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All About Timber Frame Design

Timber Frame Homes Mill Creek In Production

Timber framing, or post and beam, as a building practice has been around for thousands of years. While the methods used to cut the joinery have changed drastically, the final product is very similar. What was true then, is true today. The timber frame is a solid and efficient means to achieve a lasting and beautiful structure.

Timber Frame Terms

Forest Creek Locker Room by Eco Timber Frames

Joinery: The connection of two or more pieces of timber using any number of joint styles. The most common joint in timber framing is the mortise and tenon joint. For a detailed discussion on joinery, view our Joinery page. French King Post Truss
Forest Creek Locker Room by Eco Timber Frames

Trusses: Identifies the style of roof framing in relation to the rest of the structure. Click here to read more about trusses and how Mill Creek uses various styles in designing a home plan.

It is interesting to follow the evolution of post and beam from its roots to its modern day applications. Over time, as knowledge was passed from journeyman to apprentice, and the practice spread to various regions, different variations of joinery were developed to suit specific conditions. This created a diversity of joinery styles ranging from the mortise and tenon joint to the incredibly complex joints created by the Japanese framing guilds.

The Industrial Revolution in the United States brought a rise in what we today call "stick-framing," reducing timber frame construction to a niche market. In the 1970s, a revival of timber framing saw many small timber frame companies creating homes using many of the same techniques used for centuries. Some were purists, hand-hewing beams, using only hand tools. Others took advantage of technology to simplify the work, while staying true to the craft.

Mill Creek Post & Beam falls into the latter group of timber framers. We look to the past for inspiration in our designs, especially the rambling country homes and cottages of Europe, while at the same time using the advanced technology of today to produce a superior product. While we started out drawing our plans by hand on a drafting board, and cutting the joinery with power hand tools, we now produce our drawings with CAD software, and our frames are cut with a state-of-the-art CNC machine. This use of technology allows us to produce timber frames with exacting tolerances, unsurpassed strength, and most important, unparalleled beauty.

Eco Timber Frames Co.
1970 Holbert Cove Road · Saluda, NC 28773 · Phone: 828.749.8000 · Fax: 828.749.8001 · E-Mail: e@ecotimberframes.com
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