Frequently Asked Questions

Is an air exchanger (heat recover ventilator) necessary in a timber frame house that is insulated by these panels?
Due to the high energy efficient, air tight nature of homes enclosed with these panels, an air exchanger or heat recovery ventilator is necessary.

What species of wood does The Custom Woodworking Co. use for its Timber Frames?
Many varieties of wood are available including white pine, norway pine, oak and fir. We primarily use eastern white or norway pine (red pine), alone or in combination with other species. Our connecting “pins” are all in oak.


Do you ever use recycled wood in your timber frames?
We have built timber frame structures with recycled timbers. When old buildings are demolished, the salvaged timbers are generally of excellent quality and we find it can be quite rewarding to bring in an ancient timber back to life.


What design options are available?
Design possibilities are virtually endless with a Custom Woodworking Home. Exterior siding, flooring styles, window shapes, room sizes, etc. Bent styles and their layout, along with timber size and exposure of joinery all play a part in the design.


Can a conventionally designed home be constructed as a timber frame?
Usually a conventional plan can be easily adapted by our design team.

Can the Custom Woodworking Co. design our new home as well as build it?
We offer a full design and engineering service.


How do you finish the surface of the timbers?
Our timber frames are available in four different textured finishes: planed/sanded, rough sawn and hand hewn. As a final surface finish, we typically apply one coat of Danish oil when a natural finish is desired. The oil finish acts as a protective coat against scuff marks that may be inflicted during handling, assembly and raising. These can be easily scraped off and re-touched. Other stains, such as whitewash, pickled pine and darker stains can be used to suit individual tastes.


Do the cracks or “checks” in the timbers affect the strength of the timber frame?
Because the timber frames are cut “green” there is some associated shrinkage and checking. This checking does not affect the structural integrity of the timber frame, but rather adds character to the timbers.


How long does it take to build a Custom Woodworking Timber Frame Home?
Depending of course on the size and difficulty of the building and the site conditions, you can achieve a turn key building in approximately the same time as it would take to build conventionally.

Can I obtain a total Material Package from the Custom Woodworking Co.?
We can supply a complete Material Package or specific materials to take the project to any desired stage.


Where are your buildings fabricated?
Our production facility is located in Kenora, Ontario, Canada, 2 Hours east of Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Can we talk to other Custom Woodworking Home Owners?
Yes. We would be happy to introduce you to other Custom Woodworking Home Owners to discuss their building experience with us.


Is a special foundation necessary for a timber frame house?
Conventional foundations are all that is required for our timber frame homes. In some cases we may require a specific detail.


How is a Timber Frame Home finished on the outside?
Once the panels are installed over the frame, the walls and roof can be finished with any material that you would use on a conventional building.


What about electrical wiring, plumbing and heating when using the structural insulated panels?
Electrical wiring with the panels poses no special problems. Wiring for outlets/switches can be run through small channels made in the panels while they are being secured to the timber frame. Interior walls are framed and covered conventionally, accommodating plumbing and heating and any other wiring.

Who looks after the actual raising of the timber frame and application of the panels?
The assembly and raising of a true timber frame requires the same degree of expertise that goes into the production of the various timbers. To ensure that our high standards of quality are maintained, we are to look after the assembly and raising of the timber frame. We’re also well equipped to take care of the quick and efficient installation of the structural insulation panels. We always include raising and panel application costs in our quoted price.


How does a Custom Woodworking timber frame home compare with a conventional stud framed house?
This is a difficult comparison because of the obvious differences in the two types of construction. We believe that if you were to build conventionally to the same energy efficient levels and similar high quality custom interior finish, you would most likely pay more. At best we believe you would pay the same as a custom home and as little as 10% more than an average home. The substantial savings in energy and the longevity of our structures make our buildings nothing less than an excellent value of which you are rewarded annually and at time of resale.


Can I help in erection of the frame and installation of the panels?
We have had owners participate in various stages of construction with fair success. What should be understood her is that this arrangement can and most often will slow the building process depending on your skill and available time. We often offer consultation to the general contractor through the entire project.

If we haven’t answered questions, please don’t hesitate to call orEmail →