Frequently Asked Questions: Vermont Timber Frame Homes – Post and Beam Cabins

Shipping FAQ’s

Do Timber Frame Kits ship free to Canada?

Pre-Cut Timber Frame Kits ship free to most of South Eastern Canada. Areas include:

Major Cities/ Larger Towns:

Ontario: Hamilton, London, Mississauga, Toronto, Kingston, Sudbury, Ottawa, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Thunder Bay

Quebec: Montreal, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Terrebonne, Shawnigan, Victoriaville

New Brunswick: Edmunston, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Mirimichi, Bathurst

Nova Scotia: Halifax, Dartmouth, Truro, New Glasgow, Antigonish, Sherbrooke, Lunenburg, Bridgewater, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Wolfville

See more on our Canada page

Can I have my pre cut Timber Frame kit delivered directly to my residence?

If you live outside our Northeast Delivery Region (New England, NY, NJ or PA) your kit will be shipped via freight.  If you’d like it delivered to your residence, there is a $550 Residential Delivery Charge and the Timber Frame kit must weight less than 3,000 lbs. The site must be able to accommodate a full size truck and trailer, and a two hour window is allotted for off load. You would need at least two strong people to unload the kit piece by piece from the truck. There is no lift gate service. Alternatively, we suggest the kit be delivered to a local business with a forklift to off load the kit.

Info about Timber Framefreight deliveries:

For Freight going to a Business:

Work gloves are recommended as well as a cutting tool for breaking the Timber Frame kit’s bands open. We suggest that prior to the delivery you purchase cement blocks, 4x8x16, for the building to sit on.  Your Timber Frame plans should include instructions on site preparation.

We recommend having the Timber Frame kit delivered to a local business with the equipment to off-load. The drivers are usually quite helpful but they are under no obligation to help unload. You should be aware that freight costs are prepaid and that no additional expenses are due to the delivery carrier.

In the event that your Timber Frame  kit should arrive extremely damaged, you may refuse shipment. If you are considering refusing, please try to contact our Client Care Office while the driver is still there. We will try to help you make the best decision for the circumstance. Any incidental damage that you note should be noted and pointed out to the driver before he leaves.

For Freight going Residential / hand unload:

Work gloves are recommended as well as a cutting tool for breaking the Timber Frame kit’s bands open. We suggest that prior to the delivery you purchase cement blocks, 4x8x16, for the building to sit on.  Your plans should include instructions on site Timber Frame Kit and Post and Beam Kit preparation.

We recommend having the Timber Frame kit delivered to a local business with the equipment to off-load. If you are not having it delivered to such a business and have chosen to have it delivered curb-side at your address, it is suggested that several strong people be there to unload it by hand when the truck arrives.  The drivers are usually quite helpful but they are under no obligation to help unload. You should be aware that freight costs are prepaid and that no additional expenses are due to the delivery carrier.

In the event that your kit should arrive extremely damaged, you may refuse shipment. If you are considering refusing, please try to contact our Client Care Office while the driver is still there. We will try to help you make the best decision for the circumstance. Any incidental damage should be noted and pointed out to the driver before s/he leaves.

How long does delivery generally take?

Length of Timber Frame Kit delivery depends on many factors including site accessibility and preparedness. Most fully assembled units can be delivered in less than 2 hours. JCS allows a 3-hour window for Timber Frame kit delivery. Anything over 3 hours is subject to a charge of $250/hr., billed in 15- minute increments.

Can JCS help move a building?

JCS can frequently move buildings within our in-house delivery range. Details can be found here

What is the truckload sale disclosure?

If the truck does not fill in 3 months (90 days) from the date deposit is placed, and JCS has not offered you delivery within the 90 day time-frame, you have the option to cancel the Timber Frame kit order for a full refund. If JCS has offered you delivery within the 90 day time-frame and you have declined to accept, then the full refund offer is void and standard cancellation policy and shipping rates apply.

How far away will you ship?

We can ship Timber Frame kits internationally, please contact us for a quote.

Do I need to be present at the time of delivery?

