Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a timber frame home cost?
The cost to build a timber frame home will vary as there are many factors to consider such as, the design complexity of the home, material specifications for shell, interior finishing’s and depending on where in the country you are building (labor rates are different). In New England, we find that our homes generally cost $200-$250+ per SF (not including land/site work). However, we’ve seen some timber frame homes come in less per SF and some significantly more.
Do timber frame homes cost more to build than a conventional home?
Not necessarily, again it depends on the design complexity and exterior/interior finishing’s chosen for the home. Our timber frame homes typically can be built similarly to a nice custom stick frame home.
How do you run electrical wiring (or mechanicals) in a timber frame home?
The wiring along the exterior walls can happen in a few different ways; one option we like is to hold the drywall up off the sub-floor about 3 inches so wires can be run behind the baseboard. The same idea can be used and a built out baseboard or modular baseboard that is removable can be used to run wires and install outlets in. Additional wiring can be run in the first floor framing (in the basement) and brought up into the walls only at needed locations. All other areas of the timber frame home are wired the same as a conventionally framed home, usually in interior partition walls. This is also something we are able to work with you and your contractors both in the design phase and later on when construction is happening.
What are Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS)?
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) features some of the highest R values on the market today. SIPs have minimal thermal bridging, decreasing air leaks and creating a very tight structure. What are SIPs made out of? Basically, a SIP is like an ice cream sandwich. There is a foam core that is sandwiched between two orient strand boards. R values range anywhere from R16-R52+. SIPs are most commonly used with timber frame and post and beam construction.
How long does it take to build a timber frame home?
On average, it takes about 2-3 weeks to erect the timber frame and Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS). However, the size and complexity of the building, site constraints, and weather conditions can affect the amount of time it will take. The remainder of the construction process is the same as any conventional home and usually takes 6 to 12 months.
What is the difference between timber frame and post and beam? (also featured on our blog)
Timber frame home construction consists of posts that span unbroken from sill to eave or ridge and are erected in walls and bents. (Bents run perpendicular to the ridge of the roof, while walls run parallel to the ridge). Timber framing consists of traditional wooden joinery, also known as mortise and tenon and are secured by wooden pegs. Post and beam home construction is a framework based solely on vertical and horizontal pieces: the posts and the beams. Post and beam homes are constructed in layers, with each floor built independently from the others. Typically, the posts and the beams are joined together by metal brackets.
Do I need an architect to design my timber frame home?
An architect is not necessary to design your timber frame home. Many times, homeowners will work with an independent designer or a designer from the timber frame manufacturer to design their home. Here at Davis Frame Company, we offer design services and can work with you to develop a construction set of drawings that will include floor plans, elevations, cross-section details and also include how the structure will go together. Architects are a good choice for those that have complex design ideas and for those who are looking for a more complete set of plans that may include interior elevations, mechanical details, etc. If an engineering stamp is required, we work closely with our network of engineers to stamp our customers plans.
Do I need a builder who is familiar with timber frame construction?
While it may be helpful to have a builder that is knowledgeable with timber frame construction, it is not necessary. Any good builder can put our homes together. If you hire a builder that would like assistance, we can offer a Technical Advisor to come on site to guide and work with your builder on the erection of the timber frame and structural insulated panels. We can also provide you with names of independent timber frame crews that may service your area and can work as a sub for your builder.
Can I use my own timbers to build a timber frame home?
We prefer to supply the timbers based on the species and grade of wood that we like to use to ensure beauty and structural integrity. It is also usually more cost effective for us to supply the wood. Clearing trees on land and bringing them to a mill to peel and plane down the logs into timbers can be costly. In some instances, we are able to incorporate our client’s reclaimed timbers if they are free of metal as decorative accents.
What species of timber are common for timber frame construction?
We primarily source Douglas fir for our timber frame homes due to its beauty and strength. However, we can also supply Eastern White Pine, Oak and Hemlock.
What is a hybrid timber frame home?
