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The Advantages of Timber Framing

Posted on Jul 9, 2013
timber frame great room

Timber framing creates more than just an elegant, authentically built home. Timber framing also brings energy efficiency, structural integrity, design flexibility, and centuries of craftsmanship and tradition to every home. Let’s take a look at several benefits of timber framing, summarizing an article courtesy of the Timber Framers Guild.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is critical in today’s home building industry. Across the world, building codes have changed and adapted so as to include more stringent guidelines for builders. For this reason, timber framing continues its dramatic increase in popularity. Timber framed structures of today use Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for insulating the wall space between each timber. In turn, homes receive a tighter, more protective energy envelope. This energy envelope insulates your home, and offers better efficiency readings than those of conventional stick-frames with blown-in insulation.

Design Flexibility

queen post truss
Michigan residence showcasing timber framing’s design flexibility

Due to the open nature of a timber frame skeleton, and the minimal use of load-bearing walls, timber homes offer a large amount of customization in their interiors. For example, creativity in floor plan designs and window placement both benefit from the large, open spaces created by timber framing. In fact, designers and architects sometimes express surprise by the design flexibility received.

Structural Integrity

We have all heard the phrase, “Don’t fix it if it isn’t broke.” In almost no circumstances is this phrase more appropriate than when applied to timber framing. The same mortise and tenon joinery used in timber framed buildings centuries ago, is still used today. The strength and durability speaks for itself. Timber framing stands the test of time with its sound timbers and well-fitted joints.


hammer beam trusses
Repeating timber trusses in a North Carolina Riverbend home

The artistry that goes into traditional timber framing is a time-honored and cherished tradition, perfected over thousands of years. Soaring timber trusses, repeating through a home’s main living spaces, serve as beautiful examples of this craftsmanship. Riverbend’s timber craftsmen are proud knowing timber framing is considered a true art form, and that each home created is a living testament to the tradition.


Timber framing has been a beloved building method throughout the world for centuries. From archeological sites of ancient Rome, to medieval European churches and the Colonial-era barns of the Americas, this woodworking technique has never known boundaries. Timber framing is one of the oldest building techniques and offers you a strength and value that cannot be replicated in a more conventional home.

To learn more about the tradition of this ancient building method, read part one from our series on the history of timber framing.

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