This craft we love so much – the craft of timber framing – has certainly seen its ups and downs over the centuries. It came over the pond with the Colonials and stuck around at least until the early twentieth century. By the early 1900s timber framing was a memory as consumers turned to “stick” homes and kit structures. Then the late 1970s happened…
A group of idealistic young builders set off the timber framing revival. They chose to value the longevity of structures crafted the “old-fashioned way” over building “stick” homes from mass-produced lumber. Ever since, timber framing has ridden high on a wave of popularity that shows no sign of waning.
With publications and websites devoted solely to timber framing new potential clients fall in love daily with heavy timber structures. Sometimes their interest is simply for the looks of the timber frame, however most of the time it is for the fact that heavy timber structures offer a sense of comfort and endurance that “stick” built homes do not. Advances in media and digital marketing have allowed timber framing companies to put themselves in front of people much easier than ever before. This means that there’s no shortage of new clients seeking timber frames.
Advances in technology have allowed timber frame shops to fabricate structures in a fraction of the time it took years ago. Some shops now use CNC machines to cut their joinery, using human labor primarily for the test fitting and raising periods. Other companies – like Homestead – value the approach of crafting frames by hand with mallets and chisels. Power tools, however, play a role in helping us get your frame to you that much quicker. These days cranes and extendable boom fork-lift speed up the raising process.
Our craft has also seen no shortage of new joiners willing to roll up their sleeves and keep it alive. We receive calls from construction professionals young and old who are interested in joining our craftsmen to learn timber framing. Colleges and Credit schools across the country and around the world offer woodworking programs that teach timber framing. There are also organizations such as the Timber Guild that offer valuable apprenticeships.
In short, the future of timber framing remains bright, and we work diligently to keep it that way. As time passes us we will never run out of new ways to keep our art in front of our growing client base. As long as schools continue to incorporate timber framing in their curriculum we will not be short of new joiners.
Those who show their support for timber framing and timber framers reap lifelong benefits that you simply can’t get out of a conventional structure. For instance, a timber frame home will stay with you and your family for generations to come. Timber frames that still stand across the world after thousands of years of storms, earthquakes and man-made disasters are a living testament to such a fact. You’ll also be able to tell others that you live in a home that was truly crafted by hand. How many people today can say that?
If you’re interested in flying the flag for timber framing, don’t be shy. Pay us a visit! Walk around our shop, smell the fresh sawdust, and learn more about the timber framing craft from a team that genuinely loves and believes in what they do. Sit with us and talk about your own timber frame plans. We can’t wait to see you.