Yes. We strongly encourage you to be present with a helper to unload the Timber Frame kit. Hopefully the driver will help you but he/she is under no obligation to do so.

How much notification will you give me prior to delivery?

You will be notified of a date and approximate time for delivery when the Timber Frame  kit is shipped. A tracking number is supplied when applicable, the dispatcher will coordinate with both driver and receiver.

General FAQ’s

Tiny House Planning- What can you NOT live without?

There are several basic questions to ask yourself and answer when beginning to plan your tiny home. What can you NOT live without and what should your budget be based on the features you require. Take our quiz now.

What is the difference between a frame only, PCK 3-season and 4-season package?

Frame Only – The choice for sensitive budgets, it supplies an authentic traditional rough sawn post and beam frame. The package comprises framing members color coded and part numbered to match the option A specifications found on the website product pages. Rough sawn true dimensional 4×4 post and beam timber wall frame and rafters for the roof system are combined. The frame only precut kit includes the base for the building. Skids and floor system if floor system is standard and treated sills if no floor is included. Flooring, siding, millwork and roofing has been omitted. Hardware to assemble is inserted as well as DIY plans.

Precut Kit – The most popular choice for a weather tight shell. The PCK is the complete kit for a design. It includes everything required to assemble the building including hardware, precut framing, siding and roofing as well as doors and windows. Hardware, millwork sheathing and DIY plans have been enclosed. Each piece is color coded and part numbered. The exact itemization of what is inserted can be found on the specifications tab of the website for each product page design.

3-Season –This is the best choice if the space will be used as a living space now or in the future. A three-season kit prepares the building for interior finishing. It includes the complete PCK version, vapor barrier, solid roof sheathing and insulated floor system. A three season building seals the structure from humidity and moisture protecting from the environment, insects and rodents. DIY plans match a color-coded part numbered kit and the hardware is included.

4-Season – A turn key solution for year-round comfort. Weather you live in a desert or the artic the high R-value supplies year-round comfort. The package includes everything a 3 season does with the addition of insulated thermal pane millwork, wall and roof insulation and kiln dried pine interior sheathing. Plumbing and electrical packages are optional.

Do your structures comply with the International Building Codes?

YES – ICC International Building Codes are followed whenever possible. Due to environmental and local interpretations it is best to review with your local municipality. Final approval is governed and granted solely by your local building department. It is the land owners responsibility that all local construction codes are being met.

What is a three season building?

A three season building is a a partially insulated structure. Clients will purchase a three season building if it will be used as a seasonal camp, or if they want to finish out the interior on their own.

Included in the Three Season Package:

Solid Pine Roof Sheathing

Roof, wall and floor vapor barrier

5-1/2″ Fiberglass floor insulation with 3/8″ plywood

Backout of frame (fully assembled only)

Other add ons to consider:

Insulated double pane windows

6″ woodstove flashing

Interior wall and ceiling sheathing

Typographical Errors

While all information and pricing is deemed accurate, Jamaica Cottage Shop, Inc. has the right to refuse or cancel any orders placed containing incorrect amounts due to typographical errors or incorrect prices. We are under no obligation to accept an order for which the price was posted incorrectly.

What is the Lowest Prices Guaranteed Policy?

Lowest Price Guaranteed:  Send us a competitor advertisement for a comparable Timber Frame building and Jamaica Cottage Shop will meet or beat it.  Must be pricing available to the public.  The competitor’s pricing must be advertised to the public on a website, print ad, radio ad, or catalog.  The advertisement must state what the shipping costs will be.  Call a Cottage Associate (866) 297-3760 for more details. 

Can buildings be connected and attached to each other to increase space?

Yes. It is possible to attach buildings to create a larger structure; however it is very important that a foundation be used underneath the structures to keep them together and prevent the two separate buildings from pulling apart over time. The cottages are designed to be rigid and true alone, they are not designed to support additional outcroppings or connected spaces. It is highly recommended that a licensed contractor be involved to set the foundation so it will support both structures. JCS does not supply custom blueprint drawings or custom foundation layouts.

I will be using the building year-round and would like to insulate it. Any suggestions?

