Buildings With Integrity
At Winterwood Timber Frames we strive to grow our business in a way that supports the Vermont environment, employs local Vermonters and provides customers with strong, solid and beautiful timber frame structures. Every project we complete is 100% custom-made and thoughtfully designed to meet your needs.
We are members of the Timber Framers Guild and the Vermont Woodworks Council, keeping us in touch with other professionals in our local industry. We’ve built our business through symbiotic relationships with our customers, suppliers and community. Our staff is passionate about and fully engaged with their work of producing the highest quality structures that will populate the Vermont landscape for generations.
“Local Wood, Local Good”
Similar to the organic and local food movement, as purveyors of local wood products we are busy promoting our industry to make consumers aware of the source of their building materials and furniture. Our forest industry contributes approximately $2.1 billion to Vermont’s economy each year, which helps to keep our forests healthy and well-managed. As consumers, we can all support this sector by purchasing wood products from local businesses and hiring builders who utilize materials from our local forests.
I’ve always had an appreciation for wood. As a forester and maple sugarmaker, I’ve developed a broad understanding of and involvement with wood and trees, particularly concerning careful harvesting and utilization. Timber framing represents a wise use of a sustainable resource and pays homage to our past while securing our future through the comforts of our homes.
My interest in timber frames began in the late 90s when I bought an old 1835 farm in central Vermont with a farmhouse that needed lots of work. Fortunately, the timber frame under the old plaster and lathe was still sound in most places.
Having been interested in the “old style” buildings for some time, I knew I had a good frame to start from. Gutting the house was a project, but the best part of the rebuilding process was getting to know the frame that was the heart and soul of the farmhouse.
Inspired, and with the farmhouse frame still fresh in my mind, I decided to build my first real timber frame structure, a 20′ x 42′ sugarhouse with a loft and shop space. Using chisels and hand planes that are so sharp you can literally shave with them, was a new experience for me. The tactile connection to the wood and tools is powerful – and much more engaging than pounding nails through 2x4s.
I was hooked. What better way to spend the next chapter of my life than building these beautiful buildings across the New England landscape? So I hired a couple of talented carpenters and began Winterwood.
In addition to building high-quality structures at a fair price, we now provide services beyond building that allow us to offer kiln-drying, crafting custom cabinets, trim, flooring, built-ins and just about any detail in wood that our customers dream of.
— Andy Harper, Owner
Our Apprenticeship Program
Almost from the beginning of our business, we have run an apprentice program designed to train new timber framers in the craft of timber framing.
Using the apprenticeship template of the Timber Framers Guild and our own specific requirements as a guide, we immerse new apprentices in a broad range of skills, including timber procurement and handling, drawing interpretation, joinery choices, accurate layour, cutting technique, and raising. The program requires a two-year commitment from candidates, with the goal of producing skilled timber framers who remain on the crew as they work their way towards Journeyman level. Apprentices have come from all over the country, adding to the diversity of our team.
Upon completion of the program, all apprentices have:
- Been exposed to all major tools, techniques and various wood species traditionally used in timber framing.
- Been taught how to read shop drawings, do layout, how to cut most joinery, and finish beams.
- Learned how to safely operate a forklift, Genie boom lift, tractor and other equipment.
- Begun to learn the basics of more complex compound joinery found in dormers and hip roofs.
About Our Team
Our exceptional team includes skilled craftspeople, woodworkers, drafters, designers and engineers. We are a group of 14 professionals of all ages and experience levels who work together to provide service and expertise along every step of the process. With this incredible breadth of knowledge and competence, we are proud to provide a truly full-service experience for our clients.
We prefer to meet you in person, so please call us and arrange a time to visit our shop. In the meantime, allow us to introduce the people that set Winterwood apart from the competition.
Timber Operations Supervisor
Timber Team Leader
The craftsmanship was impressive and the crew a delight. We were welcomed to participate as much as we wanted in the entire effort. I now have a beautiful piece of functional art that I know will last a lot longer than I will.– Dan Childs & Marda Donner, Brookfield, VT
The professionalism and flexibility shown throughout the building process was quite refreshing and we truly enjoyed working with you. We look forward to working with you in the future on additional projects!– Rich & Lisa Aucoin