I really like the apparent potential for open spaces and light and the
beauty of the wood and/or seeing the structure-- the posts and beams--
as exposed as possible-- at least from the inside...
That said, I was just wondering what would be cheaper to build; a
timber frame construct with an external load bearing wall (or where
the external wall is exactly in-between the posts), or one where the
post and beams/lintels are inside the home and exposed that way, while
the exterior wall is a simple non-load-bearing shell, a distance out
from the beams.
that it was cheaper and/or easier to build external walls that were
not load-bearing. (Presumably, the timber would benefit from not being
exposed to the elements.)
Also, would stick frames be cheaper than post and beam frames? I
prefer post and beam, based on what I've seen, and have always been a
fan of renovated barns for homes.
SIPS seem a little dubious to me from an aesthetic soulful standpoint
"Although there has been a move away from larger beams (or at least
toward engineered wood) in order to reduce pressure to cut old growth
forests, this conventional wisdom may be less relevant when applied to
FSC certified beams. By buying larger beams, you're encouraging the
woodlot owners to cut some trees on a longer rotation, promoting a
forest that is more ecological robust."
or, should I venture, bamboo.....Japanese timber bamboo, perhaps. or
Agreed if you're suggesting post and beams being made of other materials.
As for bamboo, I'd be good with having it in some contexts around the
house, such as in the flooring and some trip, but not really in the
typical and maybe cliched "asian garden clumps" context though (no
offense to that Clumping Bamboo guy on here)
Mind you, what might also be really cool and potentially exotic is if
there was such a thing as large-diameter bamboo-laminate posts and beams.
There is such a thing as "house bamboo", used for ....houses and
partitions. When I was a child in the Pacific, it was also used for
houses built on stilts , made good climbing stuff for geckos to get up
and lives on your screens.
There are now a buncha composite bamboo products, and babmboo sort of
plybeams are not far behind as a mosture resistant and stronger
renewable less offgassing material than wood. Quite a number of the
floors in the Solar design contest on the mall were bamboo, like
everyone discovered it all at once. Only saw one composting toilet, though
I'm no carpenter, but isn't the point of post and beam construction that
there is no need for load bearing walls, and rather the joints take care of
the lateral loads, leaving walls to be mainly infill? If there are load
bearing walls, what exactly would be the form of construction on those? If
your going to make stick built load bearing walls there is no need for the
post and beam. However, maybe you mean stick built walls with exposed beams
Anyways, I agree a lot with the exposed wood. I like to see how a building
comes together (and I know that is a personal preference). I've always had
a thing for large exposed glu-lam beams. I was thinking the other day how
it would be kind of neat to take back the 3 1/2" wasted air space between my
living room and the hallway to use for bookshelves. Rather than just build
them over the finish, you could build into the wall and gain a couple of
extra inches for the hallway. The only possible reason to keep it I guess
would be sound transmission, but it's not really a place where such a thing
needs to be considered.
I think so, which is what seems to lend itself to lots of glass (not
that a load bearing wall can't be a glass wall).
You can make the joints any way you want as long of course as they're
They sound nice. While exposed wood in general can be nice, I've seen
places where it's way too much for me-- like from the ceiling to the
floor in wood. I like a balanced, maybe even Zen-like mix of materials,
patterns and textures. (As an aside, I'm also less than crazy about
I like light and space a lot, and a view and connection to the outside
where at all possible, as well as exposed structure, like the posts and
beams, but also even the ductwork and pipes-- where possible. Obviously,
it's doubtful people would like to hear everytime a toilet was flushed
and the water and whatever else rushing down the pipe just after. :)
Definitely a good idea, although wouldn't you lose hallway space with
That makes me think of those cool stairs-shaped dressers/cabinets that
fit like puzzles snugly under stairways.
Yeah I agree, I've seen some places that were just too much wood. Balance
is always good. One of the nicest homes I saw used standard stick built
walls, but had large posts and curved glu-lams here and there over the large
spaces. Looked really nice.
Yeah I would lose a little space in the hallway. When we first came to look
at our house, the original owners had some shallow bookcases there, and it
didn't really affect the hallway too badly, didn't feel cramped or anything
(they were about the depth that you would use for DVD cases). So I got
thinking if you took back the wall cavity space you could have even deeper
shelving and be ablt to use it for more than just DVDs. Of course it would
need some type of backing so you don't punch a hole through the plaster on
the backside so you'd get maybe 2 to 3 inches of the actual 3.5 in there.
I always thought only newer homes had firestops. Mine was built in 1924, no
insulation, not nearly enough electrical outlets (though the box outside has
been upgraded). I wouldn't imagine there being much in the way of pipes in
this particular wall.
Post & beam construction would be more costly, as there's really not much
cost savings on the "shell" construction (still has to be insulated, has to
withstand the elements, window/door framing is still labor intensive (even
though header sizes would potentially be reduced). Depending upon the size
and complexity (spans, number of floors, snow/wind loads, etc.) of the home
the costs might be worth it (if it's small & simple enough - don't think
outside the box!). If the budget is large enough, go for it. Otherwise,
you might be able to do a combination of stick framed & post and beam to
minimize the costs while still achieving the look.
Thanks... I would be thinking of simple and small, so maybe it's still
feasible. I'd also like a lot of window area, which should cover much of
the external-wall area (although I imagine that comes with its own set
of pros and cons).
Post-and-beam doesn't have to be made out of wood, though, as I still
like the exposed qualities of bolts and large metal spans and other
pieces. I'm also good with other materials such as fabricated/laminated
beams and the like. I guess I just like a feeling of structural and
spacial simplicity and purity. Stick-frames somehow seem too
"toothpicky" for my taste and slender metal poles also contribute to
this sense too, so it's not just the material, but the shape and proportion.
I still have my heart set on throwing a couple of shipping containers
into another design, by the way, but it looks like there might be some
time before that gets done.
A combo's a good idea-- multimedia-- especially if stick frame is
somehow more to scale-- as part of something smaller.
I also like lots of uninterrupted windows, which is in part also why
post and beam appeals perhaps.
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