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A Leader in
Timber Frame Construction...
 

Timber Frame Contractor Services

We hand-cut and pre-fit our frames in the shop before shipping them to your location. This time spent in the shop ensures a precise fit, which reduces our on-site time to raise the timberframe on your subfloor and foundation.

The raising is a time of celebration to watch the timbers lifted into position and secured into place. This place and position is where they should stay for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Each frame design has its own inherent challenges and artistic expression. This keeps us on our toes and engaged in the current project. We love what we do. It’s difficult, challenging work but it is very rewarding to see the smile on your face when the sun rises or sets against the silhouette of a well-built timberframe.

The majority of timberframe homes are enclosed with SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels). A SIP is two layers of OSB plywood injected with foam to effectively insulate your home against the harsh realities of a climate that may swing 100 degrees in a calendar year. SIPs outperform all other types of construction for insulating value combined with strength.


Frequently Asked Questions

Builder FAQ

  • Do I need to raise the frame or will you take care of that?

    We will bring our crew to your site to raise the frame.

  • What do you need before you get here?

    For us to be able to raise the frame, the foundation and subfloor must be in place. The foundation must be backfilled and we need power. We also need space to unload the timbers and place them in stacks prior to raising the frame.

  • What do you need during the raising?

    We need three main things to facilitate a safe and timely raising:

    NOTE: These requirements are a general rule-of-thumb only. On each and every project we send a sheet that details exactly what we need and for how long. That list must be followed instead of what is listed here. Failure to do so will result in raising delays.

    1. Tele-handler: This is used from day one of the raising until the last day. We will use it to unload / load trucks, lift smaller timbers into place, project men into place to help install timbers, etc. It must be a tele-handler and not a man-lift. The size, capacity, and time needed will vary with each frame. We do not need an operator supplied, one of our guys will run the tele-handler.

    2. Crane: This is not typically needed until the second day. It will be used to lift bents or trusses into position as well as installing smaller timbers where necessary. We will need the crane company to supply an operator.

    3. Scaffolding: Again, this is typically not needed until the second day. The scaffolding is the traditional “x-frame” scaffolding available at most rental companies. The amount we need will vary with each project; as a rule, we need planks and casters in addition to the framework.

    We have a powerpoint detailing what we need for raisings on our “Building Details” page under the “Information” section.

  • Is there anything special I need to do for the SIPS?

    First, when the anchor bolts are being cast into the concrete of the foundation, ensure that they are centered 2″ from the outside face of the concrete. This will prevent time delays and headaches during the SIPS installation.

    The second thing to keep in mind is the sheer size of the SIP’s. They will need space to unload and stack the panels prior to installation.

  • Who do I contact if I have questions?

    If we have provided the house plans as well as the timber plans, contact us first with any issue. There is a good chance we have encountered the situation before and have some ideas on how to overcome the issue. If we are not the plan providers, contact us first with any questions relating to the timber frame. While we may not be able to answer all the questions relating to the plans developed by an outside designer, we’re certainly willing to field the question and work out a solution if possible.

  • What is the next step after the raising?

    We assume you mean after the pictures and posting to Facebook, after the extended family has left, and the friends have gone home. The next step is to install the ceiling T&G if that is what the owner has opted for. This should be done before the panel company arrives.

  • What will the panel company need for their part?

    Like us, the equipment needs for the panels will vary with each project. Because of that it’s best to contact them directly.

  • What will the panel company need for their part?

    Like us, the equipment needs for the panels will vary with each project. Because of that it’s best to contact them directly.

  • The panels are on, now what?

    After the panel installation, the next step is to install house wrap, windows & doors, and exterior finishes. Anything needed to get the house closed in against the weather.

    After the house is closed in against the weather, the finishing process is not much different than a conventional house. The main thing to remember in a timber frame is that details are everything. Because of the timbers, care must be taken in the planning of walls, plumbing, wiring, etc. You cannot drill large holes through the timbers for plumbing is one example.


Designer FAQ

  • What is a timber frame?

    A timber frame is a method of post / beam framing that involves the use of wood joinery rather than steel plates, bolts, etc. The timbers form a skeleton on which the rest of the house is built.

  • Are the timbers structural or non-structural?

    A timber frame is a structural component that can support all aspects of the house. There are occasions where it’s a non-structural component. In most cases this is a truss or beam mounted to a ceiling. Doing this can work but it creates significant loading issues that must be overcome. It makes far more sense to use the capacity of the timber frame and reduce the amount of redundant framing in the home.

  • Do the walls of a timber frame sit between the timbers?

    In our designs, they do not. Infilling timbers causes one side of the timber to be heated / cooled opposite of the inside. This effect causes the timbers to move more than normal which causes increased checking and twist. Those two factors lead to higher amounts of air infiltration which decrease the energy efficiency of the home. Because of that, we design our frame so that the SIPS are mounted entirely outside the timbers.

  • Are the timbers exposed or hidden?

    The timbers are fully exposed except where it’s necessary to hide them due to room / wall layout. Upon completion, the timbers are not covered with drywall or any other finish.

  • What are my options when designing a timber frame home?

    We will cover more about design with timber frames in the next section but simply put, there are some restrictions but it mainly comes down to cost. The more complex a timber frame is the more it will cost.

  • What should I consider when designing a timber frame home?

