Answering Your Questions About Timber Framing for a Home

Posted on: 16 November 2017


Timber frames refer to a home's framework being made from very large, solid timber beams as opposed to smaller studs. Very often this timber framing is left exposed so that the home has a rustic look, but it can also be covered with standard drywall and other such materials. If you're having a new home built, and are wondering if timber framing is a good choice for its overall structure, note a few questions you might have about this material, and this can help you decide if it's the right choice for you.

What is the difference between timber framing and a stick built home?

Building a home with standard studs, referred to as a stick built home, involves connectors such as bolts, screws, and nails. These connectors may come loose or become rusted over time so that the house then settles; this can lead to cracks in the ceiling and floors and to irritating squeaks and groans from the home itself.

Timber framing is much stronger, and the connectors used to keep beams in place are larger and usually involve plates and oversized bolts. Since the beams fit together more snugly and the connectors are larger and more secure and the framework is not likely to shift so the home won't sink and settle. This means a more secure framework that stays solid over the years.

What is the difference between decorative and structural timber framing?

As the names would imply, structural timber framing is meant to hold up the weight of a home or other building. This framework may not be finished so that it looks very attractive, as it might be covered with drywall, as mentioned.

Decorative timber framing is meant to remain exposed so that it adds to the rustic look of a building but isn't strong enough to hold up anything but its own weight. You would need additional framework to support decorative timber framing.

What is the best wood species for timber framing?

There is no one particular wood species that is the best for timber framing; you need to consider your own budget and the overall appearance you want from that framing to decide what's best for your home. Also, you may want to consider locally sourced timber; this is timber taken from trees grown locally, which then results in less transportation to get that timber to your local area. Less transportation means less pollution from trucks and ships, making locally sourced a more eco-friendly option for your home's timber framing.