There is a long history of timber frame construction, and for good reason. For thousands of years, humans have tapped into the impressive strength of wood to support buildings. Today, modern technology allows homes to be framed with milled lumber, but prior to industrialization, builders had to hew timbers themselves, via labor-intensive woodworking. In timber frame construction, each timber fits perfectly with its neighbors thanks to the mortise and tenon joints seen in wood furniture.
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Zones between timbers were infilled with a variety of materials, according to time and place. For instance, the Romans infilled with wattle and daub, or with stone rubble. Half-timber edifices in Europe may be infilled with brick, plaster, tiles, or even adobe. The proud history of timber framed construction lead to an artisanal approach, with craftsman seeing framing as an art form, and creating special meaning in certain timber designs.
Since the 1970s, there has been a revival of timber frame construction in North America. Modern timber frame builders combine ancient techniques with modern capabilities, resulting in more affordable, timely construction. For instance, while designing timber frame home plans, we may utilize mass-produced timbers and steel joinery, rather than the hand-hewn timbers and wooden peg joints of days gone by. This allows us to deliver the beauty and stability of traditional timber frame construction, without the extended timeframe and high labor costs associated with traditional approaches.
Timber-framed home plans are popular among buyers, for the reasons outlined below.
Timber-Framed Home Plans: Benefits for Buyers
Environmentally Sound. Wood is renewable, recyclable, and free of VOCs. Moreover, a well-built timber frame building boasts a tight envelope, so less energy is leaked out through exterior cracks. Finally, the air pockets within wood’s cellular structure makes it an excellent insulation material.
Energy usage is at the forefront of modern homebuyers’ minds. Timber framed homes are more energy efficient, returning greater energy savings in the long run. Moreover, many of today’s homebuyers are enthusiastic about green building approaches. Eco-friendly timber framers select sustainably harvested wood. After the building’s lifespan has ended, timbers may be recycled and reused.
Sturdy in a Storm. Wood’s flexible strength is another characteristic that makes it excellent for framing. When stressed, timber can flex, bend and warp, and later return to its original shape. As such, timber framed buildings can better withstand earthquakes, high winds, and heavy snows than their light-frame counterparts. Indeed, timber frame buildings are well known as some of the safest structures to occupy during earthquakes. The cross bracing in timber framed homes provides lateral stability to withstand the earthquakes’ horizontal shaking. Homebuyers are looking for long-term stability, which timber-framed houses are strong enough to offer.
Charming Aesthetic with Design Flexibility. In addition to being easy to work with, wood is warm to the eye. It has a cozy feel and unique texture that most people find quite appealing. Moreover, timbers can support the soaring open spaces that contemporary homebuyers crave. Because timbers bear the weight of the overall building, interior walls need not provide as much support. This allows homebuyers more freedom in wall placement. Additionally, the strong support structure of a timber framed home allows for larger windows (and more natural interior light) than available in other support systems.
The more one reads about wood, the more amazing this ancient building material appears. In addition to the benefits listed above, timber frame buildings are more fire resistant, as heavy timber does not easily catch fire. Homebuyers can’t help but feel drawn to timber framed buildings, and it’s easy to see why.