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December 01. 2012 8:30PM

Modern techniques used to build a family's farmhouse replica


Local contractors construct a Yankee Barn home on Endicott Road in Newport on Wednesday, replacing an old farmhouse destroyed by fire in July. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)


Geri Gallagher-Jachim and her horse Blaze lost their home to a fire last July. On Wednesday she spent time in the field with Blaze and her two other horses and pony while her new Yankee Barn home was being constructed. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)

NEWPORT - Two lightning strikes sparked the fire that consumed their old farmhouse and barn this summer, but thanks to a little Yankee ingenuity, the Gallagher-Jachim family is well on the way to returning home.

Yankee Barn Homes, based in Grantham, has been a huge part of the project to replace the 200-year-old farmhouse, homeowner Geri Gallagher-Jachim said while standing on Endicott Road and watching the construction of her new home Wednesday morning.

The family - Cynthia and Geri Gallagher-Jachim and their sons, 11-year-old Ben and 9-year-old Matty - have been staying down the road at Geri's sister's home.

"Probably around Monday, this will be fully enclosed," said Andrew F. Button, general manager of Yankee Barn Homes.

Yankee Barn Homes fast-tracked a design for the family that is very similar to the old farmhouse and modified the pricing a little so that the cost of the project would fit into the insurance money the family received to replace the home.

"They actually managed to design a house that is going to resemble my old farmhouse. You know the porch and the white clapboard. And they were wonderful to work with," Gallagher-Jachim said.

She contacted Yankee Barn about 45 days after the fire, and this week, the frame of a new 2,500-square-foot post-and-beam home designed and cut by Yankee Barn Homes in Grantham was being constructed by local contractors overseen by a Yankee Barn supervisor.

Construction of the frame, which started last week, should be completed soon.

It takes only 10 days to put up, since most of the work is done in a manufacturing setting at the company.

"All these are built in our facility. A lot of manual labor, but it's all computerized," Button said. "So it saves a tremendous amount of time. It also saves money."

Erecting a post-and-beam frame structure goes a lot faster than traditional construction, which takes six to eight weeks to achieve what Yankee Barn Homes can accomplish in 10 days - a completely closed-in and insulated timber frame, Button said.

During this construction phase, Gallagher-Jachim said she often gets phone calls from excited friends who see a Yankee Barn shipment heading her way.

She also gets very excited when pieces of the frame arrive.

"Every time a package would come up the road, I would be in tears," she said.

After the frame is complete, local contractors will work to finish the interior of the house with wiring, plumbing, drywall and appliances.

"This is not a modular home where the kitchen is already in," Button said.

Gallagher-Jachim said she and her family are using local materials and companies to complete the home.

Unfortunately, the house won't be habitable by Christmas, but by St. Patrick's Day, the family is hoping to be moved in and throw a big house-warming party, she said.

In the early morning hours on July 24, a bolt of lightning struck a propane tank next to the house and then soon after another bolt struck the barn.

More than 50 firefighters from Newport and surrounding communities fought the fire for more than three hours.

The family, three dogs, three horses and a pony escaped safely, and no firefighters were injured. However, two family pets, a cat and a dog, perished in the fire.

After the fire the community rallied around the family.

LaValley Building Supply donated a barn to the family for their three horses and one pony, which had run off to graze in the hayfield during the fire, Gallagher-Jachim said.

Numerous local businesses donated to the family, including many restaurants, she said. And many community members donated gift cards for clothing, for the family that lost everything in the fire.

"I'm just overwhelmed by the goodness," Gallagher-Jachim said.

Watching the post-and-beam frame of her home go up makes Gallagher-Jachim think of the people in New Jersey and New York who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy, and how post-and-beam construction could quicken reconstruction down there.

"They can come in and give you hope where there is just devastation," Gallagher-Jachim said of Yankee Barn Homes. Grantham was being constructed by local contractors overseen by a Yankee Barn supervisor.

Construction of the frame, which started last week, should be completed soon.

It takes only 10 days to put up, since most of the work is done in a manufacturing setting at the company.

"All these are built in our facility. A lot of manual labor, but it's all computerized," Button said. "So it saves a tremendous amount of time. It also saves money."

Erecting a post-and-beam frame structure goes a lot faster than traditional construction, which takes six to eight weeks to achieve what Yankee Barn Homes can accomplish in 10 days - a completely closed-in and insulated timber frame, Button said.

During this construction phase, Gallagher-Jachim said she often gets phone calls from excited friends who see a Yankee Barn shipment heading her way.

She also gets very excited when pieces of the frame arrive.

"Every time a package would come up the road, I would be in tears," she said.

After the frame is complete, local contractors will work to finish the interior of the house with wiring, plumbing, drywall and appliances.

"This is not a modular home where the kitchen is already in," Button said.

Gallagher-Jachim said she and her family are using local materials and companies to complete the home.

Unfortunately, the house won't be habitable by Christmas, but by St. Patrick Day, the family is hoping to be moved in and ready to throw a big house-warming party, she said.

In the early morning hours on July 24, a bolt of lightning struck a propane tank next to the house and then soon after another bolt struck the barn.

More than 50 firefighters from Newport and surrounding communities fought the fire for more than three hours.

The family, three dogs, three horses and a pony escaped safely, and no firefighters were injured. However, two family pets, a cat and a dog, perished in the fire.

After the fire the community rallied around the family.

LaValley Building Supply donated a barn to the family for their three horses and one pony, which had run off to graze in the hayfield during the fire, Gallagher-Jachim said.

Numerous local businesses donated to the family, including many restaurants, she said. And many community members donated gift cards for clothing, for the family that lost everything in the fire.

"I'm just overwhelmed by the goodness," Gallagher-Jachim said.

Watching the post-and-beam frame of her home go up makes Gallagher-Jachim think of the people in New Jersey and New York who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy, and how post-and-beam construction could quicken reconstruction down there.

"They can come in and give you hope where there is just devastation," Gallagher-Jachim said of Yankee Barn Homes.



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