The first requirement when planning to insulate is house wrap/vapor barrier. Without it the building is susceptible to moisture, mold and wind penetration. The house wrap/vapor barrier should be included in the floor, walls and roof. We recommend that the floor be insulated during construction. It’s more difficult to install house wrap/vapor barrier once the building is complete.

Will you hook up my plumbing and electric when you deliver the building?

No. Clients are responsible for having any/all heating units, plumbing and electric inspected, certified and installed by a licensed technician.

How long is my quote good for?

Jamaica Cottage Shop quotes are good for 30 days, unless otherwise specified on the quote. The only exception is when the quote is a special offer, promotion or discount. The quote is good so long as the special offer is valid.

Do you offer financing?

Yes. Clients have the option to finance through Bread. See the Financing tab.

Do you have plans of your buildings for sale?

Yes. Plans are available on each of the product pages.

Can I make a change to the agreed upon plan?

Changes can be made when the order is within the 3-day grace period (see detailed Terms & Conditions). If the grace period is over, a $250 fee applies to discuss a change. Thereafter an hourly rate of $125/hour per wo/man plus material will be charged. Sorry, no exceptions.

I’m still deciding on my building’s design and/or permits. Can an order be put on hold?

Yes. However, a deposit is no longer refundable after one year from deposit date. At which time a deposit can be used as store credit for up to a period of 3 years. After three years the deposit is forfeited. Standard Cancellation policies remain in effect.

What if I need to cancel my order?

Your order is refundable if cancelled within 3 days. Otherwise your deposit will be refunded, minus 25% of the total building cost. All cancelled or returned orders are subject to an additional processing charge of 3%. Please allow 5 to 10 business days for processing. Standard cancellation policies will remain in effect for buildings on hold. If you must cancel please send us an email and/or call toll free (866) 297-3760. Please leave a message if after hours.

Do you offer your designs at wholesale prices?

Jamaica Cottage Shop is no longer taking applications for new retailing accounts. The program is being suspended indefinitely. We suggest reviewing the affiliate program where you can earn commissions immediately with no money down. We thank all those who have shown past interest in the retail program. Additionally we express our sincerest apologies to any parties that may be effected by this decision.

Become an affiliate today.

I am looking for basic storage for yard tools and to winter lawn furniture. How big of a building do I need?

Many solve this question by checking their pocketbooks. We suggest you gather the items needing shelter, put them in the desired location and scratch four lines around them. Measuring the lines will give you the needed size. Take a look at our most versatile cottage, the 8×10 Vermonter.

Are you a native Vermonter and how long have you been in business?

No. Domenic Mangano was born and raised in Massachusetts. Graduated with a BS in Business Management from Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont in 1991. Carpentry experience began at age 15 in 1984 and the shop opened for business in 1995.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes. We accept Master Card, American Express, Discover Card and Visa. Payment can be made out to Jamaica Cottage Shop and mailed: 170 Winhall Station Rd., S. Londonderry, VT 05155.

What is up with the chickens? Do you eat them? Do they lay eggs?

Jamaica Cottage Shop has a flock of exotic birds. They are pets, and many free range. No, we do not eat them. The hens are allowed to hatch the eggs and raise the young.

Do you do all the building by your self?

No. Jamaica Cottage Shop employs a staff of full time carpenters, office personnel and delivery crews.

When and where can I see display buildings?

The factory is open Monday through Friday 8am-5pm EST., Saturday 9am-4pm EST., and Sunday by chance or appointment only. It is always best to call ahead, as we do occasionally close for holidays and vacations. Display buildings are open to the public and available for perusal at any time during daylight hours.

Display yards can be found at our Factory: 170 Winhall Station Rd. South Londonderry, VT. 05155, and Hoosick Valley Outdoor Products: 5217 Rte. 7, Hoosick Falls, NY. (518) 686 2528.

Can you give me directions to your shop?

Jamaica Cottage Shop has moved! We are now located 2 miles north of our old location at the former Smith Mill. The shop can be found 3 miles from the Stratton Mountain access road in South Londonderry, Vermont. Turn north on route 100, travel two miles and turn right onto Winhall Station, a paved road. The office is located 1/8 of a mile from RT 100 on the right.

