A timber frame is a method of post / beam framing that involves the use of wood joinery rather than steel plates, bolts, etc. The timbers form a skeleton on which the rest of the house is built.
A timber frame is a structural component that can support all aspects of the house. There are occasions where it’s a non-structural component. In most cases this is a truss or beam mounted to a ceiling. Doing this can work but it creates significant loading issues that must be overcome. It makes far more sense to use the capacity of the timber frame and reduce the amount of redundant framing in the home.
In our designs, they do not. Infilling timbers causes one side of the timber to be heated / cooled opposite of the inside. This effect causes the timbers to move more than normal which causes increased checking and twist. Those two factors lead to higher amounts of air infiltration which decrease the energy efficiency of the home. Because of that, we design our frame so that the SIPS are mounted entirely outside the timbers.
The timbers are fully exposed except where it’s necessary to hide them due to room / wall layout. Upon completion, the timbers are not covered with drywall or any other finish.
We will cover more about design with timber frames in the next section but simply put, there are some restrictions but it mainly comes down to cost. The more complex a timber frame is the more it will cost.