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Frequently asked questions

Click on a title to toggle and view responses to frequently asked questions related to the creation of your timberframe structure with the Compagnons de Charpente.

Do you have client references?

Please feel free to contact us for references from some of our happy clients at info@compagnonsdecharpente.com.

What if I live outside Québec?

We can build a frame and panels for you no matter where your site is located. We will work with you to find the best and most cost-effective way of transporting the structure from our workshop to your site.

Do I need an architect?

NotesNo, but you are free to use one; just be aware that many architects are not familiar with this type of construction. We employ techniques and follow specifications that are approved by the Timberframers Guild of North America, of which we are a member. A recommendation letter from an architect may help you when it is time to apply for your construction permit.

How much will it cost?

The cost per square foot for a timberframe homes can easily cost less than typical construction. Depending on your design and choice of materials, we’ll give you a quote that includes our plans, the frame, the wall and roof panels, specialized hardware and instructions for raising your structure. Obviously, the total finished cost depends on many factors, like what type of roofing, exterior, windows, flooring, etc. you choose to use.

What equipment or special tools do I need?

GrueA crane is handy for the raising, as is a forklift or tractor to help unload the structure from the truck it comes on. Adequate scaffolding is important. A come-along, hammers, squares, mallets and other ordinary construction tools are useful. As there are few nails involved, you don’t need to spend a lot of time picking up the site. The insulated panels are fastened to the frame with long, specially designed screws and seams are sealed with canned polyurethane foam. We’ll tell you how much you’ll need of the latter as well as any other special hardware that might be required.

What are the steps in building a house or other type of structure?

  1. You call us to discuss your project.
  2. When you are ready and have the proper permits for the job, we prepare a rough estimate.
  3. You submit sketches or plans; we design the frame in consultation with you and prepare final drawings from which we work.
  4. We provide the necessary specifications for you to properly prepare your site and foundation.
  5. We construct your house frame (or other structure) and insulated panels in our Abitibi, Québec workshop.
  6. You prepare the site according to the specifications. You can call us anytime if you have questions.
  7. We set a date for the house raising and you recruit your family team, who will unload the house from the truck and help to raise it. For most structures, you should plan to have at least a small crane available during the raising.
  8. Once the frame is ready and your site is ready, usually a few days prior to the house raising, we load the entire house and panels onto a tractor-trailer (or two!) and give you a call to let you know it’s on the way.
  9. Once it arrives, you and your team unload the house from the truck. All of the parts are numbered and clearly identified.
  10. «La corvée» is the traditional house (or barn, or garage…) raising party in which you and your team put up the entire structure. Depending on what type of structure and how large or complex, this could take from one to three days. Tradition dictates that you have a lot of good food on hand and invite everyone you know to pitch in!
  11. Once the frame is up and all of the joints are pinned, the insulated panels can be installed on both the walls and the roof. You also have the option to first install any interior wall material (like sheetrock or other finishes) prior to doing this.
  12. You can choose to cut out windows and doors after the house is up or in the shop beforehand
  13. Next you’ll add your vapor barrier (such as Tyvek), roofing, windows and exterior finish.
  14. You are amazed at the beauty of your home and can’t believe it happened so quickly!

Who are our clients?

Clients et familleOur clients are primarily owner-builders who have an interest in the techniques we use. Some of them even take workshops with us or with other organizations to learn about making timberframe structures. Like most owner-builders, most of our clients do not have bank financing for their project; many finance their timberframe house with the sale of another home. Some banks will finance owner-builder projects; it often depends upon local, provincial or state regulations.