Timber Frames, Heavy Timber, and Post and Beam Construction

You’ll often hear the term “heavy timber” and “post and beam” when timber frames are discussed.  The terms have come to be used interchangeably, but there are also differences.

Heavy timber can be used to indicate large lumber which is usually expressed in actual sizes (an 8 x 8 timber is really 8 X 8 ) instead of nominal sizes where a 2 X 4 is usually 1 1/2 X 3 1/2.    Timber frames are always built with heavy timber.

Post and beam can indicate heavy timbers attached to one another with metal plates, bolts, joinery, or a combination.  While the term is often used to mean “timber frame”, it doesn’t have to be traditional timber framing.

A 12″ X 22″ X26′ timber ridge beam, shown below, definitely qualifies as heavy timber as it becomes an integral part of a timber frame home.

Topping Out a New Timber Frame Home

The weather cooperated and Howard and Cindy topped out their new timber frame under brisk Carolina blue skies on November 5th.  Timber frames are stunning and when the frame is standing proud, without any enclosure, it is absolutely magnificent.

This new timber frame will provide shelter for them, shelter unsurpassed in beauty and comfort.   But, for today, it just provided an amazing backdrop for their smiles.

And their smiles tell it all. They decided to build and to build boldly!

Two Goshen Timber Frames Going Up This Week

Team Goshen has been busy. This week two new homes will sport Goshen frames! With interest rates down and interest in beautiful, energy efficient, sustainable homes up, Goshen is busy.

Howard and Cindy worked with Goshen to design and build their new home in the far western mountains of North Carolina. A great home!  And Goshen partnered with architect Philip Buchanan to design and build JohnGoshen Timber Frame Home and Barbara’s new timber frame near Asheville.  A great contemporary home with beautiful lines.

Goshen Timber Frames

The Beauty of Standing Timber Frames

Timber frames take your breath away as they stand in all their awe inspiring majesty.  It seems like a shame to cover them with panels and siding, doesn’t it.   The sheer beauty of the timbers and joinery are enough for most of us.  When you add in the facts that they offer unsurpassed structure and will shelter for generations, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would build any other way.Timber Frame Wisconsin

John shared photos of the new home he and Suzy are building in Door County, Wisconsin.  It will bring smiles to all who enter and, to Suzy, it brought tears as she gazed at the finished structure.  Such is the beauty and what a great testament to that beauty.

So, another Goshen Timber Frame will carry forward for centuries, sharing memories with families and friends as they live their lives and share their stories.

Everyone chooses to build and live in a timber frame Door County Timber Framesfor their own reason.  Whether they enjoy the tradition or the massive timbers, the home is special and amazing.   A timber frame should reflect the wishes of the owner.  It should offer a look at the choices made and the reasons they are choices  made.

When working with your timber framer to design your frame, consider what you expect from your new home and how to best meet these expectations.

Timber frames, if you build, build boldly.

Raising Timber Frames

Raising timber frames is the icing on the cake for a timber frame crew.  It’s where all their hard work and craftsmanship becomes apparent and the WOW factor kicks in. Timber frames aren’t exactly an example of instant gratification, but they certainly are a source of delayed gratification.  On May 5 underneath Carolina blue skies, the Goshen team watched as Glenn, proud owner of a new timber frame home, topped out his new frame.  

Raising day is always an event.  In this case, it was Cinco de Mayo and, of course, the lunch fare was Mexican food. Casa de Soledad  was a nice backdrop to the meal, with the sun shining through the timbers and a sense of the job well done adding to the atmosphere.   It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Sherry and Glenn were there from Cincinnati with their sons, planning for days in the not to distant future when they’ll sit and enjoy the view from the greatroom of this wonderful new timber frame home.

In the meantime, there is work to be done.  The decking and panels will be finished and the Goshen crew will be back doing what they love, working with chisels and mallets on the next new Goshen Timber Frame.