A hybrid timber frame home incorporates timber frame and conventional framing techniques. We often design a hybrid home where the center section of the home would feature timber framing and the wings are often conventionally framed. Many homeowners choose this as a cost saving technique and also because some people just want a portion of their home timber framed.
How does financing work for a timber frame home?
Financing a timber frame home is just like financing any other home through a construction loan. Many homeowners choose to use their own local financial institutions and have no problem obtaining financing.
How long does it take from the start of design until delivery of my timber frame?
This process can take as little as three months or as long as nine months, depending on the complexity of the design and the number of changes required in the process of refining it. When the design is complete, it generally takes eight weeks to cut and deliver your timber frame. However, if timing is critical, it is sometimes possible to expedite delivery.
Can I adapt a timber frame to an existing floor plan?
Timber framing is very adaptable to different architectural styles. Many of our prospects like an existing plan, but wish to change a few things to meet their specific needs. We are careful not to reproduce any copyrighted plans from other companies, and work with you to use your plan as a starting point to develop a custom timber frame home that is uniquely yours.
How do my plans get completed?
Davis Frame Company offers several timber frame design services. Choose from one of these three options in working with us on your project:
- Work directly with our in-house team of gifted and experienced designers, led by our President Jeff Davis (all within Energy-Star and LEED guidelines, if requested).
- Use our in-house architectural design department and work with our standard designs to develop architectural drawings.
- Develop an architectural design with an independent architect and then use our design department to develop the timber frame drawings.
- Our standard pre-contract materials agreement requires an initial deposit. All design and drafting time by our designers time is billed at an hourly rate. At the end of the revision and quoting process, if you choose to purchase the Davis Frame package, your deposit will be credited toward your package price.
Please note, all Davis Frame floor plans are copyrighted and are not for sale. Our plans are to only be used for clients when a weather tight shell package is purchased.
Does Davis Frame Company build my home?
Davis Frame Company will design and manufacture your timber frame or panelized home and will provide you with a complete weathertight shell package. However, we do not build our clients’ homes. We can suggest independent frame and panel installation crews or we can provide a technical assistant who will work with your general contractor to assemble the frame and panels to our exacting specifications. Your general contractor or subcontractor will then build the rest of your home.
What can Davis Frame Company provide?
We provide custom-designed or pre-designed plans that include elevations, cross-section details, floor plans, foundation plans, framing plans for the timber frame, and plans for the non-timber frame areas of construction. Standard materials for our weathertight shell include: The timber frame Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) enclosure system; or eSIPS panelized wall and roof system. Second floor system Pre-cut dimensional material Certainteed fiber cement board siding Cedar siding and exterior trim IKO asphalt shingle roofing Andersen windows and doors Rogue Valley entry doors Download our exterior shell package model!
What distinguishes Davis Frame Company from other timber frame companies?
Our design and production facilities are in one location. This allows our team to communicate the most effectively between the design and cutting phases of building a timber frame home. Davis Frame Company combines state-of-the-art technology with the detail of hand craftsmanship to create the curved braces, joinery details, and chamfering. These have become distinctive features of Davis Frame homes. Our frames are individually crafted, not mass produced. For our Douglas fir timber frames we use only “dense select” grade, free of heart center (FOHC), except for timbers larger than 10″x12″. One computer program is used to design and cut the timber frame, which guarantees precision in the execution of the design. Davis Frame Company can ship our timber frame homes anywhere you want them delivered! Our company is small enough to work with clients on an individual basis but large enough to take on just about any project. President Jeff Davis is personally involved in every project.
What is the next step?
If you have plans or drawings and would like an estimate on your project, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail a copy to our Claremont office. Our turnaround time is usually 10 to 14 days. If you need design services, call our toll-free number 1-800-636-0993 to set up an appointment to discuss your ideas and specifications.
Whether you’re looking to build a timber frame, post and beam or panelized home, we offer weather tight packages for every taste and style. Our packages not only include the structural framing, but also can include windows and doors as well as exterior finishes such as siding, roofing and trim.