Timber framing has a long history throughout the world as a traditional building practice. With timber framing, heavy, large timbers frame the structure instead of more slender dimensional lumber (for example, 2 x 6’s.). One of the most distinctive characteristics of a timber frame is the unique joinery that holds the timbers together. The ends of timbers are carved out so that they fit together like pieces of a puzzle. A hole is drilled through both timbers to be joined, and a wooden peg is forced into them to hold the joint together. You may recognize some of the common joint names such as mortise and tenon, lap joint, dovetail, and scarf joint.
In the 20th century, the demand grew for cheap, quickly built housing, and dimensional lumber edged out timber framing as the standard building practice. After a long dormancy, the timber frame revival began in the United States in the 1970s. Skilled craftsmen, like our Northwood Homes crew, have brought back the old methods of timber framing while incorporating the advantages of modern technology.
Because timber-frame construction is so strong, load-bearing walls through the middle of the house are usually unnecessary. This allows for flexible and open room configurations. Yet even with high-volume, open spaces, the frame unifies the spaces and the warmth of the wood and the joinery humanizes it, making it more intimate. The walls of the structure are typically erected on the outside of the timber frame, which leaves the timbers beautifully exposed inside the house. The exterior of timber frames can be clad with any typical building material, so your timber home can take on different architectural styles and fit into any setting.
This classic and lasting form of construction is an area of specialty at Northwood Homes. And, interestingly, it is a portable aspect of building! We work with your project plans to bring your custom timber frame elements to life (in the magic tent, as pictured lol) and deliver them to your site, installation included (contact us to discuss distance, delivery charges, etc.).