What Comes in a Timber Frame Kit?

If you’ve always wanted to build your own timber frame home but are overwhelmed by the idea, a timber frame kit from a reputable timber frame company might be just the solution you need. These kits include everything you need to build a simple home, and can include upgrades that provide all the practical things you need to move right in when construction is complete.

There are so many different designs available that you can build something as simple as a small one-bedroom cabin or something large and spacious for your growing family. If you’ve always wondered about custom timber frame homes, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to know.

Why Build Your Own Timber Frame Home or Barn?

There are a lot of reasons to build your own timber frame barn, including some you may not have thought of!

Unique designs. There are so many designs for custom timber frame homes available that you’ll be able to find something that suits your family’s needs and connects with your style. Timber framing as a construction method has been around for millennia. In fact, it goes all the way back to prehistoric times! Because of that, there are many different timber frame building styles, so you’re sure to find one that speaks to you.

Overall cost savings. By using a timber frame kit to build your own home, you’ll save money in material costs. All of the timber is pre-measured and pre-cut and the plans are already drawn up so there’s less work to be done. That’s not all. What you pay for a kit is far less than if you contracted a truly custom, one-of-a-kind timber frame.

Quick construction. Because all of the timber is pre-cut and the plans are ready to go, you can build your home quickly. Alternatively, you can choose to take your time, working only when your schedule permits.

Minimal waste. Everything comes to you pre-cut so there aren’t scraps or waste to dispose of other than packing materials. That makes clean up easy and is better for the environment.

Really do it yourself. This isn’t a small project or a simple DIY. Imagine the feeling of looking around your home or barn knowing that you actually built it with your own hands. Alternatively, if you aren’t particularly handy with tools, you can hire a  framing crew or round up some friends and family who are willing to help. Either way, it’s an experience you’ll never forget and the end result lasts a lifetime.

What Comes in a Timber Frame Kit?

Just about everything you need to build the basic frame of a home is included in a timber frame kit. That said, keep in mind that every kit is different depending on the design you pick and the company you’re working with.

Remember to check with your local building codes office to see that the plans you select comply with their requirements. Be sure to find out if they require an engineer's stamp on construction documents.

Here are some basic things that are likely to be included with most kits:

Toping off a Timber Frame with a Wedding Bush

Timber

All of the timber you need to build the structure is included and that’s not all. Some companies allow you to choose from various woods, like Douglas fir, spruce, white pine, or red cedar that are locally and sustainably sourced. This is a great way to get the exact look you want for your home.

The timber and joinery is pre-cut and planed to the specifications of the design plans. To help make construction easy, some kits have numbered pieces so you can follow right along with the plans and easily identify which piece of material use.

You’ll receive posts, beams, ties, joists, and rafters. All of the ends are sealed and the surfaces are covered with sealer or stain. Peg holes are pre-drilled so there’s no heavy prep work for you to do with the timber before you begin construction. Plus, the trusses are usually test fitted before shipping so you know that everything will fit together smoothly when you begin to assemble it.

Panels, Decking, and Roof Boards

Wall and roof panels are often included, along with installation materials such as foam sealant, panel mastic, SIP screws, splines, and lumber for blocking edges.

The flooring you choose may also be included, at least for the second floor, and you can sometimes choose between tongue and groove or V-match installation. Everything is pre-cut and ready to put together following the layout plans.

Tools

These kits include all of the specialty tools you’ll need as well as all the brackets, fasteners, pegs, and screws needed during construction.

Note that not all basic kits will include insulation materials, shingles, windows, or exterior doors. These are things that you’ll need to supply if you go with a basic kit but there are other options available as a lot of companies also offer deluxe kits.

Deluxe Kits

Everything mentioned so far is what you should expect in a basic kit. Some manufacturers have deluxe kits available that really add a lot of extras that give you just about everything you need to have your house move-in ready as quickly as possible.

These kits include everything the basic kit in addition to some or all of the following:

  • Insulated paneling systems
  • ​Windows
  • ​Exterior doors
  • check
    Soffits, fascia, and exterior door and window trim
  • check
    Excavation and foundation laying
  • check
    Flooring
  • check
    Kitchen and bathroom plumbing fittings
  • check
    Electrical

​​​​​​​​​If you’re building your home, you’ll need to add all of these things before you can move in. Whether or not you want to do it on your own or with an all-inclusive kit is up to you.

Beautiful, Practical, Simple

Timber frame kits make building your own home relatively easy. There are so many designs to choose from that you’re sure to find one that suits you and your family. You can choose a kit that comes with everything you need to build a move-in ready home or get the basic frame built and shop around to customize the windows, doors, trim, and flooring to your liking.

Either way, timber frame kits take a lot of the pressure off of building your own home. Plus, the result is unique, made to your specifications, and absolutely gorgeous.

2 thoughts on “What Comes in a Timber Frame Kit?”

  1. Nice post Matthew,
    I know there are lots of TF producers out there…but an accurate list of KIT producers would be awesome.
    Have you ever compiled a list for vendors of TF kits. ?.
    Thanks,
    Bob D.

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