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Building a Timber Frame Hangar? Here are 5 Things to Consider

August 4, 2023
Timber frame custom aircraft hangars. Where you park your airplane when not flying.

For decades, airplane hangars crafted of stone and steel have been the norm. As more and more of you discover the amazing benefits of timber frame airplane hangars, the norm is changing!

There’s a lot to consider when you’re deciding to build a new structure on your property. Timber frame structures, including timber frame hangars, include more specific considerations than most structures when you’re planning a build.

Here are 5 specific things you should consider when you’re choosing to build a timber frame hangar.

5: How Much Space Do You Need?

Timber frames naturally lend themselves to larger structures. In your own mind, you may be thinking:

“The bigger the structure, the better it’ll be.”

Well, that isn’t always necessarily the case. Big structures are great, but they’re also:

● More time-consuming to design and build

● Needy of more maintenance and care

● Not budget-friendly

If you don’t have a massive plane to store, several small planes to store, or a fleet of cars, you won’t really need a huge timber frame hangar. Before you consider building a timber frame hangar, take a look at how much space you’ll actually need. You’ll end up saving yourself plenty of time and money!

4: Do You Want Your Hangar to Be a “Full” Timber Frame?

When you’re considering building a timber frame hangar, you have the option to stick with a full timber frame, or a hangar that simply incorporates timbers in specific areas. Whether or not to choose a full or partial timber frame hangar depends on a few things:

● Your budget

● Your aesthetic taste

● Your preferred style of joinery

Full timber frames tend to be more expensive, and the style isn’t for everyone. You may also think joining heavy timbers with metal will make it stronger than a conventional timber frame structure. However, for the expense, a timber frame hangar joined with timber elements will, in most cases, be stronger than a traditional steel hangar.

3: Who’s Designing Your Hangar?

Designing and building timber frame structures takes a very specific set of skills. Designers and architects, for example, need to know how to combine the heavy timbers in a way that makes structural sense. Engineers and builders should be able to put them together in a way that ensures that the timber frame structure is strong and durable.

Before you opt to build a timber frame hangar, make sure you’ve joined (yes, pun intended) up with a team that can help you put it together from start to finish. By joining (again, pun intended) up with professional designers, architects, structural engineers, and joiners, you’re making sure your timber frame hangar will stand for generations to come.

2: What Kind of Timber Do You Want to Use?

Timber frame structures are always made with strong, durable heavy timbers. However, some timbers work better for some timber frame structures than they do for others. For example, while you can have an entire timber frame hangar built of, say, Baldcypress, it’s not ideal.

Your timber frame hangar will likely be an enclosed structure, which means you’ll want to use species that work best for interior areas. These timbers will need to span long distances for larger hangars so typically the use of Glulam's will be necessary to make those clear spans possible. Here at Homestead Timber Frames our wood species of choice for these large spans and types of structures is Douglas Fir. There are other species that can be used in the smaller hangars but we feel the Douglas Fir is the best all around for this application.

1: Your Budget

All of the above are very important to consider when you’re looking into building a timber frame hangar. However, none are as important as this one factor: your budget.

You may dream of a large, spacious timber frame hangar. However, the size and opulence of your heavy timber structure will depend on how much you’ve budgeted for your build. That’s why knowledgeable, experienced timber framers (like us) will work with you to help you reach as much of your dream timber frame structure as possible without breaking your budget.

Are you currently considering building a timber frame hangar? Reach out today and call us at (931) 484-7059 or use our contact form. We’ll be happy to help you put together the timber frame hangar you’re looking for!

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