It is impossible to say from the outside whether a house is an early wooden structure. But inside there are telltale signs. The posts and summer (that is, these huge timbers) were often encased in smooth, planed planks with beaded edges. There are several ways to tell if a property is half-timbered.
The most obvious sign is a wall containing a gable window with a wood chipped panel above it. This is called a gable end and is found in almost every timber-framed property over 500 square feet (45 m). The smaller windows found on the bay and bow fronts are called jack posts and are often also covered with fluted woods. To identify a timber-framed house, look for movement spaces filled with putty and a ventilated cavity.
Typical timber-framed houses have a cavity that is ventilated with plastic ventilation grilles. These ventilation holes are usually placed every other brick and ventilate the space between the firewalls of the cavity. Other cladding options include wood board, vertical tiling, or plastered plywood. The gable wall of a timber-framed building will have a half-timbered panel that forms the gable panel (at ceiling level).
On a party wall, the panel will be lined with plasterboard. Keep in mind that if a party wall is brick or block, other parts of the building structure may still have a wooden frame. The term timber structure often refers to a system of structural walls and floors with panels made of small section wooden studs coated with board products, with the wooden frame transmitting vertical and horizontal loads to the foundation. This means that when you hit the gypsum board, there should be a consistent sound, no matter where you hit it, since you will have the wooden structure behind it.
One of the most important advantages of building wooden structures is that it does not require an average load-bearing wall. After receiving a phone call from a colleague asking for clarity on whether a visible wooden sill panel on the gable ends up inside the void of the roof, it indicated that the property was of timber frame construction, I thought it might be helpful to offer some advice on how to establish whether or not a property is of traditional hollow wall construction, or timber frame construction, with an outer sheet of masonry. The structural strength of wooden frames is improved due to the large space between the frame members. We will talk about what timber frame houses are and how they are built, as well as how you can identify if a house is wooden frame.
Meticulously designed and beautiful timber-framed houses are also versatile, energy efficient and resilient. Timber frame constructions use timber studs within external structural walls to support the load of the rest of the building and transmit this load to the building foundation. Whether you choose poles and beams or a wooden frame, it will determine the look and feel of your home interior. A timber-framed building is a real experience: standing in one is like being surrounded by a forest.
Structural wood engineering components are also available, including prefabricated I-joists (also used as studs), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand timber (PSL), and cross-laminated timber (CLT). Unlike steel or sawn timber, timber structures don't require nails or screws to hold everything together. Professionals conducting studies of timber frame buildings should understand the general design and typical details employed in this form of construction, according to a revised timber information sheet “Timber Frame House Surveys”. It's completely understandable why seeing a timber frame gable end would indicate that the entire property is timber frame construction.