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Timber Framing vs. Traditional Construction: Which is Better for Your Home?

When you’re planning to build your dream home, getting the details right is essential. Among the seemingly endless number of decisions you’ll have to make is deciding on the type of home you want to build. This starts with choosing between timber framing your home or building your home with traditional construction methods.

To make the best decision for your home, it’s helpful to first understand the differences between these two construction methods.

The Key Difference Between Timber Framing and a Traditional Construction

While there are many minor differences between homes built with timber frames and those built with conventional construction methods, they all come down to the style of construction. Each type of home goes through a different construction process, affecting how you can design or change the layout of your home.

In a traditionally built home, the exterior walls provide support for the structure. Contractors use blocks of brick, stone, or concrete to create load-bearing exterior walls. This means you won’t have to worry about the placement of support beams when planning to install windows, plumbing, wiring, or other features in your home.
On the other hand, timber framing uses a support structure that consists of erecting pre-constructed timber beams and panels. The beams and panels form the frame of the house, providing a cheaper and faster method of completing the construction.

After finishing the timber frame, the contractor can build superficial exterior and interior walls around the structure.

Consider the Craftsmanship

One difference between homes built with timber frames and those built with traditional construction methods is the quality of workmanship. A traditional construction is primarily designed for efficiency without much attention paid to the beauty of the design.

While timber accents can get added, a keen eye can tell the difference between accents and authentic timber framing. There isn’t a substitute for the craftsmanship that goes into building a home with genuine timber supports.

Know the Cost Difference

When it comes to timber framing, the process of pre-cutting timber beams raises the construction costs. This overall higher cost gets raised further when building log homes that are almost completely made with pre-cut beams.

Conversely, a traditional construction is easily modified throughout the construction process. Since this type of construction involves building in blocks, there isn’t a need for the use of sophisticated machinery or complex manufacturing processes.

Some people find that using a design that combines a timber frame with conventional construction methods offers the best of both options. A timber frame/conventional construction hybrid can give you the advantages of a timber frame home while saving you money on the construction costs.

Reliance Timber framing

Don’t Forget About Insulating Your Home

The type of home you build will affect how you insulate your home as well. When building conventional homes, you might already be familiar with spray foam, batt and roll, and blown-in insulation. A combination of these methods is easily used to insulate the walls, attic, roof, and other areas of your new home.

When it comes to timber framing, these methods aren’t as feasible to use. Instead, structural insulated panels (SIPs) provide insulation that’s more effective and more cost-friendly. Manufacturers envelop foam board insulation between panels of oriented strand board. 

SIPs are custom-made, so you will have to order them for your home in advance. Although this means they cost more to buy, the installation process is easier and faster. As a result, you’ll save on the installation when compared to the installation costs of other types of insulation.

Review Your Plans with Your Contractor

After you choose between timber framing and a conventional construction, you’ll still have a great deal of planning ahead of you. From big picture plans — such as arranging the layout — to small yet important details, such as the placement of outlets, every detail will need your attention. 

Reviewing all of your plans with your contractor, including your choice of home type, will help you avoid costly mistakes.

Contact us today to tell us more about your timber needs!