Timber frame cottages, old world methods meet new technology.

To be able to show off a spectacular timber frame, every cut and every joint must be precise. Before technology, the logs for timberframe homes were all hewn, finished and joined by the hands of skilled craftsmen. And while there are still proponents of that method, CNC technology allows for precision milling in a much shorter but still labour-intensive timeframe.

“When the timbers arrive onsite, many people don’t realize the hundreds of hours of labour that have already been expended to prepare them,” explains Jeff Bowes, President and Partner at Canadian Timberframes. “But even with new technology we haven’t left our roots behind. We still use traditional mortise and tenon joints and authentic joinery which have retained solid engineering capacity for centuries.” And some of that old-world touch can be incorporated in other ways. “We have skilled carvers who can add unique features and detailing to the timbers for a very personalized look. One of our clients wanted sailboats carved into his roof trusses of his waterfront cottage. We pride ourselves on being able to provide that personal touch despite the technology.” 

Once the CNC machines process the timbers to the size and specifications for the project, the finish is applied. A
clear coat gives a traditional pale Douglas fir look, but custom finishes like a circle-sawn antique finish, a distressed look or any tone of stain can be used to complement other design features like hardwood flooring or trim. Only then are the timbers ready to travel to the project site. “The timbers are at a furniture quality finish when they leave our facility,” says Jeff. “They are packaged in weather-proofed bundles and are carried by flatbed truck to the site along with the wall and roof systems that we manufacture.”

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