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A Cozy New York Timber Home for Winter

A New York couple creates a warm home in a cold climate by combining the natural elements of Douglas fir timbers and Adirondack granite.

Photos by Roger Wade
In New York’s breathtaking Catskill Mountains, Windham Mountain boasts more than 45 ski slopes. The winter sky’s bluish-gray tones envelop the snow-covered mountains, and along one of these pristine slopes sits an elegant timber-frame home. From the outside, the exterior resembles a traditional ski lodge with the warm natural elements of timber, stone and red cedar. Warm-toned red cedar shingles wrap the home. In order to get the most from the narrow site, Architect Eric Smith designed a three-level house with a walkout basement.

He worked closely with the design team at the timber-framing company that supplied the frame, Woodhouse in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, to ensure that the frame and design would match structurally as well as aesthetically. The home’s timber frame consists of Douglas fir posts and beams. Mortise and tenon joinery connects the timbers — and pegs secure them in place. The pegs were left uncut to create a more rustic look. All of the timbers were chamfered, sanded and stained. “All of the timbers are finished like a piece of furniture,” says builder Dick Jordan of Brainard Ridge Associates. The pine decking also has a warm stain. The walnut floors are hand-planed and oiled. Wood trim frames the windows and doors creating a cohesive element in each of the rooms.

Warmth is high priority in this cold climate. To add comfort, radiant floor heating on each level covertly emits heat throughout the interior. The frame itself is wrapped in high-efficiency structural insulated panels (SIPs). Outside, the driveway, sidewalks, steps and terrace feature a heated snowmelt system that is very useful in the Catskills. And, after a vigorous day enjoying the slopes, shoveling the walkways is the last thing the owners wanted to be doing.
Multiple decks and patios take advantage of the mountain views. A deck off the master bedroom overlooks the valley below, while a patio sits adjacent to the ski slope making it an easy ski-on, ski-off feature, or even better, a post-ski soak in the hot tub.
Company Information:  Woodhouse, the Timber Frame Company, 800-227-4311

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