We love wood, but there's much more to us!
We combine traditional hand-cutting mastery with a modern style and approach.
We love wood, but there's much more to us!
Our Mission is...
To demonstrate our love of wood in everything we do showing it’s the most natural and healthy product to build with.
To build simple and highly efficient homes to serve humans for centuries.
To inspire with the human touch, using traditional skills coupled with new technologies.
To have the reputation as the go-to wood experts who offer ideas, inspiration and individual solutions.
To take whole hearted steps to conserve our planet by doing everything as sustainably as we possibly can.
Expertise & Authentic Craftsmanship
A Swiss Master Timberframer since 1986, Sigi Liebmann founded International Timberframes in Golden, BC in 2003.
While we use modern timber frame homes design technology, we still hand-cut all our wood. We are passionate about keeping the traditions of the timberframing craft alive. Our builds are truly unique and authentic!
Our crew are experienced timberframers. They have the experience to understand heavy timber and how it moves, how it needs to be cut, and how to be installed.
This is what Quality means...
When we say we have 'high quality standards', we're not just talking about craftsmanship. We're also referring to the superior types of wood, finishes, and installation components we use in all our builds.
Quality of wood used will play a huge part in the timberframe look, price and changes 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.
Read our post on Choosing the Right Wood to learn 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.
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.
We use high quality wood connector products. Some builders in the industry cut their installation costs 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.
Are you a builder who is looking for more information on any of the above-mentioned component brands? Visit our sister company at Proven Building Supplies.
Working with Us - Our Process
We are proud to offer 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. Below is a general overview of how our process fits together.
Architectural drawings converted to timberframe structural drawings. Engineering if required.
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.
Cutting, finishing, test-fitting
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.
Delivery & Installation
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 the hour waiting for use, then it can get costly. We pride ourselves 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.