Some Important Questions You Might Have About Timber-Framed Homes

A timber-framed home is different than a standard stick-built home, or one built with studs and joists. A timber-framed home is built with thick beams of wood that hold up the entire weight of the home so there is no need for load-bearing walls on the inside. The timber frames are also often left exposed on the interior for a more rustic look. If you're thinking of having a timber-framed house built, note a few questions you might have and then discuss these with a home builder if you still need more information.

Why work with a builder experienced in timber-framed homes in particular?

You may find that it's recommended or even required that you work with a builder who is experienced in timber-framed homes, as other builders may not even get involved with the project. This is because there is absolutely no margin for error with a timber-framed home, since the timber holds up the home's weight and will be exposed. If standard studs that are used for other home designs are slightly warped, the interior load-bearing walls will compensate for any lack of strength. If studs don't fit precisely, shims might be used to make them fit; while these are a bit unsightly, they're covered by drywall. With a timber-framed home, there cannot be even these simple errors or imperfections, so it's vital you work with a builder who is experienced with timber-framed homes.

Can a timber-framed home be built on any rustic piece of land?

Because they have a more rustic appearance than stick built homes, timber-framed homes are often built on rustic pieces of land. However, you need to note if there is adequate access and clearance for the equipment needed to erect a timber-framed home. Very often a builder will need a small crane that will help lift the large pieces of timber in place, especially if you're using prefabricated framing pieces that are larger and heavier than individual timber pieces. If your land is so rustic that a crane cannot access the area, it may not work for a timber-framed home.

Can the walls of a timber-framed home be covered?

You certainly have the option of covering the walls of your timber-framed home with drywall or plaster if you so desire, but note that the timber chosen for this type of home is usually much more expensive than the wood used for wall studs. This is because it's not only stronger but also typically stained or otherwise treated to look attractive when exposed. Note your options carefully as you don't want to invest in expensive and attractive timber only to cover it over.