We are proud to call ourselves wood experts offering our practical experience, knowledge, quality wood and timberframe design and installation solutions.
We understand it can be a daunting task for both client and builder as there are so many decisions to make. Our wood expertise allows us to make a complex process as simple as possible for you.
Here are the factors in our expertise that make us a high-quality timberframer.
Timberframe and carpentry are similar, but not the same. It takes years of practical experience and real skill to understand heavy timber and how it moves, how it needs to be cut, and how to be installed. Structural understanding is essential. Make sure your timberframer has skills and experience. International Timberframe was founded by a Swiss Master timberframer who has over 30 years experience and has offered advice and expertise all over the world. The crew at International Timberframes are experienced timberframers in addition to be being fully qualified Carpenters. If any on-site adjustments are required, our crew of craftsmen can hand-cut to new dimensions ensuring a quality fit and finish.
Design & Planning
We have extensive knowledge in Heavy Timber design and construction and can assist you with design and planning of your timberframe home or cabin. We know it can sometimes be difficult to visualise the end result, so, we design everything on a CAD model which allows us to show you 3D visuals of what the construction will look like.
Once you're happy with the 3D design we prepare structural drawings if needed, and can arrange for these to be engineered and stamped by a certified Engineer in your area. We are Certified Passive House designers too and can help with planning in this area.
A timberframer may take some rough measurements and cut beams to those measurements, but floors can be uneven, buildings out of square, ground foundations are sometimes not level and framing out by only millimeters can have a massive impact over a long span. International Timberframes is one of the very few timberframers who has a Leica Builder Total Station. We come to site with the Leica, shoot measurements on a 3D scale and import them to our CAD programme.
We hand-cut the timber to these precise measurements prior to delivering to the jobsite. This results in a speedy and accurate installation. Accuracy from the start of the project will result in a superior end result.
Quality of wood used will play a huge part in the timberframe look, price and change over time. Expect to pay more for better quality wood, and by that we mean wood from sustainably managed forests, wood that is free of heart rather than boxed heart and wood that is kiln dried. Click here to find out the difference in quality between free of heart and boxed heart wood and between kiln dried and non-kiln dried wood.
Wood dries, twists and moves over time and if you choose the cheapest you may get more cracks and twists than you'd like. Make sure you know what you're getting by way of quality - you may regret it in later years.
Some timberframers cut all the wood using a CNC machine, every notch, hole and joint programmed by an operator who pushes wood in one side and watches it come out the other. At International Timberframes our values are rooted in keeping the traditional craft of hand-cutting alive. We believe the human eye knows which side of the wood is best to notch and cut and face outwards and which pieces are best used for which features. CNC machines do not have these skills and you will see it in your timberframe.
On site should things have changed it means our crew of craftsmen can hand-cut as needed to complete the accurate installation.
Quality of Finish
We offer sanded, wirebrushed or rough sawn surfaces for the timberframe. Once the surface is decided we make sure you know what you're getting by providing wood finish and colour samples early in the process. International Timberframes only uses the highest quality stains and finishes, VOC free where possible. Inferior stains and finishes can result in costly maintenance over the life of your timberframe. We understand what goes into protecting wood and can help extend the life of the finish and suggest the most appropriate maintenance plan. We stain the timbers in a controlled environment to make sure that the treatment cures fully before it leaves our shop.
A large part of your budget can be spent on installation. You may save money upfront using cheaper materials and less skilled tradespeople, but if they take longer on the installation and you're paying by the hour and have heavy craning equipment rented by hour waiting for use, then it can get costly. International Timberframes prides itself on superior preparation from measurement, to drawings, to hand-cutting, sanding and staining and pre-assembly prior to delivery to job-site. Many clients tell us of the joy watching our skilled crew work efficiently and professionally to fit the pieces together in minimal time.
During installation costs can be cut by using cheap and poor quality connectors and screws. We use only high quality connectors, post bases, wood to wood connectors and non-corroding screws from Pitzl and Heco to ensure the structures last for centuries.
The Build Process
International Timberframes has in-depth understanding of Building Code Regulations and we pride ourselves on staying up to date with their changes. This saves costly remedy further down the line. We are considerate of others involved in the build: drywaller, painters, electricians, plumbers etc. We think of things practically for everyone involved in the project which ensures things are done properly and efficiently. We are flexible and responsive: we try to work with ever changing job-site timescales.
We understand the real issues and anticipate challenges and propose solutions: at planning stage, design stage, engineering stage and at final timberframe installation stage.