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Yankee Barn Homes: FAQ

Can I act as the general contractor/owner?

Yankee Barn Homes does not recommend that our owners act as their own general contractors.

Does Yankee Barn Homes sell their plans?

Our plans have a copyright and are not for sale.

Does Yankee Barn use Light or Heavy Timber Framing?

We use both. We use Light Timber Framing or “balloon framing” for the building envelope, and Heavy Timber Framing for weight carrying and aesthetics.

Historical note: Heavy Timber Framing was prevalent in the Middle Ages of Europe, and up until about the time of our American Civil War. The timbers might be as small as 5″by 5″ and as large as a foot square. In 1820, a Chicagoan invented light timber framing. Initially, the technique was called “balloon framing” because the 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 framing members (dimensional lumber) were so much lighter than in heavy timber. This latter technology was easier and led to the industrialization of housing. It was over one hundred years later that academic architecture noted this invention as worthy: Siegfried Gideon, in the Norton Lectures at Harvard in 1939, emphasized its importance as marking the point at which industrialization began to penetrate housing.

How are Yankee Barn roof panels different from SIP roof panels or conventional framing?

SIP’s, or Structural Insulated Panels, are manufactured composite panels used in the construction industry. They are a sandwiched panel with a core of polystyrene or polyurethane foam between two layers or OSB (Oriented Stand Board/ Particle Board), or drywall. Yankee Barn roof panels are a patent pending system based on efficiency and ease of construction. The roof panels begin with 2×6 or 2×8 conventional framing to meet building code standards. Individual parts of the panel are fastened with nails rather than with a chemical bond or adhesive, as SIP’s are constructed, to maintain structural integrity. We use a rigid foam insulation with a very high insulation value. Each panel incorporates two criss-crossing layers of insulation to reduce thermal breaks and heat loss. Built into the panel design is a full width roof vent space to assure a cold roof deck, as required by many shingle manufacturer’s warranties. This air space also helps to minimize ice dams and prolongs the shingle life. Yankee Barn’s roof panels are more forgiving during installation.

How are Yankee Barn wall panels different from Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)?

The Yankee Barn Homes exterior walls are structural and designed to carry the roof loads at the eaves, as part of our Building System, and they meet or exceed all national and local building codes. The Yankee Barn wall is framed using conventional 2×6 studs and 5/8″ CDX plywood, and come with most windows installed. Our standard wall is insulated within the stud bays with 4″ of solid polyisocyanurate foam, leaving an air space of 1 1/2″ to the inside for wiring chases. We leave the bottom 4″ of the blue-board off at the first floor level to facilitate the wiring as well. By building our own panels, we can offer a complete wall system with windows as well as having a wall which is very easy to wire for electricity. The wall panels come larger than SIP’s; they can easily be trimmed or modified; they install quickly and you can hang cabinetry without extra bracing.

How do I find a builder?

Yankee Barn Homes can assist you in finding a builder in your area. We have years of experience with quality builders in most parts of the country. Yankee Barn Homes also has crews available who are willing to travel for a shell assembly; these crews would be responsible for getting the Yankee Barn Homes components assembled. Some customers choose this option, and then hire local tradesmen to finish the job. Our crew’s have completed shell assemblies coast to coast.

How does Yankee Barn deliver my shell components?

Your shell components are delivered door to door by tractor trailer, or overseas by cargo ship and tractor trailer. We use a professional third party freight forwarding company to facilitate all oversea shipments.

How does Yankee Barn frame its houses?

Yankee Barn uses heavy timbers to carry gravity loads in the structure. We create our high performance envelope using light timber framing, and very effective insulation, air infiltration prevention, and glazing.

How is the Yankee Barn joinery different from Mortise and Tenon? Are there benefits?

Yankee Barn uses a system of joinery over 1000 years old called Half Lap Joinery. Picture the way bricks are overlapped and laid in a chimney; one brick is half lapped over another. This joinery system is known for its great strength and for its ease and cost efficiency of fabrication and assembly. Because of these simpler connections, our frame can be assembled by a general carpentry crew without the need for a specialized joinery crew. When completed the half lap joints offer a more attractive look with clean, simple lines. Mortise and tenon joinery is significantly more labor intensive to cut and assemble, and all of the workmanship disappears from view after installation.

