Q&A

Why should I choose Pacific Post & Beam as my timber frame contractor?
Pacific Post & Beam is the most experienced builder of custom timber frame homes in California. We have an in-depth knowledge of the unique requirements and process of building in California and use that experience to create a trouble-free building process for you.

How much does a timber frame home cost?
We build custom homes and, because they are not kits, we do not publish preset costs. The cost of a finished custom timber framed home is comparable with custom home costs in your area. It’s important to interview custom builder in your area, as prices vary from area to area. Owner-builders have realized savings by managing their project and performing some tasks themselves, but it is important to note that acting as an owner-builder is a full-time job. There are numerous conditions that affect the cost of a home, including, but not limited to: soil conditions, earthquake zone, wind and snow exposure, and local construction costs. For current estimates of the cost of erected and enclosed frames please contact us with information about your project, and we will be happy to discuss costs. We are happy to estimate costs of specific projects early in the planing process, so please contact us to discuss these costs.

Will Pacific Post & Beam travel to our building site?
Yes, Pacific Post & Beam’s crew erects timber frames and installs SIPs on our projects. Because of the time and cost associated with long distance travel, we try to build only the unique portions of the project, timber frame and SIP installation.  Pacific Post & Beam builds full timber frame projects almost exclusively in California. However, we ship timber framed trusses nation wide.

I like the idea of a timber frame home, what do I do next?
If you own property and are ready to start building, the first step is to enter into a design contract. We will work with you, taking into consideration your needs and budget, to arrive at a preliminary plan. From this plan, we can set a cost estimate for construction.

Pacific Post & Beam has not offered plans. Why not? Where do I get them?
All of our projects are done on a custom basis, so we do not offer a selection of “standard” floor plans. Good design is predicated on proper siting. A home should be integrated into its site, taking into consideration wind, weather, view, etc. Floor plan ideas are featured in many books and magazines and can be a helpful tool in preliminary design.

Do I need an architect? What will design cost?
Pacific Post & Beam offers complete design and engineering services, and typically coordinates all building documents. If you choose to work with an outside architect or designer, Pacific Post & Beam will supply structural drawings and engineering in cooperation with your architect. Please contact us to discuss these costs.

How long does it take to draw and build?
Design time varies greatly and depends on the amount of preliminary work, complexity and size of the home, and building department turnaround time. Design and construction documents can take from six months to a year or more. It takes approximately eight weeks from ordering timber to delivery of the frame. Raising the timber frame takes about one week. The SIP enclosure takes two to four weeks depending on the size of the timber frame and site conditions.

Is it hard to get a permit in California for a timber frame? What about earthquakes
Pacific Post & Beam has designed and built hundreds of timber frames homes in California. What may be new and difficult for out-of-state companies is standard procedure for us. We have built all over California and understand the special requirements thoroughly. Earthquake engineering is required on all of our projects and we have developed construction details to address our seismic factors. We had two homes in the Loma Purita earthquake, one in the Northridge quake, and our own office in the San Simeon quake, all with no structural damage.

Do I need to get an insurance policy on the Pacific Post & Beam crew?
Pacific Post & Beam is a fully licensed and insured California building contractor. We meet all of the requirements of California contractors license law. It is recommended, however, that you have a homeowner’s liability policy.

Where will the frame be cut? Who will erect the frame?
Your frame will be cut in our shop in Paso Robles, California. Pacific Post & Beam is not a representative for an out-of-state company. Your frame will be erected by the same craftsmen who cut it.

How does Pacific Post & Beam work with plumbers, electricians, and other subcontractors?
During the design process, our staff verifies that mechanical systems work efficiently. During bidding and construction, we suggest that your subcontractors contact us to insure the most trouble-free installation of these systems.

Can Pacific Post & Beam provide references?
Yes, we can provide a reference list upon request.

What is the payment schedule?
A major part of the materials and labor that will go into your timber frame are purchased and performed in our shop prior to delivery to your project site. Because of this up-front cost, our contract will typically require a 60% deposit prior to construction of your timber frame. This is a very important aspect to discuss with your bank in advance to allow them to schedule payments accordingly.