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Bailey C16

Jun 15, 2022

Back to Basics: Timber Frame Terminology Defined

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Timber frame design is a unique and intricate type of construction that truly stands the test of time. If you are looking into timber frame construction, one of the first things you should do is familiarize yourself with the terminology. Because of the complexity of timber frame design, knowing terminology is critical to understanding what a true timber frame home is and how to communicate ideas to your contractor. The experts at Marks Lumber are here to help guide you on all things timber framing. But first, let’s get back to the basics.


Timber Frame: Frame of large timbers connected by structural woodwork joints and supporting small timbers to which roof, walls, and floors are fastened. Sometimes called a full-frame.

Beam: A horizontal timber that can be load-bearing or non-load-bearing.

Post: A vertical timber.

Joinery: The work of connecting timbers using woodwork joints. Also refers to the joints themselves. Check out our blog on the different types of common timber frame joinery.

Truss: A network of timbers that form a rigid support structure.


Chord: The bottom beam of a truss.

Bent: Assemblage of timbers perpendicular to the ridge, usually the cross frame of a building, sometimes including rafters.

Post and Beam: A system that is primarily made of vertical and horizontal members. Floor are roof loads are carried by principle timbers that are butted together and fastened with structural hardware.

Rafters: Timbers used to support the roof of a building.

Purlin: Horizontal beams that support rafters, spanning the distance between gable ends.


At Marks Lumber, not only do we supply beautiful, circle sawn timbers and lumber for your timber frame homes, but we can also help bring your dreams to life. With years of experience in timber frame construction, Marks Lumber can help in a variety of ways from initial concepts, design, manufacturing, and construction. Contact us today to discuss how we can help with your upcoming project.


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