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Author Topic: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???  (Read 4839 times)

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Offline shinnlinger

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Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« on: July 12, 2010, 10:21:17 PM »
Hi,

A buddy of mine just bought some property up in Unity Maine and wants to build a timber frame there.  He was looking into Maine building code on this and was surprised and pleased to find that Timber frames in the state are specifically exempt from needing to have graded timbers.  He even called and specifically asked that question and was assured he read the law correctly.

Why does Maine have this exemption?  How many other states also have this?  Can Maine law be used to help convince skeptical building inspectors in other states?

Dave
Shinnlinger
Woodshop teacher, pasture raised chicken farmer
34 horse kubota L-2850, Turner Band Mill, '84 F-600,
living in self-built/milled timberframe home

Offline Piston

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2010, 10:03:43 PM »
I can't imagine that MA or NH have this exemption. ???...but I wish they did.
-Matt
What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race.

Offline kfhines

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2010, 07:07:52 AM »
In MA you can build using green lumber, a grade stamp is not required. What is required is a native lumber stamp which includes species and mill.

Offline shinnlinger

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2010, 07:49:41 AM »
That MA thing sounds reasonable and should be brought to the attention of recalcitrant inspectors (in a NICE way).  The bigger point of this post is, regardless of where you live,  don't take your building departments word for what you can and can't do.  Treat the people at that office VERY nice and try to work with them, but actually look at the law for yourself.  You may very well find you can do what you want if you tweak something here and there.

I was told in Oregon I could only make my outbuildings 10 feet taller than the main structure (My Shop) well I wanted to put a steeple on it (long story)but was told NO.  Well I went and looked up the law and the first sentence was "Certain architectural features are exempt: ie steeples"... and I was able to do it.
Shinnlinger
Woodshop teacher, pasture raised chicken farmer
34 horse kubota L-2850, Turner Band Mill, '84 F-600,
living in self-built/milled timberframe home

Offline Mad Professor

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2010, 11:16:01 PM »
In MA you can build using green lumber, a grade stamp is not required. What is required is a native lumber stamp which includes species and mill.

So if I make up my stamp (have land, trees and mill). mill my own wood, and put it up green I'm good to go?

Or is the "stamp" some sort of fee that goes to a CESSPOOL IN BOSTON, e.g. BEACON HILL.....



Offline kfhines

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 06:23:04 AM »
Mad Professor ,

I don't know the ins and outs of obtaining a native lumber stamp. It sounds like you know Taxachusetts well enough to know it's not a do it your self thing.

Offline krusty

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 10:24:50 AM »
You know up where I am I can build farm structures using green timbers ungraded so when I submitted my outbuilding plans to the municipality for approval it was rejected...and get this reason why!

Even though I am a rural area, zoning for farming is for lots 5 acres or more, whereas I am on 3 acres and hence have to use graded timbers. I kindly told them to please give that excuse to my pig, chickens and turkeys.

Morons!

Though for a house TF I would want some reassurance that the timbers you have can withstand the loads of a residential use structure. A good engineer can give a visual inspection of the timbers and approve even though they may not be formally graded.

Offline Heartwood

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 05:54:40 PM »
In MA you need to get the mill/species stamp from the state if you are producing native lumber for sale or for someone else. Cost $$, maybe $150 last I looked. If you're milling your own wood on your own property for your own building on that property, you don't even need that stamp, is my understanding.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010, 06:05:06 PM »
Here is a bit about the Mass Native Lumber Law. You can read the application as a PDF at the bottom. It is basically a paper trail of liability going back to the producer. I believe all Native Lumber is considered No. 2, and the frame must be designed with that in mind, even if you've got perfect timbers. If a building fails due to substandard lumber, they can come back to the producer for selling a product that doesn't meet the minimum standards.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2010, 06:33:46 PM »
Welcome, Heartwood..... go to see you here.... thanks for posting....
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2010, 06:35:41 PM »
Do you have a stamp Jim?
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Offline Raphael

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2010, 01:47:57 AM »
We have sort of a large timber grade stamp exception in effect here in CT.
The inspectors want timbers used in houses & businesses to be produced by a 'known' sawmill, there are no stamps to identify the species or producer.  Which unfortunately the practice leaves portable mills out of the timber frame market, and guys like me buying timbers instead of milling them...

or at least most of them.  ;)
... he was middle aged,
and the truth hit him like a man with no parachute.
 --Godley & Creme

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Offline Mad Professor

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2010, 03:00:02 PM »
We have sort of a large timber grade stamp exception in effect here in CT.
The inspectors want timbers used in houses & businesses to be produced by a 'known' sawmill, there are no stamps to identify the species or producer.  Which unfortunately the practice leaves portable mills out of the timber frame market, and guys like me buying timbers instead of milling them...

or at least most of them.  ;)

I was working in a Massacusetts mill who built trusses, they took stud grade and instructed workers to grind off grade stamps, then use the same lumber for ROOF TRUSSES: Univeral Forest Products , in Belchertown. This IS THE TRUTH, but deals with products 20 years ago.....soft wood structural lumber; got a housrebuilt with UFP lumber???  P.S. the truth hurts UFP, hope you have changed

I next went to a mill, that went from standing tree to lumber, I learned a lot: sawing, edging for grade, grading, stacking (first of course).  All THE CRAP went in the 300HP electric chipper.  I also learned about drying/bugs/air drying.......

I would not use 1/2 of the stuff  that is "approved" in Ma.   That stuff would be culls/fenceposts/tomato stakes/stickers, from my mill.

And the SOBs in "BASTUN", want me to pith MONEY IN a HOLE to BASTUN/their LACKEY inspectors, that don't know Diddley!!!

Offline GaryinMississippi

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2010, 03:10:55 PM »
that don't know Diddley!!!

I know Diddley!  His last name is Squat, right?

Offline ljmathias

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2010, 07:26:00 PM »
Gary right here in my home state: I know that dude also; not too smart but a right good fella...   ;D

Lj
LT40, Long tractor with FEL and backhoe, lots of TF tools, beautiful wife of 50 years plus 4 kids, 5 grandsons AND TWO GRANDDAUGHTERS all healthy plus too many ideas and plans and not enough time and energy

Offline Piston

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Re: Maine timber frame laws an example for all???
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2010, 09:36:31 AM »
That's interesting about what Heartwood posted regarding the timbers for your own use....That's what I'm planning on doing with them but haven't started the whole 'building permit' thing for my workshop. 
-Matt
What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race.


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