Lake Living on Allen’s Point: Raising the Timber Frame

Onlookers huddled in their coats and chatted excitedly on a cool breezy day in upstate New York while our craftsmen raised the frame for Jim and Tina’s home on Cayuga Lake. Multiple generations of the family were joined by a few guests at the site. Seeing the timbers come together and their home take shape brought plenty of smiles from Jim, Tina, their children, and grandchildren.

While there are very few flat build sites available around the Finger Lakes these days, the couple found a special spot on Cayuga Lake that is not only flat but includes a point, known locally as Allen’s Point. Open in a 180-degree expanse, our design group explained that the home’s layout is intended to make the most of the sweeping north, west, and south lake views. With plans calling for a modified “L” shape, the position of the home on the site collects those views as well as links together the north beach side with the south boat dock side of the property. (It also allows private spaces to reside in the long straight of the “L”, separate from the open public spaces.)

With the foundation in and first-floor framing in place, it was time to put the frame up. Raising days are momentous occasions, a culmination of years of dreaming and planning. We’re always glad to join these significant days as the excitement is infectious and there’s nothing quite like going from an open site to a full frame in the span of a day or two.

Autumn and Winter bring interesting weather to the Finger Lakes Region. This raising day was no different as the sky darkened and the light changed to look like sunset though it was only 2pm.

At the end of the first day, as the sun was actually setting, part of the timber frame roof system was pre-assembled, ready to go up the following morning.

The well-known beetle (wooden mallet) made an appearance at this raising, seen here in Bruce’s hands.

Viewed from the top of the frame it is easy to see the combination of timber frame and stick built construction used for this project.

We couldn’t help but appreciate the phrase the family requested to have carved into a main beam overlooking the lake:

Looking ahead, interior plans call for interesting features including a stone wall that threads through the living areas. It breaks away at certain locations, receding or protruding as the space calls for, but always leading from the north beach end of the property to the southern boat launch side. In the rendering below the stone on the living area wall is broken to allow a recessed area for the TV and floating shelves around the fireplace.

We’ll keep updating as all of the copious pieces and parts come together and stages and milestones are reached with this home. For today, with snow already flying in the region, our construction team has expressed their happiness at working on a level site closer to home.

A few members of our design, construction, and engineering teams joined Jim, Tina, and their daughter/son-in-law/grandson for a quick photo at the end of the first raising day.


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