Timber frame design, architectural design, engineering and everything in between.

Timber Frame HQ makes designing, engineering, and building your timber frame simple.

Custom Timber Frame Design Services

Let's get you a set of plans that fit your needs...

Option 1

Plan Modifications

Need some tweaks to an existing TFHQ plan?  We can modify any of our plans to your requirements and get them engineered for your location. 

Option 2

From Scratch Custom Design

Not finding a plan on our site? Then, this is the route for you.  You will get exactly what you are envisioning. It includes everything in one of our stock plans. 

Option 3

Engineering Services

With developed relationships with engineers in the US and in Canada we will get your plans reviewed and make them comply with local codes and approved.

Are you ready to get your project started?

Fill out our online project information form to set up your free preliminary meet and greet where we get to know each other, talk about your project and see if we are a good fit for each other. 

- OR -

Get a price for your timber frame design.  Our online custom design calculator will give you that estimate within 15% (on most projects it’s much closer). No phone calls, you don’t have to give us your email, and no strings attached, seriously.  Just answer a few questions about your timber frame design and we’ll give you a number. If you like what you see, then we can talk further and draw up a concept.

Hey Timber Frame HQ. I just wanted to show you some pictures. We got it up and it all fit perfectly. I want to say thank you. You did an awesome job on the plans I couldn’t have done it without them. Thanks again.

- Mark McColloch

How much is this going to cost me?

Get a price for your timber frame design.  Try our calculator for an estimate on your dream timber frame.  No strings attached.

Our new custom design calculator will give you that estimate within 15% (on most projects it’s much closer). No phone calls, you don’t have to give us your email, no strings attached, seriously. Just answer a few questions about your timber frame design and we’ll give you a number. If you like what you see, then we can talk further and draw up a concept.

Click below to try out our new calculator - it only takes a few seconds.

Average Custom Timber Frame Plan Pricing:

Small Timber Frames

(i.e. 12x16) average @$1,250 for design and construction document completion.

Medium Timber Frames

(i.e. 20x20) average @$2,400 for design and construction document completion.

Large Timber Frames

(i.e 30x30 and greater) average @$3,800 for design and construction document completion.

Our Rates:

  • Design Services are billed by the hour @ $89 per hour.
  • Engineering Services are billed by the hour @ $200 per hour.

What do you provide?

Our Basic Design and Drawings Package:  

At a minimum we provide the following with every design project. 

Axonometric Views of Assembled Frame

Axonometric Views of Disassembled Frame

Dimensioned Plan Views, Elevations, and Sections

Mortise and Tenon and/or Post and Beam Call-Outs

Joint Details

Timber List for Material Ordering and Connector List

Available Add-Ons:

Piece Drawings
  • This add-on provides you with a set of drawings that delves into the details of the frame and its joinery to the extreme.  Each piece of the frame is dimensioned and specified on its own sheet and classified by name and quantity.  This will allow the cutting of the frame to be as proficient as possible and reduce any head-scratching at the sawhorses.  
Design: Architectural Services
  • This add-on provides you with drawings that go beyond just the heavy timber structure.  This drawing set will include simple floor plans (no MEP), architectural elevations showing the exterior of the building with windows and cladding, and wall section details including both timber frame and enclosure and how they connect.
Basic Engineering: (Gravity Loads)
  • This add on provides a structural seal on the plans by our Engineers that are licensed in your state and/ or province.  Includes force diagrams to foundation for proper foundation design by others.  Available in all US States except Illinois.  Available in the following Canadian Provinces: AB, BC, ON, SK, and YT.  This engineering does not consider lateral loading (resistance to racking).   
Engineering Seal (Lateral Loads)
  • This add-on illustrates the whole building make up so that the engineer can seal for lateral loads.  If your structure is an open air structure, lateral loads will be included regardless of architectural service add-on selection.  Please note:  This is only available with Architectural Services Add-On Service.

Timber Frame HQ team members did exactly what I needed to design our 30 x 36 workshop. With the construction and design fundamentals understood by me, the team created the details which made:


  1.  The fabrication of every component so much easier as each piece is thoroughly detailed with all pertinent information on each of the 106 different component cuts consisting of 287 pieces, 
  2. The architectural drawings are highly detailed and easily understandable. 
  3. With Timber Frame HQ alliance with licensed local engineers provides a confirmation of structural integrity mainly for our family, and the local building inspectors, peace of mind. 

We were in need of their design services only which they provided expertly, and in a timely fashion. When a question arose, the team conducted a zoom meeting to visually solve question an issues. Found this very efficient for all parties. I would expect the same high level of execution in their additional capabilities. I highly recommend this company to all who are in the market for their services.

Greg Hill

Georgia

What's Our Design Process?

