The timberframing was a bit of an extravagance. Originally budget at $20,000 it came in at double that. However, this included the engineering costs for the entire house as the engineer was the same for both. For comparison the SIPs (structural insulated panels), the shell of the house, were $20,000 delivered.
Timberframe and SIPs were meant for each other. While the panels don't need a skeleton, it sure makes it easy to assemble. Timberframe does need a skin and SIPs are the perfect choice. The only issue is tolerances. The panels are +/- 1/8 inch. The large timbers, even milled are not so predictable. Added to this tension was the fact that the panels were being cut in Canada, and the timberframe in Oregon . Keeping everyone on the same page was a nerve-racking challenge. When a crane is sitting there at $125 per hour you don't want to have to solve any major fit issues. There are few good or cheap options if the frame is too big.
Selecting the timbers was great fun. Scott McClure, my timberframer and I visited a salvage yard for large timbers in Corvallis. This part was much more like cooking with fresh ingredients. We couldn't specify exactly what we wanted, but instead had to use what was available. This is a not so subtle dig at people who build with reclaimed material, but have it shipped in from the far corners of the earth. This is why I ended up with 9 x 9 posts even though the plan was for 8 x 8s,. The posts for the timberframe came out of the old Cottage Grove High School. Other parts from an old Safeway. I decided to keep the posts and beams as is with their rich patina, checks, dings and nail holes.
It's hard to imagine Auerhaus without the oak-pegged timberframe. I love the idea of helping to keep the craft of fimberframing alive, using recycled material, and just the aesthetic of it. I highly recommend it.