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Timber Frame

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Today’s construction technology has given us a dizzying array of choices for home construction. Among choices such as modular, manufactured, log homes, kit homes and others, the timber frame home stands apart. Some of the confusion about what timber frame construction really means. Framing, of course, is the first part of the home’s actual construction. It is the part that sits on the foundation and becomes the home’s skeleton. A timber frame home is built on site by contractors who are expert in the special techniques used.

It is not to be confused with a kit house which is delivered in pieces and built by the owner or someone hired by the owner. Unlike post and beam construction, timber frame uses no metal brackets, plates or nails. Instead, timber frame construction uses mortise-and-tenon joinery and is secured by wooden pegs. This type of construction has been used for many hundreds of years. Buildings made in the timber frame style that were made 1000 years ago can still be seen. After the frame is in place, it is enclosed by structural insulated panels (SIPS). The timber frame remains exposed on the interior. “Unlike conventional stick framing, the finish work begins with the frame.”

A timber frame construction is not a log home. Log homes are built by stacking logs on top of one another and settle for as long as they stand. “Timber frames are the strongest form of construction utilizing natural materials, and the frame does not continuously settle.” The exterior of the structure can be of any material chosen by the owner. The style of the home also offered unlimited choices. An important question is the cost. The timber frame construction is no more expensive than other types and less expensive than many. The contractors who are expert in timber frame tend to be ecologically aware and make sure that trees are planted to replace those used in construction.

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