Raising a timber frame home

The raising of a timber frame structure is reminiscent of an old-fashioned barn raising. Most of the work of building the frame has been done at our shop, and things happen quickly. Follow us through the raising of a small frame....

Left: Bright and early in the morning. The platform for this lakeside cottage has been prepared, and the entire Arlington Frame Company crew is on hand. All the pieces of the frame, with their mortises, tenons and notches already cut, have been unloaded onto the deck.

The crew carefully wedge the tenons into the precision precut mortises and secure these large pieces together - not with nails, but hardwood pegs. When the timbers for the first bent are assembled, the bent is raised. For the first time, the structure starts to fill the three-dimensional space it will occupy.

As the bents are raised one by one (this structure has three), the connecting timbers are wedged into place and secured with hardwood pegs. The precut joists and rafters are added to fill in the structure.

When the assembly is complete, the impressive wooden framework stands with a degree of permanence and reliability not found in most other contemporary structures. Timber frame structures built centuries ago still stand today - the techniques, craftsmanship and results stand the test of time!

Many more raised frames, large and small, can be seen in our Gallery.