american style timber frame houses

American Style Timber Frame Houses

american style timber frame houses

Timber frame construction offers a wide range of possibilities for building the home of your dreams. From rustic heavy timber cabins to modern architectural masterpieces, a custom-designed timber frame can be exactly what you want it to be.

When purchasing a timber frame house, it is important to get an RICS HomeBuyers Report or RICS Building Survey carried out. Otherwise, mortgage lenders may not approve your purchase if they are unaware of the build type.


Timber frame construction is a beautiful way to build a home. It is precision crafted so that the primary and secondary beams fit together like an ornate puzzle. It is also extremely durable as some of the world’s oldest surviving buildings are made from timber. Many homeowners also find that a timber frame home feels more solid than a block built house and that the insulation is extremely energy efficient.

Timber framing is one of the oldest building methods known to man and it can be used in a variety of styles from modern to traditional. It was a popular method for building barns and farmhouses in the past, but has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last few decades.

The exterior of a timber frame home can be finished with a number of different types of material such as timber weatherboard for a New England style, shingle roof, fiber-cement siding or brick slips. Depending on the style of the home, the exposed rustic beams can be stained or painted to match the exterior.

Another popular finish for a timber frame house is stone. Whether it is rustic fieldstone or refined dressed stone, it can complement the look of the home and add to its beauty and charm.

The interior of a timber frame home is warm and inviting with the open floor plan and use of natural materials. The timbers themselves can be left exposed for a more rustic look or they can be covered with plasterboard. Many homeowners like to have a mixture of both styles in their home.

The wide support timbers of a timber frame allow for large expanses of glass and an open floor plan. This makes it easy to move interior walls without affecting the structure of the home. This flexibility is another reason that timber frames are an excellent choice for those looking for a self build project.


Timber frame homes use large, hand-hewed or milled, load-bearing timbers that form the skeleton of a house. These are joined with mortise and tenon joints or post and beam construction. The open space between these heavy timbers is insulated with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and then clad with materials such as stone, brick slips or wood weatherboard for a traditional New England look. This combination of timber and SIPs creates the rustic charm of a log home or lodge style home with modern conveniences like air conditioning, radiant floor heating and high u-value windows.

The skeletal timbers of a timber frame are often on display in the house and can be used to create dramatic ceiling and roof structures. A timber framed house can be built using either traditional stick framing or more energy efficient, prefabricated SIPs. The SIPs allow the home to achieve very high u-values and can be built in much less time than a conventional drywall framed house.

As a result, timber frame houses can be built in much less time than traditional homes and still have the same or higher energy efficiency. The highly insulated SIPs also provide excellent protection from seismic conditions and high winds found in many parts of the country.

Today, timber frame homes are popular among those wanting to reconnect with a simpler, more natural lifestyle and the rich heritage of timber framing. They are also becoming increasingly popular with homeowners who want to build a timber frame home that reflects their architectural preferences and personal tastes.

A timber frame house is not only a beautiful work of art, but it can also be more environmentally friendly than most modern homes. This is because timber frames are not insulated with foam or spray-in place insulation, but rather with SIPs, which are made from recycled cardboard and paper. Additionally, timber frame homes can be built to meet the stringent requirements of Green Building Standards and LEED certification.

Another great advantage of a timber frame home is that it can be designed to accommodate a variety of floor plans. The wide-spaced support timbers can be incorporated into the interior of the house, creating an open space, or they can be filled in with partitions to create more private spaces. The flexibility offered by this construction method makes it possible to change the layout of a timber frame home without compromising its stability and strength.


Taking their inspiration from the Craftsman style of architecture, many timber home enthusiasts strive to bring this classic American aesthetic to their dream homes. The result is that these homes often meld traditional architectural elements with an emphasis on quality craftsmanship, wood materials and symmetrical design. One such example is this beautiful timber frame home in Colorado. This couple consulted with Riverbend’s design experts to create a floor plan that would accommodate their unique lifestyle while celebrating their passion for American craftsmanship.

The timber frame skeleton of this home, designed by BlackOak Timber Frame (opens in new tab) reveals itself in a stunning way and serves as a beautiful focal point for the home’s interior. The use of reclaimed barn wood is also a perfect complement to the timber frame structure, creating an elegant yet comfortable space to live.

Traditional timber-frame homes are defined by the massive timbers that adorn their exterior and the interior of the house. The exposed timber skeletons are often highlighted with corner brackets, pegged joints and, in the case of steeply pitched roof structures, support rafters and purlins. The large timbers are crafted from a variety of species, but all exhibit a sense of warmth and character that is reminiscent of simpler times.

Modern timber frame homes are built to suit the needs of the people who live in them, and are a great choice for those seeking to build a home that will be both energy efficient and beautiful. The massive timbers used in a timber frame home provide excellent structural stability, and allow for large expanses of glass that flood the house with natural light. This combination of beauty and functionality makes timber-frame homes a great choice for any lifestyle.

The popularity of timber framing is a result of a growing interest in the history of architecture and a desire to reconnect with a more traditional approach to home building. Timber-frame companies, such as Baker’s Riverbend and Bensonwood, are working hard to keep this historic construction method alive. Many of these firms offer a full range of services from planning and permitting to building and finishing the final product.


Timber frame homes are among the most desirable and fastest selling houses on the market today. Homeowners are paying a premium for amenities like open floor plans, high energy efficiency, exterior lighting, garage storage and more. Timber frame construction offers the beauty and warmth of wood and the flexibility of post & beam architecture. With the choice of a wide variety of support elements, including king post, queen post, scissor, hammer beam and barrel trusses, homeowners are able to customize their homes with unique design features.

Timber framing was largely obsolete after the Industrial Revolution until the 1970s when interest resurfaced in more traditional styles of living and a desire for environmentally friendly, energy efficient construction. With the advent of advanced adhesives and insulation materials, timber framing became a viable building alternative.

Modern timber frame homes can be built with a variety of exterior cladding including timber weatherboard for a classic New England appearance, metal and fiber-cement siding, stone slips or brick. Inside, the walls can be clad in timber sarking, natural wood, or other materials such as concrete block and stucco. Timber frames are often adorned with hand hewned beams and exposed sanded reclaimed barn board, while decorative details such as staircases, railings and molding can be constructed from a number of different materials.

A timber frame house requires fewer walls than a standard stick-built home, which makes it easier to install windows and doors. This style of construction also supports higher ceilings. Timber framed homes can be insulated in place, with insulation poured between the timbers and tied to the framing with wall ties. This eliminates the need for a separate insulation and drywall assembly and reduces installation time.

A contemporary timber frame home can be designed for maximum energy efficiency with the use of SIPs (Structurally Insulated Panels). SIPs are a green building product made from expanded polystyrene foam. They offer superior thermal and sound insulation, are water resistant and insect proof. When paired with a ‘fabric first’ approach to self build, this type of construction can provide a quick turn-around on site and allow for more flexibility when changing layouts on the fly.