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What is Timber Framing: A brief definition

On a couple of occasions recently I was asked what I do for a living. When I told them that I run a business that specializes in timber frame construction, the reaction was aah, log cabins. Timber frame buildings and log cabins utilize completely different construction methods but it got me thinking that maybe the misconception is a common one. I, therefore, decided to write this brief description of what timber frame building and construction actually are.

Timber frame and post and beam are age-old methods of construction that use heavy timbers, as opposed to the most modern factory made lumber, 2x4s for example. The methods that we use today are similar to those that have been used for centuries. In Europe, there are many examples of timber-framed houses still standing that were built hundreds of years ago. The method was developed due to the lack of high tech saws that are commonplace in saw mills today.

Although modern technology helps us to create very accurately cut timbers the method is still the same. A traditional timber frame construction uses large timber stock that is squared off and joined using wooden pegs. The most common joint is the mortice and tenon. If you look at the wooden furniture in your house you will probably find a mortice and tenon joint. In the past, the carpenters would use axes and draw knives to work the timber and a hand drill – brace and bit – to bore the holes. Using modern technology allows us to work the timber and cut the joints more accurately and less laboriously, but the end result is similar.

Using precision cut heavy timbers allows us to build in a way that can support heavy loads, without having to resort to supporting posts that would take up space in the interior of the building. As this method of construction developed over many years, and in different parts of the world, there are lots of different styles to choose from. One thing that they have in common is the fact that the finished buildings provide attractive, open and bright living spaces.

An important part of the modern use of timber framing is the design process. We work closely with the client to create a building that suits their needs and is also striking to the eye. 3D modeling software helps us to visualize exactly what the client has in mind. It also means that we can foresee any eventual problems and correct them before we get on the site.

Here are some examples of our completed projects

This is only a brief look at timber frame buildings. There are so many different styles, designs, and options that I can’t go into them in detail here. If you are considering building a house or commercial building then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

#timberframing #postandbeam  

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