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Advantages Of Timber Framing

General Expertise, Siding & Exterior
By on Dec 2, 2015
Advantages Of Timber Framing

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Despite not cooking the meal, when we go out to eat, many of us like to know what ingredients are being used. Well, just like eating out, it’s good to know what ingredients went into framing your house.

When it comes to framing, no product has a longer history than timber. Timber framing has been around for thousands of years and yet, still remains one of the most popular framing options on the market. If your house was built before the 1830s, then timber framing was almost certainly used.

Continue reading to see all the advantages of timber framing and why it is such a popular ingredient for homes across the country.

Advantages of Timber Framing

Timber Framing 101

Timber frames are large wooden beams that are put together without metal or nails. On the contrary, they are connected via wooden pegs. The pegs essentially snap into place and hold the entire structure together.

Timber Framing Benefits

Quick Erection Times

When compared to other forms of building, the actual time it takes to build a timber frame house is less than that of steel or masonry. However, when considering the time it takes to gather and manufacture the wood, the overall times are quite similar. Most timber frame projects will roughly require 8-10 weeks to complete, however, once they have the timber, expect the actual frame to go up in one week.

Energy Efficient

Timber framing has insulated homes across the globe for years and despite higher standards for insulation efficiency, timber framing still answers the call.

The most efficient homes are the ones that keep cold air out in the winter and cool air in through the summer. Timber framed homes are able to do this with structural insulated panels, also know as SIPs. SIPs are beams that surround the timbers. Outside of insulation, SIPs are so efficient that they help reduce the effect of allergens.

Framing structures used today, those that use shorter beams as opposed to the minimum 6x6 beams used in timber frames, leave more space between the beams that allow heat or air to leave the home.

Finally, timber frames allow builders to use reclaimed lumber, preventing the demolition of more trees and provides a rustic, exterior look.

Timber Frame Homes

Design Versatility

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using timber frames is its design flexibility. Opposed to other framing designs, such as platform, timber framed homes rest their weight on the outskirts of the home. This largely comes in handy for those who love the idea of open concepts where interrupting walls are not needed.

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With minimal walls in the house, homeowners have the ability to literally design their perfect homes. Load-bearing walls, which routinely come up with other designs, limit ones creativity when it comes to designing a dream home. Timber framing eliminates this dilemma.

Additionally, many timber framed houses contain more windows. Some of us enjoy the privacy, but many of us prefer to have as much natural light as possible gleaming into our living rooms, kitchens and dining rooms. If you are a fan of natural light, timber framing is the way to go.


When constructing a house, perhaps the most important aspect is safety and durability. If you are spending all that money to build your own house, you want to make sure it can withstand harsh storms or earthquakes and hold up for decades, if not centuries. Fortunately, timber can do just that.

According to Timber Frame, researchers from the Japan’s Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center say a home with timber frames can easily withstand earthquakes that measure 7.5 on the Richter scale.

Additionally, if erected correctly, timber frames offer a certain level of fire-resistance that other structures can’t. Since timber frames are so thick, a fire would essentially have to burn through layers of thick wood before penetrating the home. In fact, even pieces of timber that have been through a fire can be reused as beams in other home projects.

Timber Framing

Traditionalist Design

Considering that timber frames have been used for thousands of years, there is a historical and traditional design element incorporated. The idea of building a big box, with strong, long pieces of wood on the outside dates back to numerous archeological sites across the globe and modern builders are still using that form today.

Of course, over time, there have been modern improvements to the overall process, such as industrial mill processing, but nonetheless, the traditional and historical design has kept timber framing in the game for thousands of years.

Timber Framing Installation Cost

Added durability and design flexibility do not come without a cost. According to our cost estimator, the national average cost of timber framing installation is $2,992. As always, the cost will largely fluctuate based on your specific project.

For example, no matter what framing material you choose, the larger the home, the more expensive the project. To reduce the cost, homeowners can:

  • Choose shorter pieces of timber
  • Help with construction
  • Eliminate interior walls
  • Use lighter woods

Overall, as you can see, there is little you can do to decrease the overall cost of your timber framing project. Nonetheless, you can alternatively use aluminum studs. They are lighter, cheaper and more space-efficient.

House Framing


Timber framing has been around for thousands of years because it works. It offers the strength and beauty of the timber frame tradition, with modern improvements in insulation and design.

For more framing information, please see all our framing cost estimators.

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