We are currently building a passive solar timber frame home in the woods out in Port Orchard, WA. My wife & I worked with my dad (who is a very experienced Architect) come up with the floor plan & site orientation of our house back in the summer/Fall of 2006. It took a few months to draw up the final plans, have them engineered & drafted in auto-cad.
Our timber package was delivered to the job site in mid 2007. My dad helped me & my younger brother Mike – layout some of the complicated joinery details & start cutting the green Doug Fir #1 timbers.
I had only worked with small timber framed projects previously. Nothing bigger than a garden shed, gate, workbench, etc. The joinery is very similar – just a heck of a lot bigger with a house. We finished cutting the joinery in about 6 months time – test fitting every connection & moving the big timbers by rolling them around the shop using pipes & wheeled dollies.
The main house raising was done in an 8-hour day using a large crane & quite a few volunteers.
The collar purlin (ridge beam) and main house truss raising only took 2 hours in the pouring rain with the help of a large boom truck.
I am currently finishing up building all of the interior cabinet doors & drawers. The interior trim is all custom cut Brazilian redwood decking (Massaranduba). Not sure why this wood is cheaper to purchase than American cherry. It is as dense as Ipe (Ironwood) but has real nice red tones & nice to take light passes thru the router.