Thistlewood has provided timber frame design and manufacture for many residential projects in which the homeowner has acted as his or her own general contractor, or hired a G.C. of their own choice. We will provide as much support as required to make the project successful.
Generally we are asked to create a timber frame to fit within an existing floorplan, making modifications as necessary. Because of the way a timber frame is constructed from a series of 'bents' spaced at certain fixed intervals and joined together by beams and purlins, not every floor plan is well-suited to adaptation as a timber frame. The more complex the exterior wall outline, with lots of bays and wings, the more expensive the timber frame is likely to be. It may be that a 'hybrid' structure, part timber frame and part conventional construction, works out best.
If our customer does not have a residential home designer, our design staff can provide more than just the timber frame design. Thistlecraft's services can include full residential design, with complete architectural construction drawings. There is a separate design fee for this service, but this is the best way to ensure that the floor plan is perfectly suited to a timber frame structure.
Once the customer has agreed on a final floor plan and frame design, and we have made sure that the elevations work for windows, doors and dormers, Thistlewood will produce a set of timber frame working drawings to be sent out for engineering approval or modification. This step is especially important in areas where there is high snow load, earthquake activity, or a likelihood of hurricanes, although generally our timber frame designers have already anticipated these requirements.
When the design has engineering approval, Thistlewood prepares shop drawings and is ready to begin to produce the frame according to the project's construction schedule. If Thistlewood is also responsible for construction drawings, these will be finished and provided to the customer to get building approval, and to bid out the contracting. We can assist in selecting a contractor, but cannot of course guarantee their work.
When the weather permits and the production schedule says to start, Thistlewood will begin to fabricate the frame, either in Ontario or in British Columbia. Cutting the frame may be done by machine, by hand, or some combination of the two, depending on the production schedule and the budget available, but everything is manufactured to Thistlewood's consistently high standards. Once the major elements have been checked by test-fitting or measurement, the frame is finished, oiled, and prepared for shipment to the building site. At this stage, custom chip-carvings and other decorative features may be added to the frame. The year the frame was raised and Thistlewood's logo is added to all our frames.
The frame is delivered to the building site and Thistlewood's frame raising supervisor arrives to coordinate a local raising crew provided by the GC and the crane operator. Generally, a typical frame can be raised in 2 to 3 days! Many of our customers celebrate this day by having a frame raising party and inviting friends and family to watch. The experience of seeing the shape of your new home silhouetted against the sky is one you will never forget.
If Thistlewood has been asked to design and supply the SIPS panels to enclose the frame, they will arrive shortly after, and the raising supervisor endures that they are correctly installed. It may take 3 to 5 days to fully enclose a typical house. Once the SIPS are up, the conventional framing crews, roofers, and all the other trades can do their work to complete the house.
Whether you contact our knowledgeable sales staff with your back-of-a-napkin sketch, or with an architect's complete design - either way, we will help you produce a fabulous timber frame home!