Post and Beam 101—Post and beam construction is just what it sounds like: a heavy timber house framework comprised of vertical “posts” that support horizontal “beams.”
Though post and beam is arguably the oldest framing method, it is also a great construction technique for modern homes, as the heavy timber framing can support the roof load, eliminating the need for interior supporting walls.
That means post and beam is the ultimate technique for creating the open interiors that contemporary homebuyers crave. Further, exposed timbers serve as a visual showcase of the home, often resulting in high volume, light-filled spaces that are both inspiring and comfortable.
History—Post and beam construction can be traced back to ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman architecture. In fact, some medieval-era post and beam structures are still standing!
Post and beam framing was used by early American settlers, who used hand-hewn oak timbers fitted together with hardwood pegs or various types of joinery slots that were cut into the beams.
The sheer size and strength of the timbers used in post and beam construction made the early American buildings enduring. Many are still standing after hundreds of years.
The advent of Industrial Revolution-era machinery facilitated the mass production of “dimension lumber,” (for example, the 2”x4”) and the popularity of heavy timber construction eventually yielded to the stud and joist type of construction so common today.
However, quality post and beam homes are still being constructed by discerning homeowners who shun the commonplace and who are willing to invest in the longevity, beauty, customization and openness associated with these homes.
Natural aesthetics—Wood is a beautiful, natural building material with innate warmth. People tend to instinctively love the look, smell and natural authenticity of wood, so it is natural that exposed timbers add perceived beauty, character and charm to a home, especially when they soar above open, light-filled spaces.
Post and beam homes also tend to have an appealing visual rhythm composed by alternating exposed beams and “bays,” the open spaces between the beams.
In my opinion, post and beam construction is a natural fit for New Hampshire, a state that is both rich in history and the second most forested state in the nation.
Customization—A true post and beam structure does not rely on “load-bearing” walls as the timber frame does all the heavy lifting of the home’s weight. Accordingly, homeowners can enjoy maximum flexibility in the placement and materials of walls, doors and windows, allowing for expansive, breathtaking interiors, and interesting and dramatic features.
As you can see, while building methods come in and out of fashion, post and beam construction has demonstrated centuries-old staying power for many good reasons.
A Contemporary Post and Beam Home—My newest residential listing (MLS# 4712030) at 163 Eastman Shore Road North in Laconia is an excellent example of a contemporary post and beam home with modern conveniences and efficiencies complemented by timeless beauty and appeal.
Quality, thoughtfulness and attention to detail are evident from the tile and wide oak plank floors to the soaring exposed beam ceilings of this stunning three bed, two bath home.
This house takes clear advantage of post and beam construction flexibility, and features comfortable open spaces supplemented by an abundant amount of windows and sliders that allow for plentiful sunlight and even passive solar heat.
Situated on 3.28 forested acres, this unique property offers ultimate peace, privacy, nature and quiet… while being centrally located minutes from both downtown Meredith and Laconia.
This beautifully constructed home features a dine-in cook’s kitchen with stainless appliances, central island, hand-laid granite tile countertops, attractive cabinetry, and a woodburning stove. There are three spacious bedrooms, two to-die-for bathrooms, and a gas fireplace in the sprawling living area.
Photos don’t do this gorgeous home justice—you’ve got to see it for yourself to fully appreciate the tasteful quality throughout.
This home also includes a deeded shared lake access lot with 150 feet of water frontage on Winnisquam, one of New Hampshire’s largest lakes, just a short walk down a peaceful dirt road.
Schedule a showing today if you value a superior construction and interior design, privacy and lake access proximal to all the Lakes Region has to offer… post and beam structures last a long time, but listings like this one don’t!
Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.