Timber frame houses, both beautiful and strong, are the choice of timber framing purists, and they are a popular construction method that is used world-wide.
You’ll find timber framed houses that are ski or mountain lodges, huge dramatic timber frames on estates, and more modest cottages that were built as affordable vacation homes.
If you look at a true timber frame home, the only thing that holds the beams together is wooden pegs; however, modern home codes now require additional metal hardware in some locations.
Timber Frame Strength
Timber framed houses are incredibly strong and the framework of the house can stand alone—the frame actually forms a wooden skeleton, of sorts, that stands by itself.
They have survived all kinds of weather—including hurricanes and tornadoes—and they have come through the storms, unscathed.
While many people simulate the look of a timber frame in their new homes, many are still willing to pay the extra costs to get a pure and authentic timber frame home!
Timber Frame Construction
Have you ever seen the inside of an old peg barn? You were actually looking at timber frame construction.
Traditional timber frame joinery dates back to the American colonies in the US, and it is what distinguishes timber frame building from other types of building.
With timber frame houses you have lots of flexibility in designing your home, as the frame is load-bearing, but the interior walls are not. Because of that, you can change your floor plan, moving a wall here or there—without disturbing a load-bearing wall.
While a timber framed home may look like other houses on the outside, the superior strength and beauty is on the inside.
Timber Frame Traditions
Building a timber frame home is almost like joining an exclusive club. You are certainly among the purists in green building and using traditional timber frame joinery.
Do you remember the old fashioned barn raisings?
The Amish in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania still have barn raisings for their community members. And the barns that they build are very similar to the timber frame construction we use in homes.
So are their traditions…
When a timber frame is being raised, family and friends are invited to a timber frame raising. (And the curious may show up.) It is a fun and festive day, and often refreshments are served for the crowd.
Just like in the Amish communities, friends and family give support to the new home owners. It’s a time for celebration.
In addition, when the timber frame is completed and standing, the new home owners climb up and place a traditional fir branch at the top—for good luck. That moment is always dramatic and breathtaking!
Timber frame houses, built with traditional timber frame joinery, remain among the most beautiful and sturdiest homes being built.
If you are among those who appreciate fine craftsmanship and tradition, a timber frame house just might appeal to you…