Timber Frames

Custom Woodcraft has partnered with the long time timber framers of The Beamery based in Whitestown Indiana. Custom Woodcraft is the exclusive wholesaler of The Beamery frames which are sold all over the country. All frames are handcrafted by local artisans creating only the finest traditional mortise and tenon joinery from a variety of wood species. All lumber/logs are purchased wholesale and milled in our lumber yard. Custom Woodcraft also offers complete turn-key construction and general contracting of the entire project. Custom Woodcraft Builders’ travel crews have erected frames from Montana to Vermont.

Custom Woodcraft Builders’ frames are not just handcrafted by talented carpenters, but also designed, engineered, installed by skilled craftsman, environmental engineers and licensed architects. With Custom Woodcraft and The Beamery, your plans and ideas are personally reviewed. All key personal involved on our team have the formal education as well as hands on building knowledge. The same person that started consulting on your project in the planning and price quoting stage is also in the shop making the mortise and tenon joinery and then onsite supervising the building process. At each and every step of the way, someone with over 20 years of hands on timber frame experience is on top of your project.

Our master framer is David Watters and has been in the industry for over twenty years. David received a historical barn book at age eight and proceeded to make a model timber frame bridge at age fourteen. He was hooked on timber framing. All of David’s jobs through high school and college were framing and cabinet making. He even used SIP panels on a remodel job in high school. David has an Environmental Design BA from the University of Colorado with an emphasis in architecture in 1984. Over the years from working in Colorado, Arkansas, Indiana or New Hampshire, David Watters has designed and built over 30 timber frame homes, one national recognized brew pub in the Ozarks (Ozark Brewing Company), scores of architectural trusses and entry facades and even a historical covered bridge project in Park County, Indiana. Experience, service and attention to detail prevail when Custom Woodcraft and The Beamery are on the job.

Another reason to choose Custom Woodcraft to design and build your timber frame home is that there are no secrets and our overhead is low. If you would like to see the logs for your structure, the timbers being cut, the process of actually making the mortise and tenon joinery for your great room with your own eyes, you can! We are all locally owned and operated in central Indiana and you are welcomed to watch and photograph your dream home becoming a reality.  We have shopped timber frame plans from many other framers across the country. Our prices are the best, period!

Let Custom Woodcraft Builders earn your business. Feel free to contact us to visit our operation.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

TIMBER FRAMING

What is the difference between Log, Timber Framing, and Post and Beam?

Log buildings have the logs, which are either round or squared off, stacked horizontally, creating the walls. Post and Beam buildings are any buildings that have upright posts supporting horizontal beams. Timber Post and Beam buildings are post and beam structures made of timber, held with metal brackets. Timber framing is a specialized version of post and beam that is built like furniture, using mortise and tenon joinery, held in place with wooden pegs.

What are the benefits of Timber Frame building?

  • Energy Efficiency. The building is most often completely enclosed in an envelope of insulated panels which create an extremely efficient enclosure. High R values, no air infiltration; an additional benefit of using panels is that with the OSB everywhere on the inside wall, you have a nailing surface wherever you want to hang something.
  • Aesthetics. The feel of a timber frame building is one of warmth, strength and security. The knowledge that your home is handcrafted by caring people adds a palpable quality.
  • Stability. Unlike log homes, there are no settling problems to take into account.
  • Open Floor Plan. Since there are typically no interior load bearing walls, your floor plan can be very open, and can be changed as the needs of the occupants change.
  • Longevity. Timber frames are structurally very sound buildings, which will last hundreds of years. Many have survived major natural disasters, including hurricanes and earthquakes, in very good shape.

How much do Timber Frames cost per square foot?

This question is similar to asking, “How much does a new car cost?” The answer is, “It depends.” There are so many variables influencing this cost, that until you have a basic floor plan and rough frame design, and some ideas about the choices of wood and degree of finish and embellishment you are interested in, you will not get a very useful estimate. It can be stated, however, that the cost of a timber frame is comparable to a well built custom home with extensive cathedral ceilings and open space with comparable finishes.

Some builders will give a range of cost per square footage, but it is in your best interest to really understand what affects this range. Also, keep in mind that how square footage is calculated directly affects any estimate given in terms of square footage. Including porches, garage, etc. in the square footage of the home will of course skew the price from a quote which includes heated space only. If you are comparing estimates, make sure the square footage is calculated on the same basis in each case.

The price of a timber frame varies according to how many pieces are in it, what species and quality of wood is chosen, how the timbers are finished, what embellishments are added, and any exceptional site requirements.

Simply put, both log and timber frame homes are a premium and cost more than production homes – about equally more. But as the saying goes, you pay for what you get.

1.  Efficiency of frame design. In the same floor plan, you could add a bent or two and have 20% to 30% more timber in the project – which will clearly completely change the cost per square foot.

2.  Wood selection.

  • Quality. (Dryness & growth pattern). You have choices ranging from green wood, which could be either old growth or second growth, to kiln dried or recycled wood. Each of these can markedly affect the price of the frame. Basically, the more stable the wood (drier, denser) the less the joinery will open over time, and the less checking you will see. In a well built timber frame, these two issues (shrinkage and checking) do not tend to be structural, so this decision is based on aesthetics vs. cost.
  • Species. There are many species that can be used in a timber frame. Individual builders tend to have a few choices of wood species that they work with, and they can tell you the pros and cons of each choice. Some are available in longer lengths, some offer greater strength in a smaller dimension, some are considered prettier or more interesting.

3.  Frame detailing. The added embellishments on a frame (drop pendants, carvings, etc).

4.  The finish on the timbers themselves is a serious consideration. The choices include rough sawn wood, a sanded and oiled finish, hand hewn, adzed, sand blasted or nylon brushed. You might  apply a clear oil, stain or even a colored wash, like a light white wash.

5.  Site Requirements. Accessibility to your site will be a factor in determining the cost. Can a truck and trailer drive right to your site, or will there be extra handling? Can a crane be brought in? Of course, these considerations apply any home built on a site, but it is something to keep in mind.

The Rest of the House. Beyond the timber frame, you will make a myriad of choices that will affect the finished square footage cost. If you like stucco and slate roofs you will be in a higher part of the price range than if you accept asphalt shingles. Hybrids, making the choice to do part of the project as a timber frame and part as stick building, can sometimes make a project more affordable – consider timber framing the public areas and build the wings with structural insulating panels. In the end, you have only three variables to work with in the homebuilding process: size, quality and budget. You can set two of these, and the third will be set automatically, like the sides on a triangle. Rather than sacrificing quality for a large home if your budget is tight, consider challenging your designer to design high quality, comfortable, smaller spaces.

Timber Frame Homes – Passive/Energy Efficient Homes – Post & Beam – Log Homes – Hybrid

Member Better Business Bureau
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The Beamery is a member of the Timber Framers Guild

Click Here to Contact Custom Woodcraft

Email:  info@customwoodcraftbuilders.com

317.596.5966

 

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