An introduction to the history of timber frame construction


The off site construction firm STREIF can make many timber houses, apartment buildings, educational institutions and healthcare buildings with the method of self build timber frame construction. Traditional timber frame building involves use of heavy timbers to make structures, joints of which are secured by big wooden pegs. You can often still see examples of buildings made in this way with many wooden buildings that have been put together during and before the 19th century. This hints at the lengthy and intriguing history of this type of construction – and we are happy to use the following space to tell you more about this history.


Timber frame building has been used in many different countries and periods


Techniques that are used to make timber frame buildings today have their origins in Neolithic times and have been used in various parts of the world during various periods of history. They have, for example, been used not only in England, France and Germany, but also in ancient Japan, Neolithic Denmark and parts of the Roman Empire. Timber frame construction has often been particularly popular in countries where hardwood trees, like oak, are relatively common.


The Northern European vernacular building style


In England, Germany, Denmark and areas of France and Switzerland in medieval and early modern times, timber was plentiful, but stone and skills that could have been used to dress the stonework weren’t. Hence, half-timbered buildings in what is now known as the Northern European vernacular building style, where the complete skeletal frame of each building was provided by timbers that were split in half, were common.


How you can learn more…


As we mentioned earlier, there are many different wooden buildings that remain standing today and were put together, through use of the timber frame construction method, in the 19th century or earlier. Many of these buildings in Europe include manors, castles and inns – and, through studying such buildings, you could develop a greater understanding of this particular building method. You could also read more pages of the STREIF website to learn ways in which this method can help in construction of many timber homes, apartment blocks and other structures today.