We really hadn’t planned on building a new house, as we really like the octagon house we’ve lived in for decades. But Trish and I discovered that we both loved Queen Anne Victorian homes. These were built around 1895-1910, so originals generally have a whole host of problems, such as falling down and impossible to heat, so we started to dream about building a new one. And I’ve always loved a centuries older building style, timberframe, which uses very heavy timbers mortised and tenoned to provide the exposed structural skeleton. So we started migrating to the thought of building a timber-frame Queen Anne.

Unfortunately, most architects today despise Queen Anne architecture and very few properly understand timberframe. We had worked with some GREAT architects at DesignWorks on the house in Nevis, but unfortunately they fell into the camp of not caring for the foo-foo Queen Anne style.  Luckily, Floyd is a world-wide hub of timberframe construction, and I know many of the folks involved with the industry here. While starting a nationwide architect search, I mentioned to an old friend, Steve Arthur, who is a partner in StreamLine Timberworks, our dilemma. The stars aligned. They worked with an accomplished architect who not only had designed numerous timberframe structures, but also Victorians, hybrids of the two, and owned a millwork/cabinet shop that could even do the custom woodwork for the house. So StreamLine became our architects/timberframe shop, with Steve doing the timberframe design, and he and Paul Sullivan doing the other architectural work.

Picking the builder was easy. Bruce Reisinger, owner of Sticks and Stones Construction, had been building on our current house for over a decade and is a good friend. He grew up building on Victorian homes in the Fan district of Richmond and had always dreamed of building a Queen Anne from scratch.

The house is going to be built near the u-turn bend of the river on a bluff about 35′ above the river. From at least the 2nd floor of the house, we should be able to see the river out 3 sides of the house. As of this writing, It will be a classic 100 year-old Queen Anne, built to modern standards, yet with major archaic components such as timberframe built from timbers cut on the property, and much of the rest of the wood for the house cut and milled on the farm as well.

It should prove to be an interesting endeavor.

Advertisements