Answers to Common Questions About Timber-Framed Homes

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A timber-framed house offers many advantages over regular houses, but very often homeowners don't understand what is meant by timber wall frames and don't understand their choices with such a home. If you're thinking of having a new house built with a timber frame, you might consider some common questions about this material and about its benefits, limitations, and so forth. Note the following.

1. What is the difference between a timber frame and a regular house frame?

A timber frame consists of very large pieces of wood that are the size of the entire height and width of the house. These frames hold up the weight of the house so that you don't need load-bearing walls and support beams inside the home. This is often why timber-framed homes have an open floor plan on the inside, since a homeowner can add walls where it suits him or her, not where they're needed to support the home. Homes that are constructed with wood studs and beams are called stick-built homes and they will require more studs, joints, rafters, and the like.

2. Can a timber-framed home be built anywhere?

You may have seen large timber-framed homes built in the mountains or next to lakes and rivers, and because of their strength they may be able to withstand bad weather, high winds, more snowfall and other such conditions versus stick-built homes. However, this doesn't mean that any and all plots of land are good for a timber-framed home. You want to ensure that the soil is strong enough to bear the weight of the home. You also want to ensure you don't run the risk of mudslides, a small avalanche, and so on. A timber-framed home may give you more options for where you build, but your plot of land still needs to be appropriate for a home, no matter the material of the frame.

3. Why choose a timber-framed builder in particular?

Because the timber frame holds up the weight of the home, the pieces of timber themselves need to be connected precisely. The interior of the home is also exposed, and very often a timber-framed home is built with nearby landscaping in mind. For all these reasons, it's usually best to work with an architect, builder, contractor, or engineer who specialises in timber-framed homes. He or she will ensure the home is constructed properly and works well with the surrounding area, and that it looks pleasing on the inside as well.