About a year ago, Dave Cratty wrote about a timber frame raising on a remote lakefront job site in the Adirondack Mountains that was only accessible by boat with no roads, no Wi-Fi, and no cell phone service.
Recently we returned to the site in the Adirondack State Park to hand-raise a second structure to complement the first Lake House.
This new main cabin had to fit into the existing footprint of an older structure with a design that was limited by height restrictions. It also had to be completely raised by hand in the off-grid setting. Since there was no way to get heavy equipment to the site, each timber was delivered by barge and offloaded by hand.
Every morning the New Energy Works team would drive an hour from their hotel, boat across the isolated lake to the job site, work until dark, and then make the journey back. As arduous as it sounds, the team loved the remote nature of the work, the commute, and the old-school methods of the timber frame raising.
“It was an adventure! It was a nice time of year to be out there too with all the fall colors,” Timber Framer Sam Parrish shared with us. “I had a really a good time on the job with good guys to work with. As a team, we had to think about each step during the raising so we wouldn’t have to backtrack on anything because it was all done by hand. I took a lot of pride in it when it was all done—it is nice to look back on this job and feel a sense of accomplishment.”
The cabin and lake house were both raised above the site, on a pier-and-beam foundation for ease of construction. This design uses less concrete and provides minimal disruption to the natural landscape.
Since the timber frame cabin will mostly be used in summer months, a 3x tongue-and-groove sheathing stands as both the enclosure and interior finish. A large stone wood-fueled fireplace will take the chill out of some of the cooler nights and provide a gathering point inside the cabin for the owner’s family while they enjoy time together away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
“The owners were very applicative as well,” Sam added. “I always enjoy seeing how much they like the results. I think it is a neat thing they have going on out there, wanting to live off grid part of the year to get away. I think they will enjoy it.”