3 weeks. Simple barn structures will take far less time and are often fully built within days.

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What is included with my American Post & Beam™ home or carriage house package?

In a nutshell, your American Post & Beam™ home or carriage house package includes everything you need to erect and fully enclose your post and beam home in a weather-tight shell.  The specific breakdown is below:

  • Pre-cut, Douglas Fir (Select Structural Grade) or Eastern White Pine Frame, Cut and Notched
  • 2nd Floor System with Open Truss Joists and 3/4″ AdvanTech® Sheathing
  • Pre-cut Wall Panels (R-24) w/ 2×6 Studs Built-in (Ground floor/garage in carriage houses are not insulated) Panels are up to 8’ wide x 16’ long
  • Windows – Pre-installed in Wall Panels*
  • Roof Panels (R-36 or higher)
  • Pre-Stained or Primed Exterior Siding & Trim*
  • Exterior Doors
  • Tax
  • Shipping
  • Home Layout Schematic and Progress Plan Review
  • Full Sets of Plans
  • House Shell Package Engineering Review (if required)
  • Foundation Plan and Construction Plans for the House Shell Package
  • Construction Supervisor from American Post & Beam™ to Work On-site With Your Contractor to Raise the House Shell
  • 30-day, one-year, and a 10-year, third party, limited warranty. Residential Warranty Corporation insures the 10-Year Limited Structural Warranty.

*We offer many other options in addition to the above “standard” components including siding and trim options and various other window brands. Visit the What is Included in an American Post & Beam Home Package? page for more options and details.

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What is included with my American Post & Beam™ barn package?

A typical American Post & Beambarn package includes the following:

  • Pre-cut Hemlock Post and Beam Timber Frame
  • Pre-cut Roof Framing with 2×8 Hemlock Rafters and Rough Sawn 1×8 Hemlock Roof Boards
  • Shiplap Exterior Siding
  • Exterior Trim
  • Pre-assembled Barn Doors
  • Barn Sash Windows
  • Entry Doors
  • Misc. Hardware
  • Tax
  • Shipping
  • Home Layout Schematic and Progress Plan Review
  • Full Sets of Plans
  • Engineering Review (if required)
  • Construction Supervisor from American Post & Beam™ to Work with Your Contractor to Raise the Barn Shell

We offer many other options in addition to the above “standard” components. Visit the Typical American Post & Beam™ Barn Components page for more options and details.

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Who will be my builder? And what does he supply?

We recommend using an experienced local builder (in many cases we can provide names of local builders who have worked on our buildings before and are familiar with our construction).

Your builder will provide all on-site labor, including raising the shell and applying the siding and trim. After the shell materials are assembled your contractor will be responsible for labor and materials finishing for the rest of the building.

These items include, the foundation/slab/crawl space, finished roofing material, garage doors, interior drywall, interior wall partitions, electrical wiring, heating/cooling systems, plumbing systems, interior finish, doors, moldings, floorings, paint and stains, kitchen and bath finishes and appliances, fixtures, and exterior decks, stairs, and rails.

Your final plans will reflect these responsibilities based on your selections and wishes.

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Does American Post & Beam™ work with architects?

Although most of our homes are designed in-house, we are happy to work with your architect. Our company has produced numerous homes that were designed by architects. We have a staff of designers with over a century of combined years of home design and, more specifically, post and beam design experience. In some cases a client’s architect has accomplished the majority of the design while our team assists only with the framing components. We also have clients who have us design the home but use their architect as a consultant to review the plans and to offer design or drawings on specialty items not provided by us.

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How custom can I make my American Post & Beam™ Home?

Almost all of our homes are custom designed to meet the needs and goals of our clients.  That means in addition to having complete control over the floor plan and size of your home or barn, you also have complete say over the choice of materials like windows, siding, trim, and doors.

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Can American Post & Beam™ Homes be Energy Star® certified?

