A-Frame Timber Home Designs
When most people think about building their dream home, some may desire to build a home that blends natural and sometimes historic beauty with its environment. A-frame timber homes do just that.
Traditional Timber Homes
Traditional timber frame houses (Tudor homes) were half-timber(ed) buildings built with a solid wood frame . . . usually oak at the time . . . and other locally available materials like wattle (made from branches and twigs), bricks, and even animal hair mixed with dung, etc… These were used to fill in the gaps between the load bearing timber frames.
Timber was the medieval builder’s main material because trees were abundantly available. At the time, it seemed forests will last forever.
From building a home to furnishing it, wood was used for virtually everything that goes into a homes' construction. It is said that yesterday's timber is the equivalent of today's steel and plastic. Asides the A-frame, wood was extensively used for buildings:
- Roof tiles
- Interior partitions
- Door and window frames
- A building's timber frame
The forests supplied the locals with everything they required, from willows to weaves that were found between the timber frame panels. And for the mighty posts, sills, wall plates, and the 'bressummers' of the timber frame itself, oak or any available hardwood was used.
The earliest A-frame homes were erected using pairs of curved timber called 'cruck' and start out looking like the frame of an upturned boat. This design was no coincidence because the timber frame tradition (probably) originated in Normandy and was made popular by sea-faring Vikings who, in the 9th century, beached their broad wooden boats at Northmannia, as the region was called then.
The early A-frame homes were erected using pairs of curved timber called 'cruck' and start out looking like the frame of an upturned boat. This design was no coincidence because the timber frame tradition (probably) originated in Normandy and was made popular by sea-faring Vikings who, in the 9th century, beached their broad wooden boats at Northmannia, as the region was called then.
The Vikings were boat builders and so knew a lot about working with timber. Their main profession was ship building. Vikings knew how to hew hardwood trees with wedges and beetle to form matching uprights for cruck frames.
Once these frames were formed and erected, thatch was used to cover the entire structure, making it resemble a giant teapot cozy! The sides of the building may then be filled with coppiced staves, woven into a wall which was in turn rendered using a mix of whatever was available to them . . . mud, daub, clay, and/or domestic animal dung mixed with animal hair.
Timber frames were valuable material and it has been said that some household occupants will dismantle their timber homes and take the frames and floor boards with them whenever they moved house.
Present Day's A-frame Buildings
Today, timber frame homes are constructed in much simpler ways. The basic structure is a skeleton or inner frame of softwood that is enveloped within other building materials like bricks and mortar, which serves as added support and an outer protection for the building.
A-frame timber houses are familiarly associated with certain regions, especially in colder areas of the world. They invoke the ideal getaway cabin, holiday resort, or mountain home, where the house occupant can be in very close proximity with natural settings. However, this doesn't mean you won’t find these designs in suburban areas, something that may be desired by some people living in the suburbs.
Timber frame residential houses were very popular in the 1960s through to the 1970s. It was like a sudden ‘rave’. People loved the A-frame’s sleek shape and simple but aesthetically pleasing interior layouts with the scenic views from within. They set the standard for dramatic, contemporary vacation homes for the elite and adventurous...
Timber frame homes come under the group of eco-friendly houses today. They are often constructed with cedar or similar wood, with a combination of natural stone that makes it blend beautifully into natural serene settings. You can also take full advantage of a great view of a mountain, lake, wooded area, or even the ocean.
A-shaped homes are named for their steep pitch and the two-sided roof that extends right down from its peak to the building's foundation. Because of this shape, they are a bit limited in interior space and have limited vertical walls. You will find architectural plans of one-and-half or two storeys that offer open and inviting interiors with amazing soaring ceilings.
There are the masonry fireplaces and comfortable half floor lofts, 2 to 4 bedrooms with storage space in the attic (within the roof peak) of the home.
Why Oak Wood Frames are Best
A-Frame house designs are a beautifully rustic but sophisticated choice for those who want to enjoy living a minimalist modern style, but with a country setting.
Compared to timber constructed homes of centuries past, today's softwood timber frame homes are like matchwood. But if you use oak you’ll discover that it is the perfect building material for A-shaped homes.
For instance, one of the qualities it possesses is this . . . with an unfortunate fire incident; an oak beam has a protective layer of charcoal formed around its outer ‘body’ which delays damage to its core.
Compare this with an unprotected steel beam which will buckle under intense heat and subsequently bring the building down, unless it’s been pre-coated with expensive intumescent paint.
Additionally, modern wind tunnel tests have indicated that half-timber(ed) frames are capable of standing up to a tornado's awesome might.
A-Frame House Plans and Blueprints
If you want to build an A-frame house, there are great floor plans and blueprints on-line with a very wide range to choose from.
There is always one that will suit your needs and lifestyle.
Also, if you find one that you really like, but feel like making some change to a particular section or feature it has, it can be custom-altered to suit your requirements.
And for those who've always wanted to self-build their own timber-framed homes from the ground up, there are tremendous savings in both costs and time by purchasing designs, estimates and complete blueprints of timber frame home plans on-line.
You want to build a new house, and you need to view varied designs before making a final decision. What will you do?
© 2011 viryabo