Three Benefits of Timber Framing

If you ask any timber homeowner what’s so special about living in a timber frame home, you’re going to get a different answer every time. Whether it’s the awe inspiring design options or the close to nature feel that’s exuded from these architecturally unique homes, it’s hard to pin point just one reason why timber frame homes are so appealing. Besides the incredible beauty they add to any space, here are three other major benefits of timber framing.

1. Tradition and Durability

Traditional timber frame construction using mortise and tenon joinery is a building technique that has been used for centuries in many areas all over the world including Japan, Denmark, Germany, France and Scotland. There’s a reason why the timber frame homes built so long ago are still around today to admire. The combined strength of Douglas fir timber with mortise and tenon joinery is far superior to conventional framing. Unlike steel, wood is flexible. Over time, as wood expands and contracts due to fluctuating temperatures and moisture content, the wood-to-wood connection will maintain its strength no matter how many times to wood flexes. With conventional framing, as wood expands and contracts, the nails will back out, weakening the structure and creating a need for repairs.

2. Energy Efficiency

Today’s timber homes are taking the lead in energy efficiency. Not only is timber a completely renewable resource, it provides the best weather tight insulation for your home when combined with SIP panels. If you can visualize a 12 ft long wall with conventional construction, this wall has ten 2×6 studs each acting as a small post. Insulation is then incorporated in between each of the posts allowing for thermal bridging to occur at each stud. Thermal bridging can be a major source of energy loss in homes and buildings, leading to higher utility bills. SIPs, on the other hand, are large insulated wall panel systems applied to the exterior of the frame. This continuous layer of insulation across the entire wall eliminates gaps and thermal bridging. Aside from it’s energy benefits, timber frame and SIP panels are pre-cut reducing waste factor and on-site construction costs.

3. Design Adaptability

A self supporting timber frame carry its loads within the heavy timber framework, requiring no interior load bearing walls. Because of this, you can achieve larger span openings and greater design flexibility. With large open designs, the timber frame connects the volumes bringing the space down to a more human scale. With scaled down designs, the frame draws eyes upward making a humble home feel larger. Timber frame homes can be designed to suit any look or style from modern and contemporary to traditional and rustic. The options are endless.