Monday, March 24, 2008

Visiting a Timber Frame Home Show

Would you like to learn more about timber construction and timber framing? This blog will discuss items to think about before and during the timber frame show and one of our future blogs will provide tips about how to interpret the information you’ve received during the show.

Where to start? After visiting the scores of manufacturer’s websites and narrowing your list, consider attending a timber frame show in our area where they will all be under one roof. There you’ll be able to meet the timber frame company representatives face-to-face, have your questions answered, attend a free seminar or two on timber framing, and most importantly, start to compare timber frame companies’ products and services.

It can be overwhelming to attend a timber frame show. To have a successful visit, keep these things in mind:

1) Wear comfortable clothes and shoes! You’ll be doing a lot of walking and standing on a concrete floor. Bring a backpack or small bag that is easy to carry.

2) Make a list of each timber frame company you want to interview. From there, pick a short list of must-see architects and timber frame companies. Try making a chart of who you will visit and some questions you’ll ask. Click on the link for a sample home show chart.

3) Try to visit the show on Friday afternoon. Shows usually open at noon and if you can arrange it, spending Friday afternoon at the show will be well worth your time. Attendance is lower, which means you’ll have more time getting to know the timber frame companies on your list and getting all of your questions answered. (Saturday is the busiest day.)

4) Visit us before visiting the manufacturers on your short list. We’ll be able to provide you with valuable information you need to interview timber frame companies.

5) Only pick up literature that you need. If you already have the timber frame company’s literature, just pick up a business card.

6) Take a short break during the show’s busy time. Stop in the food court for a cup of coffee. Compare thoughts on companies’ products and services by reviewing your lists, and make any additional notes you want to remember later about timber construction. Add and eliminate timber frame companies to your chart as you go.

Check back later for what to do after the show.

Kimberly Bonin, Executive Project Manager
Bonin Architects & Associates

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