Timber Frame House
at Classic Cedar
This timber frame house built by Ivan Hoetzel in Metchosin is a fine example of using a traditional building method to achieve a living space that is truly beautiful, practical, and rewarding. This traditional hall and parlour design (adapted by Ivan and architect Jim Kerr) features the entry way, a Tulikivi soap stone stove (that heats the whole house), and stairwell in the central hall portion of the house. The parlour portion consists of kitchen and dining area on one side of the hall and the living room on the other. The bedrooms are upstairs. All the structural elements and intricate mortise and tenon joinery of the beautiful fir frame are exposed on the inside to be enjoyed and appreciated. A wrap around porch is added, providing this house with a practical country element. All the joinery in this frame was done by Ivan using traditional hand tools and light power tools. The metalwork featured on the home's exterior was created by artist blacksmith Jake James, whose forge is located nearby.
Read more about the material preparation and the initial raising of the "timber frame" below:
House Raising - January 8 & 9, 2005
Portions of original article printed in the Metchosin Muse
The Hoetzel Clan celebrated their long awaited house raising as their new timber frame home took shape during the snow flurries on January 8 & 9. Over 50 people gathered over the weekend, from Metchosin, Victoria, and even Vancouver, braving the cold and icy conditions to help with the construction, and share in a fascinating and joyous event.
Eight years ago Ivan purchased a large load of very old salvaged Douglas-fir beams from the Yarrows Dry Dock in Esquimalt. All the timbers came bolted together with massive amounts of large bolts and steel. It took weeks to unbolt, clean and sort. The process was worth it as the tangled mess revealed some of the most gorgeous old growth timbers, many of them 10 x 16, measuring 35 feet in length. Once cut to size, the timbers were carefully stored, waiting for Ivan to take some time away from his business to tackle the meticulous mortise and tenon joinery.
Over the past year, more than 200 pieces of the salvaged wood were carefully selected and shaped, then had their applicable mortise and/or tenons cut, followed by finishing and oiling. Stacks of these beautiful posts, beams, and braces piled up. All family members contributed in their own way over this time.
Finally the weekend approached, and the pieces were moved into position by a group of strong local young men. The four main bents were assembled on top of the foundation, to be raised by crane and building crew. And then with threatening skies and forecast, the crew and supporters were on hold for the big timber raising, waiting to see if the crane would get through the snow or if the raising would have to be postponed. Fortunately the crane and the crew were all assembled by 1 pm, including several local builders and two locals who have built their own timber frame structures. Family and friends viewing the raising were treated to an amazing 4 hours as the construction crew raised the main frame like clockwork, with all the joints pegged with 1" oak dowels. The site was charged with a lot of good humour, fantastic teamwork, celebration, and an appreciation for this very old style of house building. The core structure was complete by 5:30, using floodlights to get the last pieces in place. It only took another two hours work on the Sunday morning to complete the framing.
Looking back on the two day house raising, Ivan said: "I was amazed and really appreciative of the effort people made to get here and support this project. Everybody worked with enthusiasm and excellent team spirit, and most importantly, nobody got hurt".
Thank you to everyone who helped on this project, both on the building crew and all our supporters who have provided enthusiasm over the years and at the raising, for the phenomenal support we have received with this project.
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