DW Timber Frame Design



About Timber Framing

  A timber frame home makes a statement about your identity that conventional buildings don't make. Your construction choice for timber framing usually will cost more per square foot than conventional stick construction.  You have also decided to make the structure of your home not only visible, but fully displayed to all that enter. You have also decided to build one of the strongest, longest lasting structures that can be built.
  Traditional Timber Frame
  This uses the centuries-old craft of interlocking timbers using mortise and tenon joints secured with wooden pegs. These timbers are joined in a complete cross-section called a bent. The bents are raised one piece at a time, usually by crane, and then secured together in bays. Connecting girt's and purlins in the roof connect the bents to one another. The whole structure is further strengthened by the placing of knee braces on the external walls and main timbers inside.

  Alternatively, the timbers can be erected sequentially one piece at a time to form the complete frame structure as with the common rafter system. The new roof support systems resulting from this method will commonly differ from that utilizing the bent system. 

  Timber frame is best suited for buildings made up of a series of rectangular shaped floor areas. Interior load-bearing walls are not usually required, allowing large open spaces and great freedom of design in the interior of the home. The shape also lends itself to large interesting walls of windows, maximizing the best use of natural light.

                                                   Original Post and Beam
  This construction style is similar to traditional timber frame. In this system "post and beam" are also used to describe the method of building, not just the components. The timbers are fastened with nails, bolts or other special hardware. In original post and beam construction, these are usually hidden.

                                                      Timber Frame Hybrid 
  This has evolved with the timber frame in conjuction with conventional construction or SIP construction. This has occurred for two reasons:

  A. Design Needs Complex shapes and designs may not be easily accommodated by the limitations of mortise and tenon joints. Many high quality homes use different kinds of complementary construction styles to achieve the desired architectural result. This should not be treated as a deterrent from using a timber frame component but as an opportunity to showcase design excellence.

  B. Cost The cost can be considerably lower in construction where the full exposed timber look is not required throughout the home. Usually, the central great room is of timber frame construction while the wings of the house are built using conventional trusses. This is a cost efficient way of showcasing exposed timbers only in areas best suited to an architectural statement.