    There isn’t much different in a timber frame home design versus a conventional home. However there are a few things to keep in mind.

    1. Keep the design based on a single rectangle or a series of rectangles.
    2. Do not use “specialty angles”. It’s not impossible to set timbers at 123.17 degrees to another one but it will significantly increase the labor as well as the cost of the project.
    3. Do not design the timber frame.

  • Do not design the timber frame?!

    That is correct. There are a myriad of possibilities in timber frame design. Let the timber framers, who do this everyday, design the timber frame. Timber frames designed by others are always redrawn and recalculated by timber frame producers. We all have our own style in choosing joinery. These choices will affect the design slightly. If there is a particular type of framing style you want, we consider that. However there are design issues that have more than one solution. Understanding the overall design allows us to quickly decide which option to go with. In a timber frame, whether or not a frame will work, both structurally and aesthetically, can come down to differences of 6″ or less.

  • So how do I know if my floor plan design will work?

    If a design is relatively straight-forward, it will usually adapt well to a timber frame. Again, odd angles don’t work so well in a timber frame.

    That said, we try our best to not destroy a floor plan when we apply the timber frame. We understand the time and thought that is put into a floor plan and the complication that can arise if we simply say the whole thing needs to change.

  • How far can timbers span?

    That question can only be answered accurately with knowledge of the building location and the house design.

    However as a rule, we can span up to 16′-0″ before caution flags begin to pop up. However without a specific design, that is not our limit. To this point, the farthest we have spanned with a single truss / bent is 50′-0″.

    Again, an accurate answer requires knowledge of loads and design that are specific to the project.

  • What wood do you have access to?

    We can source nearly any kind of wood you want. However the most cost effective wood we have found is Douglas-fir. Douglas-fir has the best strength to weight ratio in the industry. It’s certainly our favorite and the majority of homes pictured on our website are Douglas-fir.

  • What kinds of finishes are available for the timbers?

    Finishes are best discussed in person or over the phone. However there are a few standards that we have:

    1. Our typical finish involves sanding the frame and applying one coat of boiled linseed oil.
    2. Exterior timbers are typically left unfinished and stained by your painter after installation.
    3. We can stain the timbers for an additional fee.
    4. If a smooth sanded surface is not desired, we are able to replicate a hand hewn look. In addition to that, we have access to kiln dried re-sawn timbers.

  • What should I consider in a hybrid design?

    1. There should be a clear separation between the timber frame and the hybrid portions.
    2. The roofs should be separated by changes in ridge direction, roof height, or pitch.
    3. In as much as is humanly possible, do not use more than two construction styles.
    4. Plan ahead to use a split HVAC system if SIPS are not enclosing the entire home.

  • Can you build a timber frame with exterior ICF walls?

    In either of the following two cases, we must be contacted before the ICF construction has started. Preferrably before the ICF’s are ordered.

    1. If the ICF walls need to be in place before the timber frame is raised, the best solution is to pursue a timber roof system that sets on top of the ICF walls.
    2. If the walls can be set after the timber frame is raised, we can raise the frame and then you can use it to help support the ICF walls as they are built.

    A key thing to remember is that concrete typically has fairly large tolerances. A timber frame on the other hand has much tighter tolerances. There are also a whole host of issues related to raising a timber frame inside an ICF structure that are better explained face to face or via phone calls.

  • Do I design the rest of the home?

    That is correct but communication must happen between the contractors. We have to know if the fireplace is masonry or not so that we know what kind of opening is required in the roof. The HVAC guy needs to know what the design specs are on the SIPS to accurately size the HVAC system. The list can go on but the critical point is that everyone must be getting the information they need and when they need it. Delays in information will translate into physical delays on site.

  • What is your preferred method of communication?

    We use whatever is necessary. We generally use a combination of meetings, phone calls, emails, prints, and digital details to convey information. Each project is different and because of that, we have become well versed in various methods of communication.

  • What file types do you accept?

    We use AutoCAD and Revit, both made by Autodesk. Those file formats include: dwg, dxf, dwf, and rvt. We also are able to open and read SketchUp files. Image files work if plans must be scanned.

    If we receive a design and it’s not entirely clear what is being detailed. We will redraw the detail or “markup” what, and where, our question is and contact you to get clarification before proceeding.

  • I have questions, do you have any answers?

    You’re always welcome to stop by, shoot us an email, or call us direct. We will discuss any questions and if we don’t have an answer, we will do our best to find one. Alternately, you can find some answers to many common building issues by following the link below.

 

Building Details

 

The following links outline some common issues related to building a custom timber frame home. The first group covers issues related to the conventional framing affected by the timber frame as well as what we require for raising your timber frame. The second group covers various options that we can apply to a timber frame.

Because no two timber frame homes are typically the same, we highly recommend that you contact us even after reading through this information.

Construction Issues

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Timber Frame Options

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Other Resources

 

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Clydesdale Frames Company

Phone: 620-663-6200

Shop Address:
210 East 4th
S. Hutchinson, KS 67505

Mailing Address:
610 Clydesdale Drive
Hutchinson, Kansas 67501


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Ready to start your timber frame project?

 

If you'd like more information regarding your next timber frame project, we can answer your questions about building a custom timber frame space. Contact Clydesdale Frames Co. today to get started.
 

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