Yes, an American Post & Beam Home can meet Energy Star® certification. Certification begins with the initial design of the home to be sure the home is designed with Energy Star® approved components. We will work with Energy Star® design professionals to provide this service. In order to complete the Energy Star® certification on your home, your builder will need to be an Energy Star® approved partner and will have to meet certain requirements. You can visit the Energy Star website to find an Energy Star® approved partner/builder.

There may be various tax credits or incentives and rebates available from government and utilities for projects meeting certification.  Learn more about building an Energy Star home at EnergyStar.gov

Read more about how American Post & Beam Homes are energy efficient.

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Can a American Post & Beam™ Home be LEED Certified?

Yes, American Post & Beam™ products can contribute to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The rigid insulation in our panels and Low E windows are a key to meeting LEED certification. The wall and roof panels are designed in-house using CAD and built in our own shop. Because we have control over the design and manufacturing of these panels they help contribute to LEED certification through better recycling and waste reduction.

Certification requires the review of elements of the entire project (building, site, HVAC, appliances, construction materials and more). We will work with an approved LEED Certified design professional who will assist throughout the entire project and oversee the contractor’s compliance.

There may be various tax credits or incentives and rebates available from government and utilities for projects meeting certification. Learn more about LEED certification and requirements at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) website.

Read more about how American Post & Beam™ Homes are energy efficient.

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Does American Post & Beam™ stamp plans, or will I need an engineer?

When requested or required we can arrange to have plans reviewed by a consulting design professional such as an architect or engineer.

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Where is American Post & Beam™ located, and where do they build?

American Post & Beam™ is centrally located between Vermont and New Hampshire ski areas and Lakes Region so you can plan your visit while enjoying our great area.

We hope you will stop by our sales office Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm (or by appointment).

We encourage you to use the below directions.

61 Plains Road
Claremont, NH 03743

From South or East:

  • Interstate 89 North
  • Take exit 12A, Georges Mills/Sunapee.
  • Take a left at the bottom of the ramp and go 1 mile to Route 11 west.
  • Take a right on Route 11 west towards Sunapee, continue to Newport – 10 miles.
  • Take a left on Main Street – 11 west/10 south/103 west and go about 1/4 mile.
  • Take a right on 103W/11W/Elm Street towards Claremont and travel 9.4 miles. After about 7.5 miles you will come to a busy business area (Home Depot/Market Basket/various other stores) and you will go through several lights.  You will be on this road (Washington Street) for a little under 2 miles. You will be close to the next turn when you pass the intersection/traffic lights at Winter Street (there will be a Sunoco Station on the right corner of this intersection)
  • Right at the next set of lights. (You will see signs to I-91 and the Hospital – this is North Street but there is NO SIGN that says North Street). Stay on this road for 1.2 miles (you will go through two sets of lights passing a Citgo Station and Doolittle’s Print Serve, which is a dark green building with orange trim). Go to the end of this road.
  • Take a right at the stop sign at the bottom of the hill onto Main Street/12/103 and pass Tractor Supply – go 1.25 miles.
  • Take a left onto Plains Road and go over a small dam.
  • Go 1.4 miles. The American Post & Beam plant is on the right across from Sullivan Street, just after the airport sign.

From the North or West:

  • Interstate 91
  • Take exit 8 and merge onto VT-131 E toward VT-12/Ascutney/Windsor/US-5.  (If getting off from the north down 91 south, you will take a left off the exit, if coming from south up 91 north you will take a right off the exit).
  • Continue onto 12S/Main Street for about 2.5 miles.
  • Take a right onto Plains Road and go over a small dam.
  • Go 1.4 miles. The American Post & Beam plant is on the right across from Sullivan Street, just after the airport sign.

While we are located on the East Coast, we have experience designing and building post and beam homes all across the United States and Canada (as well as the Caribbean.)  Just give us a call at 1-855-692-6533 to discuss how we can help you build your ideal post and beam home in your area.

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