Is a Timber Frame Home Right for Me?

Many homes are timber framed using large whole pieces of timber rather than precut conventional factory produced wood framing members. This not only provides a one-of-a-kind look that is both rustic and stoic, but they also provide a strong support for the building as well. While not everyone enjoys the look of a natural timber framed home, you might be surprised that you can still create a conventional looking home using timber frame without making it appear like a log cabin. Is timber framing right for you? Use the following timber frame tips and see for yourself if a timber frame home is the right choice for you and your family.

Going Green

Being sustainable when it comes to building materials can be tough. Even when a sustainable material like wood is used in a home, more often than not, the wood was logged far away and the carbon footprint that it carries is more than enough to make it a “not so ecofriendly material”, even though it’s a sustainable product. One of the best features about timber frame homes is that the majority of wood used for these structures is commonly purchased from a local sawmill cut from locally harvested trees. Add in green materials like straw bales and cob to timber frame and you could easily own a very ecofriendly home.

Longevity

Timber framed materials often have a much longer lifespan than conventionally framed houses. That’s not only because the materials are thicker, but also when timber frame is left in its natural shape, the outer layers of the tree remain intact which can help prolong the life of a piece of wood into the centuries category rather than decades old. In fact, some European timber frame homes are still in great shape and are well over 500 years of age and counting.

Fire Hazards

Wood likes to burn, there’s no doubt about that. But one of the strangest things is that when wood remains as a solid piece of timber, it’s much less likely to be a fire hazard than a smaller piece of material. One of the main reasons is that natural timber isn’t kiln dried like other stick frame materials so the natural fire proofing resins remain in the wood rather than being “steamed out” during the kiln drying and curing process.

Maintenance

The only real disadvantage to a timber frame constructed home is that it does require yearly maintenance. While it’s mostly keeping termites, moisture and decay at bay though waterproofing, herbicides and pesticides, it does require some work and not all homeowners are keen on the idea that every piece of exposed wood must be weather-sealed every 2-3 years. With a well-maintained timber frame home, there’s no reason why it won’t last well beyond you and your families lifetime.

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