Timber frame and log homes evoke a great sense of nostalgia and wonder. With huge trusses that span incredible distances and thick vertical posts with pegged joints, you cannot help but feel awed by the quality craftsmanship and strength. Once considered only for rustic homes the timber frame industry has become much more popular and diverse and is now producing incredible buildings in a wide variety of styles.
The raw materials are key to this style of building, as large timbers and specialty log products are required. The construction methods rely upon time-honored solid wood joinery with pegged and draw bored mortise and tenons. The craftsmen have a very intimate understanding of the material and demand the highest quality. We at J. Gibson McIlvain share that same attention to detail and high standard of quality.
Douglas Fir is the timber of choice for structural parts. Its weather resistance and strength are excellent and the tree grows quickly and very large, making it a readily available source. Availability is essential in an industry where 8 × 8 and 12 × 12 widths in 25+ foot lengths are commonplace. Douglas Fir also has a tight grain that finishes beautifully.
In instances were a more rustic appearance is sought, White Oak can be used because it shares some of the same characteristics. Sourcing these monstrous timbers is a niche business and can cause supply and demand issues for the timber framer, so it’s good to find a reliable supplier. Douglas Fir is especially tough for an East Coast or Midwest organization since all the Fir comes from the Pacific Northwest.
Structural timbers are only one component of these projects, however. With the skeleton built from wood, it is only natural these building be full of hardwood mouldings, floors, panels, windows, and doors. Some timber frame outfits outsource these elements while others build the complete home to maintain design control throughout. Both types of companies often find themselves in need of a provider that maintains an inventory of lumber in a wide variety of sizes and species.
J. Gibson McIlvain employs a buyer specifically to handle this market. This buyer is in charge of sourcing and maintaining a large stock of structural timbers of the highest appearance grade. These timbers, which are available in monstrous lengths (sometimes 40 feet) and widths of up to 32 inches, can be shipped directly to your job site. We are constantly communicating with our customers in the timber frame and log home market to understand their needs and ensure we have the quality stock on hand to supply them.