Episode 11: Peg Size, Span Distance, Cost of TF and Homeowners Insurance

We are resuming our podcasts after a couple of years’ hiatus because we are excited to introduce our new Design Wizard, Moyer Fountain. We meet Moyer, and answer questions that folks have sent to us. We look forward to future podcasts as you send us more of your questions. Enjoy.

Moyer Fountain – Introduction

Moyer Fountain

Our new Design Wizard, Moyer Fountain, is originally from North Carolina and has lived in South Carolina for years now. He has always liked to build things with wood. He has worked for timber frame companies, been self-employed, and has worked as a subcontractor for Timber Frame HQ in the past. Joining the team as Design Wizard was a good fit. Moyer even worked own Brice’s own house long ago under Moresun Timber Frames.

Steven – asks: What size pegs do I need for 12×12 beams supported by 12×12 posts. Tenons are 6x12x4. What thickness pegs should I use?

1 inch White Oak Pegs
  • Biggest pegs we use are 1 ¼”. That should be good in this case  
  • Diameter of pegs affected by how many pegs per joint and placement of the pegs.
  • A 4” tenon is very thick, it might be hard to make mortise for that. 1 ½” tenon would be fine
  • It’s always a good idea to have an engineer to review, especially when pushing the envelope.
  • Bigger pegs take more meat out of the tenons.

Bud – asks: What is the rule of thumb for safe span length for different types of timber?

Lounge by a Pool (one you don't have to clean yourself)
  • Largest span Brice has done is 48 feet, but it had substantial engineering.
  • 24-28 feet spans are generally ok,  it’s always good to have an engineer.
  • Different types of trusses can span different lengths
  • Heavier snow loads, roof pitch affect distance (steeper pitch=less thrust on post)

Bill – asks:  Central Idaho Timber Frame building costs seem to be $290-$350 per sq foot Why are TF home costs high? Can I do the work myself? 

  • DIY- woodworking experience helps. Start with a smaller project before you try to build your home. TFHQ is a good resource to practice. Take classes. Shelter Institute has an online class which is a great resource in these days of the Coronavirus. Brice has a Talk Radio episode: Episode 10: Can I Build My Own Timber Frame? (See Resources Below)
  • Square foot pricing is not a good way to price timber frames. A lot of the time spent is in the joinery. Timber Frame is more expensive because it is unique.
  • Brice designed a house that was built twice: once for $175 per sf and then for $345 per sf. It was the same frame. The difference was SIPs and finishes. 
  • Ask around your area average square foot cost. Add 10-15% more for timber frame on average

Carl – asks:  My wife and I bought a Timber Frame home recently. I’m looking for insurance advice. My carrier wants to insure at the same replacement cost as a stick built house. That doesn’t feel adequate.

  • Timber Frame is generally 10-15% more than stick built.
  • Try to get the insured value up by that 10-15%.
  • Shop around! You may be able to set your own replacement cost.
  • You may have to pay higher premium to get higher replacement costs.

Brice –

That wraps up the questions for this show. The show will be based on your questions!  Send your questions in to support@timberframehq.com. If we don’t know the answers, we will find the experts who do!

We are with you under this coronavirus.  We are a remote-working team, and we will keep working straight through. So if you have any questions, need any help,or need someone to talk to about your project, drop us a line at support@timberframehq.com.


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2 thoughts on “Episode 11: Peg Size, Span Distance, Cost of TF and Homeowners Insurance”

  1. Thanks for restarting the podcast! I am trying to get a small timber frame built for a shop / small living space this year and hope to build some of my own over the next few years. Great resource to have people knowledgeable on the subject answering questions.

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