How long does it take to build my Yankee Barn Shell?

From the time you have settled on your plans/design, and made your 20% down payment; it typically takes four months to finalize shop construction drawings, order materials, fabricate, and build your shell components.

How long does it take to plan a Yankee Barn Home?

It typically takes two to four months to customize your home plans. You will work with a Yankee Barn Homes project planner and our tech department to come up with a floor plan and exterior look that you desire.

How long does it take to raise my Yankee Barn Shell?

Most Yankee Barn Shells are enclosed and ready for siding and roofing in 12 to 17 days, based on a four man crew working with our Yankee Barn Homes Shell Specialist.

How long will it take my builder to finish my Yankee Barn Home?

Typically most Yankee Barn Homes will be ready for you to move into in four to eight months after delivery to the site, depending on your builder’s other commitments and the size of the structure.

How much do Yankee Barn homes cost?

The turnkey, or completed, cost for our homes, from foundation to the appliances, generally ranges from $200 and up per square foot depending on interior finishes. Turn key pricing does not include land or site work.

What does he mean when he says, it's in the envelope?

Recently we spent some time with an individual who has been the manager of school construction for the state of New Hampshire for the past thirty years. He stated that most construction problems and excessive costs come from poor design and construction of the building envelope itself. For example, it is less costly up-front to use steel studs with brick veneer in school buildings. However steel and brick do not move together with temperature changes and numerous and intractable problems result from this application. Of course, the design and construction of the envelope is a core task for Yankee Barn and we believe we do it well.

What is the advantage of Yankee Barn's panelized structure in a high wind area such as near the ocean or high in the mountains?

A study funded by the National Science Foundation and appearing in “Journal of Contemporary Wood Engineering” presents research on twenty-six houses that were damaged by hurricane Katrina. After summarizing what failed with these structures, the study concludes that: “If the whole house (all walls plus roof) could be sheathed with structural wood panels with code required nailing, future losses would be significantly minimized.” This is exactly what Yankee Barn Homes does: in our shop we build wall and roof panels with code compliant nailing. In fact, the nailing schedule and other details may be precisely determined according to the location your new home.

What is unique about our shell components?

  • Post and beam frame: All of our timbers are seasoned and dried. We do not use green or unseasoned timbers in our homes. We offer an all kiln dried Douglas Fir frame.
  • True Roof Panels: Yankee Barn’s roof system is the only panelized roof with a built-in vent. This free air venting keeps the outer roof cold and greatly reduces icing and ice dams at the roof surface. The panel joint is designed for a very low risk for panel gap and retards moisture migration from the living areas from infiltrating the roof.
  • True Wall Panels: Yankee Barn’s wall panels are fully wood framed, load bearing with high insulation values (R-26), with most windows installed reducing labor on site. We use CDX Plywood as the exterior sheathing.

Who would plan my Yankee Barn?

We work directly with you (or your architect) to design your shell and floor plan.

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Upcoming Events

  • Local Meet & Greet

    Wednesday - August 27, 2014 - 9-11AM

    Grantham, NH

    Calling all locals! Whether you are a Grantham resident or from a neighboring town please join us on Wednesday, Aug. 27th between 9:00 - 11:00 AM for a tour of our newest model home, the Grantham Lakehouse. We encourage you to stop by to meet our staff and see what's new with Yankee Barn Homes. Please call 800-258-9786 for directions. Light refreshments will be served.
  • Explore Yankee Barn Homes

    Saturday - September 13, 2014 - 1-4PM

    Grantham, NH

    Please join us on Saturday, September 13th from 1:00 - 4:00 PM for a preview of our Grantham Lakehouse Barn Home. This will be a fact-finding day with opportunities to view a completed home, speak with our design staff and get answers to your questions about our homes, the design process, costs and more. Light refreshments will be served.

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