Timber Frame vs Conventional Stick Frame

hello my name is Pat Henan I'm with the

shelter Institute today we're going to

talk about traditional framing versus

timber framing

so all methods of framing have their

place whether it's stick framing or

timber framing or straw bale or heavy

steel or concrete block all of these

methods of construction have a place

that has to do with a whole bunch of

factors that are local to where it's

being built advantages of timber framing

are first of all that there are so many

fewer pieces notice the difference

there's actually considerably less wood

total in a timber frame than there is in

a stick frame building stick framing did

evolve because of the economy because of

the availability or non availability of

trees because of pressures and labor

unions all kinds of things that don't

really have to do with the actual

construction of the building so as I

said any method is alright as long as

the engineering specs are met so the

first thing that's obvious is the fewer

pieces the second thing is that today's

modern timber frame gets covered with

sip panels so that when you're done the

entire frame is visible the third thing

that is very personal is just the joy of

cutting out a timber frame instead of

using a very noisy circular saw cutting

out the same piece over and over and

over again we have very few pieces that

we know are going to be mated in a

certain way to erect a building

basically we're going to be building a

bent of a building which is the cross

section and for instance on this one

there are four of these vents if they're

ten feet apart that gives you a 40-foot

building so it's just four simple frames

that give you the whole structure by

having all of the insulation like sip

panels on the outside of the frame there

is no conduction of heat from inside to

outside over here we have an enormous

amount of void conducting heat from

inside to outside the only places that

are insulated of course either 16 or 23

inch spaces between the studs so as you

if you picture all of this wood it is a

lot of heat loss here not only does the

wood not conduct

because it's not part of the insulating

pattern the insulation is on the outside

of it so you would actually becomes part

of the mass of the house so when it's 72

degrees when all of this is 72 degrees

it stays that way because the insulation

is on the outside of it the process is

actually quite simple you might take 10

days to cut out all of these Timbers and

then in one day you simply lock them all

together and you lock them all together

next to the building why not top of the

other and then simply tip them up so

here we will have done that four times

and it happens in about four hours so

the whole frame goes up in no time at

all this will take quite a few more days

than that to do the Timbers are attached

to each other again according to

engineering you know what is it that

you're trying to do if this timber frame

is covered with sip panels it's

extraordinarily strong it's hurricane

resistant it's earthquake resistant so

these timbers are as I said engineered

but typically we would have mortise and

tenon joints we have a tenon going up

here into the beam we will have pegs

going through all of these are designed

so that the uplift of wind trying to

blow it away the push of wind on the

side trying to share and bend it are all

calculated so that there is the right

amount of wood left at each joint and if

necessary our steel will be added

certainly when the sips are attached to

the outside we first of course cover the

whole building with fire coat drywall

and then we add two sips on the outside

of that the sips are screwed in with

hundreds of screws that go into all of

these Timbers so that where we almost

have two houses together extraordinarily

strong construction the advantage to a

thick frame construction is that most of

the construction industry knows how to

build this but does not know how to

build this so this is very common and

easy to find subdivisions with hundreds

of homes in them are all built like this

I have to say that when I see hurricanes

or tornadoes or whatever we often see

these homes easily blown apart

timber frame with sips would not do that

it would be a lot stronger a lot more

resistant a very local difference

between timber frame and a stick frame

is that all of the materials can be

coming from your own lot if you had a

tea trees available all of them could be

milled right on your site and you would

have a home that comes right from your

own property with these it would take an

extraordinary a long time to mill out

every one of these two parts so they

that's this is done in production and

there's industry that does that


so it's kind of a different ambiance so

if you if you will and other difference

is that in a timber frame with the frame

being inside you have the joy of looking

at the live wood that have been in your

own forest it's also a lot more

dampening of noise here we're looking at

it kind of a gypsum palace with lots of

flat drywall surfaces it doesn't have

the romance for some people that the

timber frame does but I've met plenty of

people who don't like looking at wood

sofa dammit timber frame would not be

the right answer but the cathedral

ceilings these wide-open spaces that a

timber frame gives you are quite

attractive so people ask me often how do

I get started on something like this

well for the past 45 years I've been

teaching people how to design build

their own timber frames we have five

classes a year where we build an entire

frame five times a year

I think there are several hundred frames

out back no I'm just kidding in five

days you'll meet some twenty other

people who like you didn't know anything

about timber framing and in those five

days you will be a timber framer

you will know how to do it and you will

be just dying to get to your house site

and build so I thank you for watching

the address is shelter Institute comm

you can look us up on line and we look

forward to seeing you in a class