Our recent visit to the International Builders’ Show reinforced our knowledge that a timber frame is a world apart from a conventionally framed home.
As we visited the vendors and viewed the new products, one of the things that kept coming to mind was that many were addressing problems that don’t arise in timber frame construction. Insulation, infiltration, remodeling issues (bearing walls), design issues (bearing walls), and much other information was alien to us. Polyurethane posts and trim were interesting, as were fake beams that weighed about as much as a cardboard box and finished to look like distressed timber. You’ve got to love ingenuity.
Since we use structural insulated panels to wrap our homes, we didn’t have to discuss the differences in how to insulate between studs in stud walls. We didn’t have to discuss the different truss configurations. Our timbers take care of everything.
Timber Frames seem to solve many of the problems that builders are struggling with today. We see more timber frames today than in recent history and I expect we will see even more as the importance of a sustainable structure is acknowledged.
The annual NAHB’s International Builder’s Show is possibly the most important event of the year for builders to review products, expand their business knowledge, and bring back to their clients a better understanding of what will help them to make their project more successful, be it a cabin in the woods or a multi-million dollar commercial endeavor.
Designing and building timber frames doesn’t isolate us from the rest of the building world. A timber frame company should be able to speak with authority to much more than building timber frame homes. We should be informed and educated about all the components that bring the project together. That isn’t to say that we can be expected to be experts in all the building trades. We should, however, be conversant with the most current building materials and practices.
The Builders’ Show gives us the chance to make sure that we have answers…or at the very least know where to get the answers for our clients. We’ll spend three days from early morning until late in the day trying to take it all in. The recipients of all this hard work will be the clients for whom we design and build timber frames.
We’ll come back excited about new technology and a lot more able to supply the information that’s important to anyone building today.
That said, I’ll close for now.