The English Mediaeval House

The English Mediaeval House 

By: Margaret Wood – Preface by Sir Mortimer Wheeler

Bracken Books – 1965

In this book you will find an absorbing study of the evolution of the English house.  Filled with Margaret Wood and other workers’ meticulous research, the book covers the period of time from the Norman Conquest to 1540.  Sixty pages of beautiful and instructive photographs are included as well as 150 plans and drawings that can only enhance such a wonderful book. This is the first major book on medieval domestic architecture for over a hundred years and is definitely worthy of its great subject!

 

Manor Houses in Normandy

Manor Houses in Normandy

By: Yves Lexcroart
Photographs By: Regis Faucon

Konemann – 1995

Open this book and you will be blown away by beautiful photographs that have captured the undulating woodland and lush meadows of Normandy.  Pays d’Auge is a region of Normandy that is a treasure-house of architecture in which the amazing manor houses are among its best-kept secrets.  Some are surprisingly small and some very grand.  They are built of timber or brick and stone. Very few of the manor houses are open to the public so grab this unique opportunity and enjoy this breathtaking pocket of Normandy.

American Bungalow Style

American Bungalow Style

By: Robert Winter and Alexander Vertikoff

Simon & Schuster – 1996

If you’re looking for some great interior or exterior ideas for cozy nooks, fireplaces, porches, window nooks, etc., then this book can help.  Filled with over 300 color photographs of that charming Craftsman Style architecture, we are immediately drawn to its warmth and effortless design.  “The idea that simplicity and artistry could harmonize in one affordable house spurred the bungalow’s popularity – a rare movement in which good architecture was found outside the world of the wealthy.”  This remains true today – especially with a timber frame home.  Turning the pages of this beautiful book shows you how just a simple door can become a thing of beauty you could enjoy each and every day.

Our Fall Newsletter

Reading Tree Rings with Woody

Every single spring and summer, each tree grows another layer of wood that is added onto the trunk. In the spring the wood grows quickly and is a lighter color because it is made of large cells. During the summer the wood grows much slower, has smaller cells and is darker in color.

  • To tell the age of the treeCount the dark rings!
  • When a tree is getting plenty of sunshine and rain it will have rings that are broad and evenly spaced.
  • If a tree has went through a forest fire it may have some scarring on  the bark right along one of the rings but every year the tree will add more wood to cover the scar.
  • Very narrow rings that continue through several seasons can indicate a drought or maybe an insect infestation.
  • If a tree has rings that seem wider on one side than the other it may suggest that something pushed against the tree as it was growing.  The tree will build what is called “reaction wood” to prop up and support the side that is leaning.

Choosing Timbers for your Timber Frame

 

Submitted by: Bruce Gardner, Co-Owner of Homestead Timber Frames

You have a wide array of wood species to choose from for your timber frame.  Some of the factors to include in making a good choice are:

  1. Strength characteristics of the wood
  2. Color, texture, and durability of the wood
  3. Availability of the wood
  4. Environmental impact of harvesting, processing, and shipping the wood

All timber framing companies have wood species preferences.  Homestead Timber Frames is located in the center of the grandest hardwood forest area in North America.  Our location choice was spawned by access to local timber.  Specifying and using timber local to us minimizes transportation costs, uses trees locally harvested from forests that naturally recover, allows our competence to grow by working within a narrow range of wood species, and provides our clients with a beautiful timber frame using timbers of known provenance and quality.

Homestead Timber Frames employs local White oak for interior timber frames.  The timbers are graded by us and carefully stored until use in a timber frame.  White oak can be planed to a smooth surface and beautifully finished with our natural oil finish.  Construction blemishes are easily renewed; White oak is traditional and durable; and the strength of the wood allows beautiful design flexibility.  A properly designed White oak timber frame becomes an heirloom cherished for generations.

Exterior timber frames are most often built by us of Baldcypress.  Exterior timber frames include pavilions, porches, exterior brackets, bridges, and gates.  Baldcypress is available in large timber sizes of good quality and grows regionally.  Baldcypress timbers gracefully accept surface treatments such as sanding or sand blasting and stain or paint well.  If no finish is desired, Baldcypress weathers over time to a pleasing silver gray which requires little maintenance.

 Homestead Timber Frames avoids using timber species that grow thousands of miles from us.  Timbers from species such as the Redwoods may be sourced from ancient trees, irreplaceable in a dozen human lifespans.  The same may be true for Western Red Cedar.  The environmental impact and expense of transporting all Western woods across the Continent is easily avoided by using our excellent and locally available timber species.  Come visit us and see the wood for yourself.  We will give you a wood sample to take home with you and you can decide what’s best for your timber frame.

Click here to visit our World of Woods for more information on different woods.

In the Shop with Woody

 Good Afternoon! It is such a beautiful day!

I’ve been out in the shop checking out different tools that the guys use for crafting such handsome timber frames.

The tool I am sharing with you today is a portable band saw. It is used on our timbers to create stunning curves and cut other irregular shapes as you see in the photographs below.

The Future of Timber Framing


Submitted by: Bruce Gardner, Co-Owner of Homestead Timber Frames

Timber Framing

The timber framing revival began in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.  A few folks,
principally in New England, noticed that there were sound buildings in their communities that were nearing 4 centuries of age.  In comparing these timber frame buildings to modern construction they realized that the skill required in design and construction was greater, the timbers were larger, the buildings were stronger, and the architecture was

Modern timber framing has dramatically advanced in design and application.  Today’s timber frame may be a home, a portion of a home, a barn, a pavilion, a bridge, or simply decorative timber assemblies.  Timber framers have become adept at designing and cutting complex wooden joints, rigging and assembling complicated buildings, and in adapting timber frames to a variety of uses, styles, and budgets.more beautiful.  By the mid-80’s a few of these timber framing folks discovered each other and convened a small gathering of like minded craftspeople.  From this small beginning grew the Timber Framers Guild.  Timber framers have been teaching each other how to timber frame ever since.

Insulating wall and roof systems for timber frame structures have dramatically improved.  The timber frame structure can now be both beautiful and energy efficient.  Because timber components are accurately fabricated in a shop, construction time is reduced.  For example, a timber frame for a 2,500 square foot home can typically be assembled in a week.  Insulating wall and roof systems can be installed in one more week giving a weather tight shell in a total of two weeks.

timber framing

Architects, builders, lenders, and home owners have become ever more aware of the possibilities presented by timber frames.  Both projects and timber framing companies have become more numerous.  The result allows building owners to select a timber framing company close to their site and allows timber framing company craftsmen to spend their work days close to home even when assembling a timber frame.  While not yet commonplace, the continued growth in timber frame popularity insures an expanding use of this beautiful and durable building method, enhancing the quality of local architecture and the utility of the buildings so built

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