More than three years ago we first published a blog post on Timberframe vs. Timber Accents. That’s a lot of water under the bridge and we know we have quite a few new followers since then.

The topic is an enduring one, just as enduring as the Canadian love of log and timber homes.

It’s important to first define what we mean when we’re talking about timber frame or timber accents.

Timber frame structure
Timber frame home
Home with timber accents
Home with timber accents

Timber Frame is an authentic style of building where structural timbers are used to support both roof and floor loads.

In a timberframe home, wall timbers are sometimes integrated within the exterior wall frame, but it always works best when the timbers are completely inside and independent of the exterior wall so that insulation of the wall is not affected.

Exterior structures are popular for timber frame cottages and homes because massive, exposed timbers look so impressive.

Timber Accent style homes are more traditional in structure and incorporate non-structural components to dress up or add some wow factor to a home.

Timber accenting is becoming very popular in many homes because of reduced cost compared to traditional timber frame construction.

Additionally, with this approach, the opportunities really are endless.

The beauty of timber frame accenting is that it can be used indoors or out.

Kitchen with timber frame accents

Choosing wood

White pine or white spruce are common where there is a roof protecting the structure, whether for the interior spaces of a home or an outdoor roofed structure. Red pine and Douglas fir are also popular choices.

If there is no roof over the timber frame structure, as in the cases of exterior garden structures or pergolas, white cedar and red cedar are most commonly selected because of their superior rot resistant qualities. Hemlock is also a good exterior grade wood and chosen when extra strength is required.

Regardless of species, it is always a good idea to stain or varnish the wood to protect it from dirt and dust and to keep it looking good. We’re big fans of Timber Pro UV coatings, which have unique water-based formulas with natural oils added to highlight the wood’s grain. (Timber Pro is based in Richmond, British Columbia.)

Sustainable, locally sourced

We know it’s always better to use local material where possible. When local material is not available, some of the best construction timbers available are from the standing dead wood forests of British Columbia.

Much of BC’s forest has been devastated by the North American pine beetle, but the resulting dead wood is the perfect material for the construction industry.

These trees are naturally air dried, removing the risk of shrinking or warping post-installation. There is also no trace of any beetle because the insects only penetrate a short way into the wood, and this material is removed during the sawing process.

Timber frame house plans

We recently revamped our popular house plan section, adding new plans and pricing for round log and timber frame versions.

Timber frame and accent photo gallery


Leave a Reply