Building a Timber Frame Home

Building a timber frame home from scratch, including selecting wood, creating the foundation, road, water and power, walls, roofing and insulation.



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Diagram: Major timber-frame joints of house.
WIL SHELTON
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Building the house in virtually independent "phases" was our only practical choice.
PHOTO: ROBIN THOMAS
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Timber-framing is designed simplicity, evidenced by the few tools required to do it.
ROBIN THOMAS
Timber-framed home 1
Here, Mike puts the finishing touches on a timber, applying the skills he picked up in Steve Chapell's course.
ROBIN THOMAS
Timber-framed home 4
The hemlock joists in position.
ROBIN THOMAS
Timber-framed home 2
Cutting and milling the pine and spruce timbers (logs that are often considered waste wood) ourselves was a fantastic way to save money.
ROBIN THOMAS
Timber-framed home 3
Our radiant heat system uses hot water to heat these tubes enclosed with in the concrete floor.
ROBIN THOMAS
Timber-framed home 7
The second story (phase two) taking shape: you can see the shiplap pine sleathing in the background, insulted with 4 by 8 pieces of panel insulation.
ROBIN THOMAS
Timber-framed home 6
Our precariously leaky roof over phase one was little more than a tarp and the hope for no rain.
ROBIN THOMAS
Timber-framed home 5
Phase one under construction: Mike takes a rest (right) after preparing the timber frames to receive the 40 timber joists.
ROBIN THOMAS
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After more than three years of work, our home is finally sheathed and roofed.
ROBIN THOMAS

















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