Freqently Asked Questions


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Frequent Questions

With any new project, there are always questions. That's where we're here. If you can't find the answer on this page, we invite you to contact us and speak with one of our dedicated professionals.

Do you ship to my area?

Canadian Timberframes has been a leading manufacturer and supplier of Douglas-fir timber frame structures and components since 1999. Since then we've shipped our frames across North America including states such as Montana, Washington, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, Maryland and New York, along with most Canadian provinces: Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and here at home in British Columbia. If a truck, boat or barge can get there then so can our frames.

You're in Western Canada and I'm in Eastern USA. Isn't shipping going to be a big expense? Shipping is generally about 5% of the package cost. Our location along the Trans Canada corridor allows us easy access to building sites anywhere in North America and gives us an advantage when sourcing transport companies. Also remember that the Douglas-fir for your frame will likely be coming from our area anyways....

How much does a timber frame cost?

Our timber frame package usually falls between $35-$45 per square foot. This package includes the timber frame design and 3D modeling, detailed shop drawings, and the processing & finishing of the Douglas-fir timber frame.

Do you only supply timber frames?

We have options for lock up material packages, which would include the frame package as mentioned along with the sub floor material, T&G ceiling and decking, insulated wall & roof systems, siding & trims, and windows & exterior doors. These material packages tend to fall between $125-$145 per square foot.

Do you bring the home to turnkey?

Our on-site scope covers a technical representative (tech rep) for the installation of the timber frame. It seldom makes sense to send a crew from our area to yours, so after the raising we would have a reputable contractor in your area bring the home to turnkey. If they aren't familiar with timber frame construction we can have our tech rep to work with the local crew for a few days into the lock-up phase. And our team is always just a phone call away from any issues that may arise during this and the turnkey phase. We find that a full turnkey timber framed home falls between $225-$350 per square foot.

How long does it take to manufacture our timber frame?

Manufacturing the timber frame is one of the quicker parts of the construction process. Once your plans are developed and signed off we require minimum 6-8 weeks lead time for the processing, finishing and delivery of the frame and material package. However, we have a very large log & timber inventory which allows us to fast track projects when necessary to meet most delivery requirements. Do you offer hybrid options? We can produce everything from fully structural timber framed homes to hybrid frames (part timber/part conventional framing), exterior decks and decorative gable trusses & brackets. Our portfolio showcases large residential homes, commercial structures and resorts, but also includes hundreds of smaller homes, cottages, barns & out buildings, pergolas and timber bridges. We've pretty much done it all.

Are Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs) included in your packages?

We have successfully used SIPs in the past, and while they are an efficient system in regards to quick install time and lower on-site labour costs, they are an expensive option there can be less expensive options.  We design / engineer a variety of built-up roof and wall panel systems for our lockup packages. These systems are just as energy efficient as SIPs but are a more economical option as our timber frame structure is the structural component of the home, not the wall & roof systems that are needed in SIP packages.

Do you use Kiln Dried (KD) timbers?

We supply Kiln Dried material to clients that prefer this product or if architectural specifications call for it. Usually when this is requested it's because the client or architect is looking for a "clean" look without as much checking as the standard product. An option we can offer for achieving this look without the expense of KD is to use air dried and seasoned free-of-heart-center (FOHC) interior timbers. Being one of the larger manufacturer in NA we 'deck' / air dry our logs for one year before our manufacturing starts.  Often our 'air dried' timbers reach the same moisture content as Kiln dried timbers - saving our customers a substantial amount of money by air drying.

What species do you use?

Our standard product is #1 or better Douglas-fir, however we will also use Western Red Cedar and occasionally pine. In our mill yard we have a log & timber inventory of over 1 million board feet. The logs are stacked in decks that allow for natural air drying, and our preference is to have the timbers for your frame milled a few months prior to manufacturing in order to let them season. Do you pre-stain your timbers? Yes, our timber frames and our T&G decking come prefinished with 2 coats of factory applied water based UV protectant stain in standard colours, plus we send 1 clear top coat for the timber frame for site application.

Can I use reclaimed timbers for my frame?

We can work with any timber, but please note that reclaimed and recycled timbers come at a premium. This is due to sourcing the product, designing around the material at hand, and engineering issues associated with used timers (often a recycled frame will require more timber and custom metal connectors for structural purposes). A more economical option we offer is for an Antique Finish on new timbers. We use rough sawn timbers and lightly burn then brush them to give an aged look, then apply a stain and clear top coat.

Do you design custom Homes?

Yes! Most of our homes are either modified stock plans or custom creations. For your custom home our in-house design team will create the floor plans and elevations (preliminary design) of your new home, and when the plans are to your liking we model the frame and give you pricing on this and the material package.

Will you work with my architect?

We certainly will - we love working with new talent! We do, however, ask that the plans are brought to us at the preliminary stage in case modifications to the floor plan or elevations are required in order to accommodate the frame. There can be large costs associated with modifying completed architecturals, so the sooner we're involved the more time and money you save. Because timber frame construction is somewhat different than regular construction the plans would need to be detailed correctly for all the subcontractors involved.

Why does your package pricing vary?

Complexity of design, location, labour costs, finishes. Visit our pricing page for more detail.

How can I find out more?

Please feel free to give us a call during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8amor send us an email any time to receive more information on the homes in our portfolio. Where do I start?? - give us a call :)

What differs you from the competition?

We know you can get a timber frame and material package anywhere, but we also know that you will be hard pressed to find the service, professionalism and expertise that comes with our product. Very likely, the Douglas-fir timbers that are used across the continent have been shipped from British Columbia to the North American market. This transport cost is then marked up and built into the cost of the frame, creating a premium. Our location gives us immediate access to some of the most sought after timbers on the planet, and because we start from the raw log don't have to add in the high material purchase costs. Our pricing for premium interior Douglas-fir is on par with Eastern pine.

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