Timber framing construction uses tenon and lap joints along with wooden dowels or pegs to create the frame structure of a home. This is a historic method of constructing the frame structure and can be expensive. One reason is that this type of construction is more advanced that stick frame construction. People like to use timber framing because it will continue to hole up the weight of the home long after the nails of stick frame construction has rusted and created the need for some major repairs. If you are building a new home and want to use this type of construction there are ways in which you can work this into your budget.
Use the local species of timbers
When using timber framing make sure that you use whatever tree is a native species of that area. It is expensive to ship timbers across the country. For example, if you love on the East coast two of their native species trees are oak and white pine but on the West coast it would be the Douglas fir. You also have to look at the cutting and material handling of the joinery. One of the harder ones to work with is oak because it is heavier so it would take more time to make the joints.
Choose a simple frame design
If you have a complex design in mind it will simply cost you more because of the board footage of food and number of joints you would need for the frame. Some companies that do timber framing will count how many joints will be used for the frame and will give you an estimate based on that information,
Find the best pricing
This includes not only the building material but also the contractors who are going to build your timber framing for your home. Make sure that you get at least three estimates because if you only get a couple you have just one to compare against another one. Make sure that you get a written estimate that lists the costs of materials, labor costs, and anything else that will figure into the cost of the home. Do not choose the lowest price because they may be using inferior timber. If possible ask to see the timber they will be using before you make your decision. You should also ask to see the results of their construction to make sure that they have the actual experience to construct your dream home. Ask for references and check them out. You and your family are going to be living in this home for a long while and you want to make sure that it well constructed.
Following these tips will allow you to have your dream home and stay within budget.
This article is penned by Lora Davis for Arrow Timber Framing. Arrow Timber Framing has worked hard to gain the experience necessary to streamline production. Timber framed homes are built with mortise and tenon joints connected with wooden pegs.