What is timber framing

 

Timber framing is the art of joining massive timber beams into a self-supporting structure capable of withstanding the test of time.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Contrary to some beliefs, a timber frame is not the same as post & beam construction, nor is it a log home. What makes timber framing unique is its use of traditional joinery, and the personal touch added through fine craftsmanship. This is not always evident in post & beam construction, where you often find other materials than wood in the building process. Like metal fasteners and laminated beams, a timber frame is solely constructed out of wood; right down to the wooden pegs that fastens the various members together.

 

History of timber framing

The origins of timber framing that we are familiar with today, can be traced back to Europe and the Middle Ages. Some of the most elegant cathedrals and palaces were constructed during these periods, using proven framing techniques that have been passed on for generations.

In North America, the first European settlers used timber framing to build their homes and barns. If you take a look around the country you can still see some of these structures. Though some of the exteriors might look rough, the frames inside are as sturdy as the day they were built over two hundred years ago.

It was over the past two hundred years that timber framing fell out of favor do to advent of stud framing. Stud framing was and still is a cheaper and faster method of building, though not always as aesthetically pleasing.

Over the past thirty years timber framing and its traditional methods of building have been revived. Thanks in large part to an increase in available information on the trade, and the advent more energy efficient materials, such as stress-skin panels. A timber frame is no longer just a thing of beauty, but rather an energy efficient structure capable of withstanding our harsh climate and the test of time.

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