Do you have buildings on display at the shop?

Yes. More than 50 small buildings and multiple other structures like garden closets, wishing wells and cupolas are always on display. Stop in today and choose from the different styles or design your own cottage. Enjoy the many small buildings with awe inspiring, quintessential storage and work spaces in vibrant colors.

Can your pre-cut kits be customized?

Simple things such as roof color or material may be customized. We do not alter floor plans, window and door placements, roof pitches or wall heights. Please contact our design team for more information.

Do you offer fully assembled buildings?

If you live in the Northeast (New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) fully assembled buildings are available to you. Please contact our design team for more information.

I have minimal carpentry skills. Will I be able to assemble one of your kits?

Yes. We feel confident that the organization, plans and thought that have gone into the preparation of our kits will result in a quality finished product. Basic carpentry tools will be needed.

Does the building need to be treated or painted right away?

No. The wood does not need to be treated right away and will gray with age. The desired look and feel can be achieved in many ways, including painting and staining. We do recommend that you treat your building with a clear coat of water repellent oil within 5 years and every five years thereafter, just as you would treat a wood deck.

We recommend linseed oil Cabot Australian oil or Cabot stain. You will need to use a primer before you paint. Be sure to put enough coats of primer so that you can no longer see the knots otherwise they will bleed through.

What does your kit package contain? What exactly comes with your package?

Kits come complete with detailed instructions with vivid color pictures. All the material and hardware is included. A guide to site selection, site preparation and foundation choices for your design is included with the kit.

What are your buildings made of and how long will they last?

Cottage Shop creations are crafted with native Vermont lumber. The trees are grown and harvested locally and sawn at local saw mills. All the lumber has a rough look and feel. Hemlock, a sturdy bug resistant wood, which has traditionally been used for fence posts, is used in all of the framing. Eastern White Pine is used for siding and trim. Roofing material is corrugated metal. Life expectancy is 30+ years with proper care and maintenance.

Can I use cement piers for the foundation of my building?

Yes. concrete piers can be used, the pier dimensions and specifications are included with the plans.

What happens if my kit arrives damaged or is missing parts?

If your kit is missing parts or damaged, please contact us right away. Upon delivery of your kit, please inspect it immediately. Should it arrive damaged write the damage on the bill of lading and inform the driver before he leaves.

Will I need a permit?

Each town is different. Most do not require a permit for a building less than 150 square feet. A set back of 25 feet from the property line is common. Cottage Shop will help and advise, but leaves all local and state requirements the responsibility of the client.

What exactly is a Pre-Cut Kit?

The pre-cut lumber package has all the framing members cut and ready for assembly. It includes siding, roofing, pre-dimensioned trim, fastening hardware, windows and pre-made doors. The floor system walls and rafters have all been cut, color-coded and part numbered. The detailed cut list coincides with the color-coded exploded view. The head scratching has been removed, the headaches of finding the correct angles and the aggravation of starting from scratch has all been simplified. The kit is geared to a do-it-yourself homeowner with beginner to beginner knowledge of carpentry.

Roof Design FAQ’s

Roof Design: Shed

A one-pitched roof. Rain falls off one side only.

Roof Design: Mansard

A French style roof. A gently sloped flat pitch is hidden by fancy curved hips.

Roof Design: Dormer

An out cropping of the roof. Typically a window is placed in the dormer. Many types exist and can be incorporated with any type of roof. The example at left shows a gable roof with hipped ends, a dormer over the entrance. The valley is where the dormer roof meets the main roof.

Roof Design: Hip

Rain falls off the building on all four sides

Roof Design: Gambrel

A four-pitched roof traditional on Dutch style barns.

Roof Design: Salt Box

A two-pitched roof traditionally seen in snow country. It sheds the majority of the snow off the back of the building.

Roof Design: Cross Gable

Four gable ends connected to create four valleys.

Roof Design: Gable

The most common two-pitched roof.

Roof Design: A-Frame

A very steep gabled roof traditionally on chalet type buildings. It typically extends close to or all the way to the ground.