Frequently Asked Questions
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General Questions I Design I Construction I Timber I SIP's (Structural Insulated Panels)
How is timber framing different from conventional stick construction?
The impressive timbers are themselves the actual supporting framework for the building. This allows for the open concept and vaulted ceilings. You will also find fewer interior walls and more windows in a timber frame than in a conventionally framed home -- thus adding to the incredible sense of space. Timber frames uses traditional joinery (such as mortise & tenon), which are then pegged together and set on the same foundations used in conventionally constructed homes.
Is timber frame and post and beam the same?
Although they may look the same to the uneducated eye, there are subtle differences between the two. Timber framing generally uses larger dimensioned timber material and traditional mortise & tenon joinery than post & beam construction. Post & beam homes usually have less intricate joinery than a timber frame and rely heavily on metal fasteners to secure everything together. Construction of a post & beam is competed piece by piece, while timber frames are assembled bent by bent and lifted into place by a crane.
Is a timber frame the same as a log structure?
These are two different structures but can be incorporated together. Log buildings are constructed by stacking logs (round or square, machined or handcrafted) horizontally one on top of the other to form the exterior walls. A timber frame is a network of vertical posts and horizontal beams which are then enclosed by stud framing or a structural insulated panel system. The interior is highlighted with the attactive exposed beams.
Who designs the house and provides the drawings?
At PineRidge we have experienced designers ready to create the perfect plan. We can take your preliminary ideas and translate them into the floorplan that meets your needs and lifestyle. Working together with the customer, PineRidge provides a full set of construction drawings. If necessary, PineRidge can provide the required Architectural seals and Engineering stamps for an applicable fee.
How should drywall joints be finished ?
Drywall joints in a timber frame home can be taped and finished in the same way as a conventional home. In a timber frame home many of the drywall joints can usuallyy be hidden behind timber members to minimize the amount of finish work required. If using structural panels it is recommended to install a spacer to the back of the timber prior to panels. This allows drywall to be slipped in behind the timbers.
Do I need to provide the foundation and sub-floor?
If you have a builder / contractor or working as your own General Contractor then "yes". When we arrive at your building site the foundation and sub-floor will need to be installed according to the blueprints and local building codes.
How is the exterior finished?
You can either stick frame your exterior walls or install structural insulated panels to enclose the timber frame structure. Once that has been completed, the exterior finish (ie. stone, siding and stucco, etc) can then be applied. There are others who prefer a maintenance free exterior and make the choice of a pre-finished siding or brick.
What kind of wood is used?
For a number of reasons, PineRidge Timberframe uses Eastern White Pine for the majority of our projects. Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and Oak are other popular choices for timber framing. Price is always a consideration, and in our part of the country, Pine tends to be less costly than most of the other species. Being a softer wood, it is also stable and tends to not twist, shrink and check as much as some of the other types of wood (it still will but not as much). Because of this stability, the joinery in a pine frame will continue to look much tighter and cleaner than the joinery in a hardwood frame.
Why does wood "check"?
Since a live tree contains moisture, the natural drying process causes expansion which results in a process known as "checking". This checking does not in any way decrease the structural strength of the wood. Installing an air exchanger and HVAC system in your home, and keeping your heating and air conditioning lower than normal for the first year (and during construction) will aslo help to lessen the checking to a degree. Drawing the moisture out of the timbers too quickly brings out the checking (which sometimes can happen with a bang or pop), which to most just "adds character".
Structural Insulated Panels (SIP's)
What are SIP's?
In very simple terms, a SIP is a structural insulated panel that acts as a structural component for your wall or roof. Panels vary in width, length and thickness, and consist of a foam core, either polyurethane or expanded polystyrene (EPS). The foam core is sandwiched between 2 skins or sheets of building material, usually oriented-strand board (OSB). R-values depend on the thickness of the foam core, but at their minimum thickness, the panel provides a much greater and more stable R-value over the life of the panels, as well as a system less prone to air filtration.
What are the advantages of using panels instead of insulated stud walls?
Panels are significantly stronger than a conventional 2x4 or 2x6 stud wall. They come in various sizes to minimize joints and provide maximum insulation value. SIP's can be installed much quicker than a stud wall system. You need to weigh the cost of higher price for panels versus quicker install and less material required. Panels are energy efficient and fully enclose the timber frame, keeping air infiltration to a minimum.
How should roofing material be applied to the panels?
To reduce the possibility of water damage, installation of the roofing material should be completed as quickly as possible once panels have been installed. Roofing felt is not required, but it may be used as an extra precaution. Horizontal strapping should always be applied to the panel before a wood shake, tile or slate roof is installed. Asphalt shingles may be applied directly to the panels. In most cases roofing material needs to be installed based on manufacturer's specification.
How do you run wiring and plumbing in panels?
The panels come from the factory with wire chases drilled at standard heights. If required, additonal chases can be added at whatever height is requested by the customer. Electricians run wiring through the chases. As plumbing should never be installed in exterior walls, this is not an issue with the panels.