Timber framing, as opposed to 2×4 stick framing, is simply using traditional joinery in wood for post and beam construction. Usually, pegs are used to secure mortise and tendon joints. You can see timber frame structures that still exist today since some 2,000 years ago. This attests to how durable and strong it is. Today, it is still used because of its unique character and styling, as well as its exceptional strength. It is also used if open spaces and beautiful exposed beams are preferred. Many builders use timber framing for many of its other benefits.
There are three basic types of timber frames. The first one is the box frame, which is a simple frame consisting of straight horizontal and vertical pieces with one rafter roof, and with no purlins. Box frame is used to define framing other than the cruck framing method. Next type is cruck frame, which is a pair of curved and crooked timbers that form either a crossframe or a bent. The timbers are called blade. Cruck frames are available in many other types, such as full cruck, raised cruck or middle cruck, to name a few. Third type is aisled frame. It uses one or more piles of interior posts. These posts usually carry more load than the exterior walls. This is typically used in church buildings. Buildings with aisled frames are wider than those with simple or cruck framing. They also normally have purlins that support the rafter.
- Aesthetics: Builders usually prefer timber framing because of its beautiful effect, especially in contemporary homes. The heavy timbers can be seen on the interior. This results to a warm effect, giving the structure texture and character.
- Energy Efficiency: Structures using timber framing are totally enclosed in SIPs or structural insulated panels. This results to an efficient and strong enclosure, having high insulation and low filtration.
- Durability: Building with timber frames are structurally sound, and can last up to hundreds of years. Many of them have even endured disasters and remain in good shape for years.
- Ease of Construction: Most builders believe that timber framing is easier compared to conventional studding. In timber frames, fewer pieces of wood are handled and tolerances do not have to be exact. It is also easy to change floor plans because it can be open since there is no load bearing walls in the interior.
- Economy: Timber framing is also more economical compared to finished lumber especially if they are bought in local sawmills.
Aside from the mentioned benefits of timber framing above, it is also essential to note that this process has less effect on the environment. Reclaimed timber is used and this is taken from old structures, saving trees and resulting to timber with character. Like other wood, it also results to energy efficiency, which is good for the environment. It is important for builders to consider earth-friendly materials to produce less harm in nature, which is also why new products are developed, including glulam, or glued laminated timber. This one can even be a substitute to steel and has multiple advantages.