From personal appearance to complete home design, fashion-forward thinking is about being distinctive. So why shouldn’t the same rule apply to your home’s individual style?Opting to build a timber-frame home already declares your desire to build outside the box, but the choices you make when designing that home can whisper hints of your style in more subtle ways. While some design decisions are merely aesthetic, others are essential to the structures of your new home’s interior space.
Bent Into ShapeA truss is the timbered unit composed of some combination of vertical posts, girts, main rafters, struts and knee braces joined together with pegs to form a single complete section of the frame called a bent. This bent is then used to support your home at the ends, center or both. Put together on the ground and then raised by hand or crane, the bents are then joined with another bent by ridge beam, girts and perhaps purlins to form a bay — the area of space between two bents.
Truss TalkThere are a number of truss styles to choose from when planning your home. Each style may be used for one story or two, depending on personal preference, load capacity, window placement and room layout. Whether your style is contemporary, traditional, rustic or refined, one choice is sure to be a perfect fit for your timber home. And if you can’t decide, combine a few different styles to create a truly unique interior look.
King.King posts are perfect for large great rooms or areas where the trusses will have to span greater distances. King posts come in two varieties: suspended and full. A suspended king-post truss with a single, vertical post is often used for areas that are about 16 feet wide, a comfortable-sized room with the option for centered windows or furniture. The full-length king post allows for wider spans, but also includes a vertical post that transfers the load of the ridge beam to the floor. Because of this, a full-length king post would best be used in between bays or on an end wall where windows or wall spaces could be balanced on either side of the post.
The horizontal beam of this style brings rooms to a human scale, offering a cozy feel to a space despite the vaulted ceilings. Keep in mind that the bent girt (a horizontal beam that reinforces the girt) may limit placement of tall furniture; while centered vertical posts and braces limit the possibilities for upper-level windows in your plan. Also, a post may be in the way of a fireplace or television armoire, which needs to be centered for ideal room arrangement.
Queen.A queen post is a rectangle within a triangle that effectively opens up entryways and focal points in your home. This design allows for a window or eye-catching architectural element under the ridge, while keeping the lower part of the wall open for picture windows or large furnishings.
A fully extended queen-post configuration can be used to frame the fireplace while simply adding a beam between the posts can create the perfect mantel. Like king posts, this style offers greater width possibilities, thanks to the vertical posts that extend to the floor and transfer the load.
Hammerbeam.The strength of the hammerbeam offers the possibility of wide expanses of about 24 feet without the need for vertical support posts. That means you could include a whole wall of uninterrupted glass with only enough framing to hold the glass together and a hammerbeam supporting the roof.
The most complex of all the joinery systems, hammerbeam bents can be more expensive, but the price may be well worth it for the breathtaking effect. The lack of horizontal beams will result in a decidedly lofty look, which is perfect for showcasing your landscape.