Timber Frame Basics

In an age where cheaper and faster have become the norm, timber framing stands out as a classic way to create lovely and unique structures with the greatest efficiency, while utilizing the highest quality materials and workmanship.  Click the links below to find out more about timber frames, but be forewarned… like everyone on our staff, you too could easily fall in love with this wonderfully balanced craft of art and science!

  • History of Timber Framing – See how civilization started with this ancient art!
  • Benefits of Timber Framing – Reasons why timber frames are in demand.
  • Quality Driven Process – Get a quick overview of how we work for you.

For more details, review the Timber Framing page on Wikipedia, or download our copy of the Timber Home Basics whitepaper from Timber Home Living magazine.

Contact us to discover how you can bring the beauty of this wonderful art into your life!

History of Timber Framing

Timber framing had its beginnings somewhere between 500 and 100 BC.  Both Egyptians and Romans used timbers to construct the roof systems of public and private buildings.

Around 500 to 800 AD, master craftsmen began to develop the joinery necessary to construct whole buildings out of timbers. Early Japanese builders learned that heavy timbers and hinge-like joints would counter the exposure to typhoons and earthquakes.  Japan’s Golden Hall, built in 679, and Pagoda, built in 693, still stand today as the oldest wooden structures in the world.  During the 9th and 10th centuries the Europeans developed the timber framing skills we recognize in many classic European structures and building styles of today.

Contact us and see how you can create your legacy, and become part of our living heritage with Dreaming Creek Timber Frames!

Benefits of Timber Framing

Among the many heart-warming benefits, Dreaming Creek timber frames:

  • Sustainable Efficiencies 
    • Have much greater resale value than conventionally built structures
    • Are designed and built with a quality and integrity to last for centuries
    • Deliver a 25%-40% increase in energy efficiency when enclosed with SIPs
    • Use up to 30% less wood than conventional homes of the same size
  • Design Options and Opportunities 
    • Offer complete freedom of choice with both interior and exterior finishes
    • Utilizing an open frame style allows frame to remain visible from the interior
    • Allow for larger rooms, higher ceilings, and greater overall freedom of design
    • Provide space for expansive, oversized windows and plenty of natural light
    • Support modern building trends such as skylights, lofts, solar panels, etc.
  • Strength and Integrity 
    • Absorb the impact and flex of seismic conditions up to zone 4
    • Bear heavy snow loads, even on steep and rocky slopes
    • Withstand lateral pressure from hurricane-force winds

Contact us to find out how to make use of the beauty, strength, and lasting value of Dreaming Creek’s timber frames.

Our Quality-Driven Process

In the talented hands of our artisans and craftsmen, the ancient art of timber frame construction constantly rises to new heights.  Dreaming Creek’s “Timber Frame Experience” shows how we’ll help take your timber frame project from an initial conceptual design to a fully-realized piece of architectural art!

  1. Kick-off Meeting – The first step, in which you and our designers brainstorm to get the ball rolling on your project.
  2. Define and Design – This phase sets all design parameters for your project and finalizes all production information. Your concepts, dreams, and visions for your timber frame project are the foundations for our architectural plans, structural designs, and production plans.  And, if needed, Dreaming Creek provides our Custom Home Design and Whole House Design services with your ultimate satisfaction in mind.
  3. Timber Procurement – When it comes to wood, it is only fitting to use the finest timbers available.  Through our network of hand-selected vendors and our experienced saw mill personnel, the logs/timbers we use are carefully determined to be the highest quality before being selected for what has been coined the Dreaming Creek Grade.  In fact, we remain a leading timber source for many of our largest competitors while also providing timbers and related milling services for smaller timber frame companies.
  4. Cutting and Joinery – The timbers needed for your timber frame project are cut to the exact specifications that were approved during the Design phase.  Logs are sawn into timbers, boards, and other select cut materials at our Sawmill in Powhatan, Virginia.  They may then be kiln dried depending on your project’s specifications.  Next, your timbers are shipped to our Beamery in Floyd, Virginia, where they are expertly machined with custom joinery.  An artisan’s eye and a sharp chisel are the final steps applied to your timber to ensure an absolute perfect fit for quick on-site erection.  The finished pieces are carefully wrapped and shipped to your location for the ultimate timber frame experience: The Raising!
  5. The Raising! – The timber wrights arrive on site and begin erecting your timber frame, and all of your timber frame dreams begin to take shape.  The reality of this moment summons awe and excitement that mirror visions of the Amish Barn Raisings of yesteryear.  Posts, purlins, collar ties, and knee braces join together in their respective positions, turning sketches, drawings, and renderings into an authentically hand-crafted timber frame.  Before the sun sets, a whetting bush is placed as a symbol of reverence and respect for the trees that gave timber to the frame, and thanksgiving for a safe raising of your new home!

See how our commitment to the Dreaming Creek Standard of Quality and our technological edge have carved out new benchmarks for timber frame construction.

Contact us to see how you can put this peerless process in place for your timber frame home, addition, or commercial structure.