Geobarns’ Maine-based crew has begun work on a barn in Bridgewater. Designed as a recreational addition to an historic mountaintop house, the team has had to contend with early-onset mud season (EOMS).
The foundation for the project, by our friend Greg Blanchard, seemed to hit water in every conceivable form. An unknown waterline, from an unknown historic well, subsurface drainage from the surrounding mountainside… we just arrived on site every day to a new surprise. Extremely diligent work has established a workable foundation, and after a brief delay for some leveling, the Maine Men (Matthew, David and Lee) have made quick work of setting the building’s posts. By press time, much of the building’s floor system will be installed, then on to the upper beam.
Mud season started about a month early in Vermont, but what’s bad for the roads is good for construction (if you can get your truck to the site). Geobarns’ Vermont crew is making short work of the framing of Mike and Sue’s house near Killington. By the end of this week, we expect to have both main volumes of the house sheathed, and we’ll be hard at work on the vaulted kitchen-connector. With rafters up, the shape of the house is now obvious, even from far below the site (see images).
This crew of Geobarn “zealots” (George’s term) is getting ahead of schedule, and wreaking havoc with David’s carefully plotted routine Like many towns in the area, Pittsfield has bowed to reality and posted its roads for mud season, so we’ve had to work with the town to get our trucks up on the very occasional frozen morning. The town of Pittsfield has been through a lot this past year, starting with almost unbelievable destruction from tropical storm Irene, and the town’s indomitable spirit is on display everywhere. Working with the towns around Killington to get our two projects underway this winter has been a reminder of why we love Vermont. Good sense, personal responsibility and good stewardship do what codes and ordinances never can.
Blessed by nearly a week of good weather, the Geobarns team is making terrific progress on the structural frame. With the second floor system framed in the two main volumes of the house, the team has moved a little ahead of schedule to place upper beams this week. The team will be moving on to the kitchen, a volume which connects the private and public areas of the house, then up to the roof.
As the attached images show, the relationship between the house and landscape, which was largely conceived on-site, on foot, is now becoming apparent, particularly sense of the front elevation being “tucked into” the shoulder of the hill, and the big framed views out the south side of the living room, kitchen and master suite.