  1. 1
    Preliminary Meet and Greet Call - This is where we get to know each other, talk about your project and see if we are a good fit for each other.  Designing is personal process and we want to make sure you have the best team possible for your project. This meeting usually takes about 30 minutes.  There is no cost associated with this call.  
  2. 2
    Statement of Work - This is the project contract. It sets and aligns expectations. It can contain details to help with that alignment including, but not limited to, clarification of scope and associated billing rates.
  3. 3
    Project Kick Off Call - A project kickoff meeting is the first meeting between you and the project team. It’ll take place after contracts have been signed and a deposit value secured. The purpose of a project kickoff meeting is to introduce the team, understand the project background, understand what success looks like, understand what needs to be done, and agree on how to work together effectively – it’s a chance to level set and get the team and you on the same page.
  4. 4
    Conceptual Drawings - Basic 2d set with plan views, elevations and 3d renderings. The goal at this stage is to represent to the team the frames' design/intent and offer the first review by all. Once approved by the client, engineering (if applicable) and detailing of the plans will commence.
  5. 5
    Engineering - Our conceptual design will go through preliminary sizing for site specific loads. We will report back to the client any changes that need to be addressed. This is when a reaction diagram for proper foundation design will be supplied if engineering services are part of the scope.
  6. 6
    Construction Drawings - This is the build-to set of drawings. A complete 2d set with all the information is created. At this stage we will also create all the 3D isometric and exploded drawings needed for construction. It is the final set of drawings that will be utilized by the entire team.
  7. 7
    Piece Drawings - This set delves into details of the frame to an extreme and provides you or the timber frame company all the info to cut the frame as efficiently as possible. Each piece of the frame is dimensioned and spec'd out, a final timber list is prepared and a cut sheet is produced.

Are you ready to get your project started?

Contact us today to setup your free preliminary meet and greet where we get to know each other, talk about your project and see if we are a good fit for each other.  Designing is personal process and we want to make sure you have the best team possible for your project. This meeting usually takes about 30 minutes.

Getting a timber frame designed is a big, exciting commitment...

  • So we expect that you will want to talk to us first. Please use one of the forms here or on this page,  to set up a meeting to talk with one of our Design Wizards.  
  • To get rolling, Timber Frame HQ requires a deposit for 35% of the estimated design cost. Personal checks are fine, certified/bank/money order check is best. Include a printed copy of the quote sheet you received.
  • You may use PayPal or use a Credit Card to place a deposit  as well but there is a fee for use of this service. Please fill out the order form and we will send a link to pay on an invoice.
  • When your deposit comes through we will confirm it with you and put you into our design queue and schedule a kickoff call. 
  • We will bill you at the beginning of each month, all payments are due before the 15th of that month.
  • Turn around time for custom design is usually 4-12 weeks, depending on the scope of the project and our design calendar.
  • When we provide you a quote of your plan  we will also be able to estimate any engineering cost for you.
  • We charge an hourly rate  for all design and support work.  We find this to be the fairest way to charge you as you only pay for the work that we do.

Custom Design FAQ

How much does it cost?

We provide our design services by the hour. When we provide you a proposal along with our statement of work we estimate the amount of time it will take us to complete your project. We are experienced in knowing how much time a project will require, but the estimate is just that, an estimated amount of time.

How long does the process take?

Our design projects usually take 3 to 4 weeks to complete from commencement of the design process. This is just the length of time, not the amount of time spent on your project! We have multiple projects going simultaneously.

How specific should I be with the questionnaire?

The more specific the better. It allows us to create an accurate estimate.

I don't know a lot of the answers in the questionnaire. What should I do?

That is OK! We can guide you from our experience when it comes to the specifics of how to design and build timber frames. One thing we do ask you to do is to be prudent and accurate about your budgeting. This allows us to be good advisers for your project!

What is our Statement of Work?

Our statement of work is part of our proposal that clarifies what the project requires from us to fulfill your needs. It gathers the information you have provided on the Custom Design Questionnaire and translates into a clear path of what we will do for you and the project.

Do you engineer foundations?

No, we do not. Given that there are varying degrees of soil characteristics across the country, we urge you to find a local engineer for this aspect. Along with our engineering service, we can provide the loads down to the foundation to give your local foundation engineer what he/ she needs.

Do you design with dimensional lumber?

No, we specialize in timber frame. Think at minimum 6x6 posts and 3x5 bracing.

Can I see examples of your work?

Of course! We are happy to provide examples of the type of work you would see from us.

Are you ready to get your project started?

Contact us today to setup your free preliminary meet and greet where we get to know each other, talk about your project and see if we are a good fit for each other.  Designing is personal process and we want to make sure you have the best team possible for your project. This meeting usually takes about 30 minutes.

Still On The Fence? We get it...

Here's the deal: If you're going to invest the time, money and energy in building a timber frame  yourself or have a contractor build it...

...Then make sure the plan you have has everything you need to get it done... So if you enter your email below we will send you three FREE plans to test the water.   You'll get a timber frame sawhorse plan, a timber frame garden bench plan and a simple pergola plan.

Need a Starting Point?

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4 thoughts on “Custom Timber Frame Design”

  1. Gerry or Gerard Lauer

    Hello, I’ve purchased a set of plans from you and the emails with the information I thought I saved is lost. How is it best to reconnect with you regarding my account with you.

    Gerry Lauer – 612-581-8610 – [email protected] – old address that maybe on file, 4721 4th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419 – Current address most likely not on file, 9205 Main Street, Silver City, SD 57702.

    Thank you for your assistance
    Gerry

  2. Robert Gilchrist

    Hello , I am interested in getting an actual paper patern.
    Would it be posable to get the prints / or plans mailed or shipped some way?
    Regards Bob

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