Architectural Timber Framing
Based in North Carolina, serving the entire U.S.
What Is Timber Framing?
Timber framing is Carolina Timberworks’ specialty. We work with homeowners and professionals across the United States to provide architectural timber framing for various residential and commercial projects. Timber framing is a traditional method of building with heavy timbers that’s been continuously in use for almost two thousand years. To be candid, we’re drawn to, and love timber framing. It’s the best, longest-lasting, and most beautiful way to build we know of.
It’s said that if you want to build something that lasts forever, use stone; if you want it to last 10 years longer, build a timber frame. Timber frame buildings regularly last hundreds of years. Westminster Hall & Notre Dame Cathedral’s timber framed roofs, built in the Middle Ages, immediately come to mind; but a number of existing medieval barns, castles, country estates, and Japanese temples provide silent testament to the durability of timber framing.
When the structure is exposed from the inside, as in timber frame construction, it’s easy to see the appeal: simple lines, clear proportions, natural materials, automatic differentiation of spaces within the building arising from the posts and bays, and varied ceiling heights which create both public and intimate spaces.
The greatest art comes from making things very simple, but very elegant and perfectly adapted. Engineers like to point out that a structure will be beautiful if it hews closely to the laws of physics, that elegance accruing naturally to designs that obey the forces of nature. Stand inside a timber frame and look up. You can see exactly what is holding up the roof over your head and picture how the roof loads are transferred to the foundation, and how the whole structure can withstand the force of wind.
You’ll notice something else in timber frames: wooden pegs protruding everywhere two pieces of timber meet. Whether you call them pegs, wooden nails, pins, dowels, trunnels, or trenails, they all point to what makes a timber frame a timber frame: there (generally) aren’t any nails, screws, or bolts holding the wooden posts and beams together.
Instead of metal fasteners, timber frames are held together by intricate wooden joinery locked together by wooden pegs. Why? Because wood and stone are plentiful and convenient building materials, they’ve been used for thousands of years. Of course, simply stacking trees and stones on top of each other leaves something to be desired in a storm, so at least 7,000 years ago, someone came up with a simple and strong way to connect two pieces of stone or wood by carving a protruding end on one piece and a matching hole in the other piece. This joint, called the mortise and tenon joint, is one of the strongest and longest-lasting ways to connect two pieces of wood.
We’re thrilled to see timber framing’s popularity resurface in the 21st century. After all, it would be an understatement to say that we’re dedicated to the craft. Altogether, our team has over 90 years of experience with timber framing – and we can’t wait to put it to work for you.
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What Does a Timber Frame Company Do?
A timber frame company like Carolina Timberworks partners with architects, builders, and homeowners to design and install post and beam and timber frame structures. First, our team cuts and pre-assembles your timber frame in our shop. Then we carefully take it apart and deliver it before installing the timber frame on site.
We believe that a timber frame company should rise to the occasion, just like your timber frame. Carolina Timberworks will always deliver – and we’re nice.