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 for quite a while, 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 (including our owners, Bruce and Cyndy Gardner) set off the timber framing revival by choosing 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 simply for their looks, but mainly for the fact that heavy timber structures offer a sense of comfort and endurance that “stick” built homes do not. As a result of advances in media timber framing companies are able to put themselves in front of these folks much easier than ever before. This means that there’s no shortage of new clients seeking timber frames.
Delving into that point a little further, advances in technology have allowed timber frame shops to fabricate and raise structures in a fraction of the time that it took many years ago. Some shops use CNC machines to cut their joinery today, with human labor used primarily during 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. The raising process moves a lot faster as well these days with the aid of cranes and cherry pickers to raise heavy timber assemblies.
Our craft has also seen no shortage of new joiners willing to roll up their sleeves and keep it alive. We field new calls from construction professionals young and old who are chomping at the bit to join our craftsmen so that they may learn to timber frame. Colleges and Credit schools across the country and around the world offer woodworking programs which teach timber framing, and organizations such as the Timber Guild offer valuable apprenticeships.
In short, the future of timber framing remains bright, and we work diligently to keep it that way. As time goes on we will never run out of new ways to keep our art in front of an ever-growing client base. We will also never want for well-educated new joiners as long as new schools continue to incorporate timber framing into their curriculum.
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, take in the aroma of fresh sawdust, and learn more about timber framing 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.