Constructing houses with light wood frames is very popular in the United States and some parts of Europe. There are several reasons for this. Timber frames are light and can be put together quickly. Construction is quick, and no heavy equipment is required. It is essentially a large carpentry job and the primary tool that’s used is a nail gun. It can be adapted to many different geometric shapes and covered with a number of different materials.
Timber frame homes also come with some negative characteristics. Since they are made of wood, they are not fireproof. Also, these houses are not very resistant against adverse weather conditions like hurricanes and tornadoes.
The Evolution of Timber Frame Homes
Timber Frame House first came into existence thanks to the widespread availability of wood and inexpensive machine-made nails. With the invention of water-powered sawmills, it became easy to cut and plane pieces of wood properly.
Thanks to the American do-it-yourself culture, this style of construction grew in popularity. Timber frame construction does not require an advanced skill set acquired through years of practice. However, these days, light gauge steel frames are starting to replace wooden ones.
Components of a Timber Frame Home
A few essential components make up every timber frame house:
- Horizontal wooden beams called Joists make up the floors
- Vertical members made of wood called studs hold up the walls
- Sheets called sheathing connect the studs to form wall surfaces
- Sloping wooden beams support the roof, and these are called rafters
- Exterior cladding called sliding covers the outside walls
Types of Timber Frame Homes
Timber Frame Houses are divided into two major types of structures.
Full Timber Frame Construction
Full timber frame construction involves building a structure using massive timbers that are connected using joinery. A significant advantage of this type of construction is that the aesthetic and structural details of the wooden beams are visible throughout the interior and exterior. This will give the home a timeless look and feel. These structures can be made to look modern using smooth beans or crafted using heavy textures for a more rustic appearance.
Both soft and hardwood can be sourced locally or from a supplier for this type of construction. The timbers can be treated in many different ways to achieve various surface options. New wood beams can be made to look weathered if you’re going for a more antique look. The rough wood can also be given a satin finish which will provide them with a more refined look.
The process of constructing this type of home requires all the timbers to be pre-cut meticulously in a production facility. These are then delivered to the construction site, where they are reassembled, one part at a time. A finishing crew will them take over to complete the rest of the construction and out the final touches on. You can take a look at Hamill Creek timber frame houses to understand the process better.
Hybrid Timber Frame Construction
A hybrid timber frame house consists of both non-structural and structural wood elements. It is constructed using conventional techniques, and there are a ton of styles and design possibilities. The timber details can be designed and customized according to taste. In a Hybrid timber home, components like timber roof structures, decorative timber trusses, decorative overlays, timber mantels, wood staircases and railings and custom milled beams are some of the many possibilities.
Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs) can be used in Hybrid timber houses. These homes can be customized entirely using SIP panels and the number of timber details you desire.
Timber Frame vs. Traditional Houses
If built well, timber frame houses are just as robust and solid as block-built houses. All timber frame homes are required to meet minimum standards when it comes to building regulations. In fact, many of these residences come with a 10-year HomeBond guarantee, which is equivalent to what you get with a traditional block home.
A major advantage of timber frame houses is that they can be constructed in a short period of time. This is because the parts that make up the wooden framework are all factory produced. These timber house also tend to be more energy efficient, so it’s possible to get a better BER rating.
If you do decide to go ahead with a timber frame house, the key thing to pay attention to is quality control during the construction process. Make sure that the high standards that are followed in the factories are followed and replicated on site when the house is being built.
Always go with qualified construction professionals who will monitor and sign off on the entire process of construction. If a timber frame house if build well, it will last as long as a traditional block-built house. A durable, well-constructed timber frame house is a pleasure to live in and will keep going strong for many years.