Are timber frame homes stronger?

There's a reason why timber-framed houses that were built hundreds of years ago still exist today to admire them. This durability is likely due to the fact that wooden frames use large pieces of wood that are far apart. In general, the larger the wood, the denser it is. This makes them more resistant to cavities and insect attacks.

Riveted and bolted into place, steel frame homes last longer than timber frame homes and are less likely to allow movement over time. The simple fact is that this means less chance of problems such as cracked cornices and cracks in the surface. Advantages and Disadvantages of a Steel Frame House Advantages Your steel frame house is lighter, more durable, and more cost-effective to assemble than build with wood. Steel frames are more resistant to bending and warping, which means your home stays like your home with straighter lines and finishes on the roof, ceiling and walls.

A wooden frame requires less wood than a conventional frame, but the parts will be much larger and will cost more. There are many options for wood species to choose from when framing wood. Some of the most common wood species used are Douglas fir, hemlock, oak, pine and cedar. A timber-framed barn may use less structural wood than a stick-framed barn, but a timber-framed house requires non-structural, stick-framed infill walls or petrochemical and wood SIPS panels, which are costly, resource-inefficient, and have a high ecological footprint.

Designed by BRIBURN Architects and built by Benjamin %26 Company, this net-zero Freeport home features timber framing details, including this three-season porch and a white cedar pergola (not shown), as well as large Douglas fir wood beams in the main space of the home. Once the frame parts have been manufactured in the workshop and arrive at the construction site, the time from frame construction until the SIPs are installed will be a faster process than rod framing. With a stick-framed house, during the actual framing process, small changes can be made to the plans or layout, since framing is done gradually on site. I was an apprentice in a timber structure company several years ago, with the aim of cutting and erecting my own structure.

In fact, the Horyuji Temple in Japan, considered the oldest wooden building in the world, was built using the half-timbered method. As these builders pointed out, if a stick-framed house is extremely well built, it can withstand the test of time just as well as a timber-framed house, except perhaps, as Hemberger notes, “in certain natural disasters, where timber-framed houses are more resilient, such as a falling tree about the house, since it is certainly more resistant. Those who choose a steel structure can expect to pay more than they would if they chose a timber-framed construction. And even with the availability of more sophisticated building materials, timber frame houses are still popular.

As a surveyor who has inspected more houses than I would like to remember (both traditional cavities and modern wooden structures). Since the original question was about cost, I suggest that the cost to the environment could favor the wood structure. The wooden structure is supported by a substructure of pillars, piles, stumps, posts, mullion walls, dwarf brick walls or perimeter masonry walls. Although often associated with a steel frame building with sheet metal siding, many barndominiums now use wooden frames and wood plank siding.

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Serena Uccello
Serena Uccello

Freelance tv buff. Hipster-friendly pop culture maven. Extreme tv enthusiast. Friendly travel evangelist. Lifelong internet geek.

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