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Timber Frame Construction FAQs

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  1. What is the difference between timber frame structures and post & beam construction?
  2. Can you adapt a conventional design to a timber frame design?
  3. How involved does Trillium Dell Timberworks wish to be in the design stage?
  4. What type of finish can be used on the timbers?
  5. What is a structural insulated panel? Why do you use them?
  6. How do you install SIPs panels?
  7. Can you assist our clients with such things as foundation, carpentry, plumbing and electrical services?
  8. What finishing options are available for doors, windows, roofing and exterior walls on a timber frame?
  9. How long does it usually take to complete a structure?
  10. How much does a timber frame cost?
  11. What species of wood we use in your timber frames?

What is the difference between timber frame structures and post & beam construction?

The most fundamental difference between timber framing and post & beam construction is the use of traditional joinery. Traditional joinery utilizes mortise and tenon connections to join timbers together. At Trillium Dell Timberworks, our team of professionally trained joiners carefully layout, cut and assemble every piece of timber that goes into our frames.

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Can you adapt a conventional design to a timber frame design?

There is no reason why conventional design cannot be executed in a timber frame. Structural loads in a timber frame are transferred to the foundation as point loads (column locations) rather than on to continuous sills as in stud-construction. This might require different detailing on the foundation and sub-floor. We can design the timber frame to fit your conceptual design over having a timber frame design and then having to fit or adapt a floor plan to it. We develop timber design simultaneously with the overall design of the structure.

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How involved does Trillium Dell Timberworks wish to be in the design stage?

We encourage early involvement of our company in whatever capacity you might consider suitable for your project. Consultation in the early stages of design can help to clarify options available. We can immediately become involved on the timber frame design and its engineering – right up to providing you with drawings. Ultimately, you will need to make decisions on species of timber and its availability, joinery configuration, embellishments, edge treatment, surface finishes, enclosure materials, etc. With our experience in designing and crafting timber frames, we can provide services right from the start. Trillium Dell Timberworks offers in house engineering, floor plans, architectural services, frame design, Structural Insulated Panel design and drawings.

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What type of finish can be used on the timbers?

Our timber is either cut by us or purchased from a mill. We utilize planed timber, hewn hitched round logs and rough sawn. Once completed, we make one pass with a hand-held planer on each exposed face, removing about 1/32’ of wood. Other timber frame finishes include hand hewing, rough sawn and adzed. Hand hewing can also be done to achieve a final cleaning of the surfaces. As a final surface finish, we recommend you apply one coat of Landark oil. The oil finish acts as a protective coat. Other stains, such as whitewash, pickled pine and darker stains can be used to suit your needs. All ends are sealed with Anchor Seal to insure slow drying and reduce checking.

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What is a structural insulated panel? Why do you use them?

Panel draw mgs are included as well as quotes. Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) is a general term used to describe a foam core panel that has interior and exterior cladding already applied. Typically, the have either and EPS (expanded polystyrene) or urethane (isocyanurate) core. The thickness of this core determines the R-value of the panel. R-15 to R-40 is the common range. Siding and roofing can be applied on this skin after the panels have been installed. Inside finishes such as drywall and tongue & groove boards are two of the standard options. There are many advantages to using SIPS. They completely enclose the frame, providing protection from the elements, and high levels of insulation are easily achieved. Because there are no structural elements within the insulation space, thermal bridging is totally eliminated. We always recommend installing a double lattice of furring strips over panel roof to ensure good air movement. See picture.

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How do you install SIPs panels?

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are screwed directly to the timber frame. As recommended by the panel manufacturer, we use ceramic-coated screws. Because 8’ is the standard panel width, we try to incorporate the frequency for framing members (rafters or purlins) to eliminate waste. On walls, the panels create a shear wall when fastened and splined. Typical lengths are 8’-16’ but can go up to 24’.

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Can you assist our clients with such things as foundation, carpentry, plumbing and electrical services?

We can assume the role of General Contractor. Proper planning and common sense is the key. Utilizing the experience of Trillium Dell Timberworks staff and crew enables finishing details to be addressed and ensures they all find their way into working drawings and your completed drawings.

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What finishing options are available for doors, windows, roofing and exterior walls on a timber frame?

All conventional timber frame finishes are suitable. The proper detailing for the materials installation is the only concern to be addressed. Depending on the materials chosen, we will suggest to you what we think the appropriate detail should be (vertical/horizontal strapping, fasteners, etc). On doors and windows, we often supply and install exceptional quality units. If it suits your project, we can get involved in supplying these.

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How long does it usually take to complete a structure?

Time to completion of any timber frame structure depends, of course, on the nature and size of the building. Once working drawings are complete and timber is on hand, a 2,500 sq. ft. timber frame would take between two and six weeks of shop work, one to two weeks on site to assemble and erect on the foundation.

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How much does a timber frame cost?

Choosing a timber frame can add $10-45 per square foot to your overall cost, depending on what package you select.

Timber frame construction, which has always been the most skilled and permanent method of building homes and public buildings, was actually abandoned with the advent of cheap milled lumber and nails in the middle 1800’s.

Today’s heavy lifting equipment and power framing tools have enabled a return to more solid, traditional construction techniques in a very cost effective way.

A timber frame home is an investment for many generations to come. There are timber frame buildings in use today that were built as long as 800-1000 years ago. Timber frame homes have a quiet beauty and permanence that cannot be achieved in any other way. At Trillium Dell Timberworks, we bring timeless artisanship and precision to all we build. Our flexible approach and personal service will ensure a timber frame home, which will provide generations of pride and utility…

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What species of wood we use in your timber frames?

The most common wood species are red & white oak, white pine, southern yellow pine and Douglas fir. For highlights within a frame often used are walnut, elm, honey locust, osage, sycamore, cherry, procured recycled barn board, as well as recycled Douglas fir. This also includes radio frequency kiln dried fir or kiln dried white pine and southern yellow pine. These are exciting options as they yield very dry, exceptional quality timber. (Often grown as an environmentally friendly option) One thing to remember is that there are several species of wood. We can help you or your clients make an educated choice for your project.

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Trillium Dell Timber Frame Homes

Trillium Dell Timberworks designs and builds custom timber frame homes and structures in the entire United States or abroad. We can provide all necessary services from design and engineering to a finished product. Contact Us about your project, large or small.
 

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