Post and Beam houses have been built virtually unchanged for a great number of years. It has been, and still is, the most common method of building barns. Whole sections, including posts, beams, rafters, and diagonal braces are cut and fabricated on the ground and then lifted into vertical position with the use of a crane.

Post & Beam house model

Post & Beam House, model

The design makes it possible to precut all the structural members, then transport them to the building site. Once the structure is erected and anchored to its foundation, the homeowner can install all the in-fill panels. The panels can be built in place or also prefabricated and installed with a pulley mounted to the house itself; or better yet, a small crane where feasible.

There are several design options with the post and beam structure. The foundation, for example, can be reinforced concrete piers when a continuous foundation is not practical. It should be mentioned, however, that continuous frost walls on a perimeter footing and even full basement are preferable. A basement can include a utility room, laundry storage and even additional habitable space when the house is located on a sloped site. The floor plan may vary based on site conditions, especially with regard to entrances.

When considering the in-fill panels, it is very important to keep orientation in mind. South-facing panels should be mostly operable glass for passive solar gain, while those on the north should have much smaller windows to prevent heat loss.