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Timber Framing: an Architectural Solution to a Structural Problem
We help architects who are great at what they do, but need help with timber sizing, timber frame engineering, and budgeting.
Typically, we help architects who have been frustrated when timber framing turns out to cost more than expected, and they’ve been disheartened when their vision is value-engineered (or not built at all because it doesn’t fit the budget).
Sometimes we work with architects who want help with their first timber frame project, or who were disappointed when they recommended a timber frame subcontractor who didn’t meet expectations.
If any of these issues resonate with you, inquire below.
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Timber Frame Architect Resources
- Timber Frame Engineering Councils – Tech Bulletins and Research
- Wood Protection by Design
- Wood Decay and Protection
- Design Guide for Timber Roof Trusses
- Seasoning Checks in Timber
- Rules of Timber Joinery Design
- Field Notching and Drilling of Glued Laminated Timber Beams
- Mass Timber Floor Systems–Vibration Serviceability Considerations
- Detailing Cross Laminated Timber Connections
- Detailing Glulam Timber Connections
- Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) Diaphragms
- Code of Standard Practice for Timber Frame Structures
- Download a Sample Shop Drawing Example
- Timber Grading Information
- Natural Durability of Wood
- Fire Resistance of Mass Timber Structures
- Moisture Considerations for Mass Timber Structures
- Behavior of Traditional Timber Frame Structures Subjected to Lateral Load
- Effect of Moisture Content on Bending Strength of Timber
- Moment Connections in Timber
- Basic Design Issues in Timber Frame Engineering
- Loading Criteria Checklist
- Timber Frame Shop Drawing Checklist
- Timber Frame Master Specs
Interpretation and appropriate use of the information presented in this resource list is the responsibility of the user. By downloading the documents, you agree that you have read and understand that neither Carolina Timberworks, nor The Timber Framers Guild or Timber Framers Engineering Council nor its members assume any responsibility for the information contained in this library of resource documents or liability from its use.
Timber Frame FAQ
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/
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: https://www.carolinatimberworks.com/best-wood-for-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.
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 building timber frame homes. 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).
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.
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 14-16 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.