There is a lot of confusion between timber post and beam homes versus timber frame homes even within the industry and among professionals. While both types of homes are beautiful, they do have some distinct differences. We have outlined the major differences below.
Post and beam construction often resembles timber framing, but differs in that post and beam construction utilizes mechanical fasteners and steel plate connectors to join adjacent members together.
Post and Beam construction incorporates the use of exposed beams supported by posts that run horizontal in order to structurally support the roof rafters overhead and the sub floor systems. The beams are connected by metal bolts and brackets.
If you are looking for post and beam home kits, check out our timber frame kit option.
Timber Framing is a traditional form of wood construction that has origins in early furniture making, and can be traced back to early oriental architecture. Some timber frame buildings erected during medieval times in old Europe are still standing, a testament to the integrity and longevity of this building system.
With a timber frame home, the complete frame work of post and beam timbers is comprised of a series of exposed and connected bents. The giant sized crafted truss systems are supported by exposed timber posts, connected and secured with oak pegs and mortise and tenon joinery instead of bolts and brackets. In the photo above, you can see how an oak peg is utilized under young Eric's legs.
To the untrained eye, a timber frame home and post and beam home look similar since both methods incorporate exposed timber construction. However, from an engineering standpoint they are quite different. In timber framing, the weight is transferred through the vertical members of the bents. In post and beam construction the weight is borne by the horizontal members which rest on the vertical posts. True timber frames, such as Atlantic Timberframes builds, are created with traditional handcrafted wood joinery only, and secured with hardwood pegs. To see examples of our work, take a look at our Timber Frame Houses Gallery.
The average cost of a timber frame home kit will be about double the cost of the comparable post & beam. However, some of the cost difference is offset by the fact that a well designed timber frame home doesn’t need shear walls or infill framing to achieve lateral stability.
We differ from other timber frame companies in that we manufacture our timber frames by a computer controlled machine that precisely cuts each section and bent. The timbers we use are available in eastern white pine or Douglas Fir and are then all planed, camfered, finished with a Danish oil treatment, and supplied with curved knee braces.