A timber frame barn can be so many things—from a shelter for animals or a space for storing hay to a wedding venue or a living space. Take a look at a few of the party barns and barn-inspired homes we’ve built to get ideas for your unique timber frame structure.
Timber Frame Barn Uses
Timber frame barns offer ample open space, strength, and beauty—and they’re quite versatile to boot. Here are just a few ways you can use one:
- Living Quarters: A timber frame barn is an excellent choice for a home if you’re partial to a rustic aesthetic or if you enjoy the feeling of a wide-open space. Use it as a bungalow for yourself or as a guest home for visiting relatives or renters.
- Party Barn: Looking for a rustic-chic venue to host an intimate wedding? Timber frame barns are easy to dress up for a wedding, and there’s plenty of space for dining and dancing too.
- Equipment Storage / Workshop: Need more space for your projects, side by sides, e-bikes, the horse your spouse keeps bring up, tools you rarely use but might need, gardening supplies, and that mostly restored 1980 BMW R80 G/S that you’re planning to ride on the ALCAN Highway one of these days?
- Man Cave or She Shed: If you want a separate space to unwind, a timber frame barn makes an ideal relaxation station. Add a couch, a TV, and a wet bar—and you’ve got the perfect spot to hang out and cool off.
- Car Barn: Wondering how to showcase your growing collection of vintage cars and trucks? Just think, you could have the perfect place for that 1953 Ford F-100 pickup you’ve been eyeing…
- Horse Barn: Let’s not forget about classic barn uses. Did you know Carolina Timberworks built the largest horse barn in the United States?
Types of Barns
Deciding between a timber frame barn and post and beam or another type of construction? Here’s how they differ:
Timber Frame Barn
A timber frame barn features large timbers in the form of posts (vertical) and beams (horizontal), using wood-to-wood joinery and wooden pegs to hold them together. Timber frame trusses and purlins form the roof, and all the timbers are left exposed so the structure becomes what architect Caleb Johnson termed “built poetry”. In a traditional timber frame barn, you won’t see any metal, as all joinery is wood-based.
Post and Beam Barn
Post and beam construction is largely similar to timber frame construction, with a small but very important distinction. Post and beam structures feature (you guessed it) posts and beams, but with metal joinery. As a result, you’ll often see metal gussets and plates joining the timbers, adding a distinctive charm to the structure.
Pole barns are constructed with a technique called post-frame building. In a pole barn, poles (or posts) are set into holes in the ground and concrete is poured into the holes to anchor the posts. Walls can be optional with post-frame structures, but with a pole barn, you’ll often see metal or wood siding enclosing the structure.
Timber Frame Barn Accessories
The right accessories can make a great timber frame barn truly wonderful. You have plenty of choices, depending on the aesthetic you want to create and how you plan to use the space.
Sliding barn doors are popular for their space-saving ability, while standard single and double doors can make a bigger statement. Double dutch doors add a little more flexibility, as they have the option to open the top half only.
From picture windows to sash windows to sliding windows, you have plenty of options for inviting natural light into a timber frame barn. Smaller accent windows at the top of the structure can also help with airflow and add extra light to balance the space.
Cupolas and Weathervanes
While cupolas are designed to provide light and airflow, they also offer an opportunity to add a decorative touch to your timber frame barn. For a bit of unique design flair, consider adding a custom weathervane atop your barn’s cupola.
Our Timber Frame Barns
Some of our favorite timber frame barns.