Where do you work?
We’re based in North Carolina and travel and install anywhere in the United States.
What’s the difference between a post and beam and a timber frame?
Timber framing is a specialized form of post and beam construction where timbers are connected using traditional wood-to-wood joinery. A more detailed explanation is here: https://www.carolinatimberworks.com/whats-the-difference-post-and-beam-and-timber-frame-construction/
What is the best wood for Timber Frames?
The short answer? It depends. Here, in one place, is a step-by-step explanation of how to select a timber specie from the most common woods used in timber frames: http://www.carolinatimberworks.com/best-wood-for-timber-framing/
What is the difference between decorative and structural timber framing?
A structural timber frame bears the load of gravity pulling the house down and the winds trying to push the house over. A decorative timber frame, on the other hand, is non weight bearing and only holds up its own weight. Follow this link for more information, including the pros and cons of each.
Timber framing on a budget?
One way to fit timber framing into the budget is to consider hybrid timber framing—i.e. timber frame only certain parts of the house as opposed to timber framing the entire home. You might consider identifying an area or two within your plan which you might like to timber frame (for example the front entry and living room), and then establish a budget. Then, give us a call and we’ll do our best to come up with something great that fits your budget.
After receiving our email newsletter, a prospective customer emailed a great question: “Can you show a recent home for a customer on a 300k budget, else this stuff is non-realistic to normal non-millionaire folks.” See our answer (and what factors determine how much your timber frame will cost).
Do you offer timber frame kits?
We don’t offer kits, but would be pleased to design and engineer a timber frame to fit a design you’ve chosen. The process of working with us and a General Contractor usually works smoothly—in effect, we’re the timber frame subcontractor. So, we’d work closely with your GC, travel to your site to take field measurements, and our crew would come out and erect your timber frame.
What are the different types of timber frame trusses available?
We think that timber trusses provide most of the visual impact of a full timber frame, but at lower cost. Here are a number of available styles with some great tidbits of information about each type of truss.
How long does the process take?
Currently, the average length of time between when you place a new order for a timber frame and when it is ready to ship, is 12-14 weeks. Depending on a number of factors, lead times can increase or decrease. When we experience increased demand, our lead times increase as a function of the number of orders we receive. Periodically we make modifications to our staffing and processes in order to reduce lead times. To maintain quality, we have to keep production relatively small. As a result, at times, we experience demand that exceeds the limits of our production capacity.
What should the acceptable timber moisture specification be? (from an architect writing timber frame specifications) The short answer is “Unless seasoned or dried timbers have been specified, timber materials may be unseasoned or green”. A slightly better answer is “Unless seasoned or dried timbers have been specified, timber materials may be unseasoned or green provided the joinery is engineered to accommodate drying shrinkage.” The long answer is that for 2,000 years, timber frames have successfully been built from green (wet) wood. It’s a bit more expensive, but not that hard to design and engineer joinery to accommodate (and hide) the gaps that form as timber dries. By the way, timber air dries very slowly—the rule of thumb is 1” per year—so it’s not practical to specify air dried timber. Futher compounding the issue, it’s tricky to specify and measure the moisture content: 1” deep? At the surface? At the core? An average? With respect to kiln drying, it is impossible to kiln dry a timber in a conventional kiln (you end up with about 1” dry and the core soaking wet, and since timber is usually put in a kiln rough, after a 1/2” is surfaced off you really only end up with 1/2” of dry wood)—so the industry joke is that KD stands for kinda dry. That said, it is possible to dry, to the core, Douglas Fir timber and some Western Red Cedar using a radio frequency vacuum kiln. It still won’t as dry as flooring or moulding (8-10% moisture content), but instead about 15% average. The downside? More costly. For some projects (think clean contemporary modern–or a client who objects to what green unseasoned timber does), RFKD makes a lot of sense.
Here’s an article others have found informative:
What is Mass Timber? The why, the how and what’s the big deal? Mass timber construction 101