Frequently Asked Questions for Timber Frame Services in Portland and Estacada, OR


Framework Plus is dedicated to guiding you through the process of choosing the timber structure that will best suit your needs. For your convenience, we have provided you with the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

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About Framework Plus

We offer certain standard style components, custom design options, as well as made-to-order kits. Our product inventory includes everything from pergolas and pavilions to gazebos and timber frame barns. Our skilled craftsmen can even build larger structures such as entire homes, grand entryways, timber frame churches, commercial structures, and community buildings.

Our structures are made of traditional hand-crafted mortise and tenon joinery. These centuries-old construction methods are used to create beautiful, modern structures. We use Timber Pro Coatings to stain our products and provide attractive wood finishes that will help to protect your product. Although Portland and Estacada, OR are our main service areas, our kits can be shipped anywhere in the United States. You can learn more about traditional timber framing techniques and Framework Plus product offerings with our glossary of terms below.


What is a timber frame?

This classic type of construction uses large heavy timbers, connected with a system of wooden pegs and holes. In this system, all parts of the structural frame, including the roof trusses, the posts, and the beams, interlock together with no nails, screws, or metal brackets.

What is post & beam?

This modern adaptation of timber framing uses metal fasteners to connect timbers together. The posts are vertical pieces of wood that support the roof. The beams are horizontal pieces of wood that connect the posts together and form the base of the roof truss. The tie beam is a horizontal piece that runs the length of the house.

What is a hybrid home?

A hybrid home allows you to use timber framing in certain parts of your home, such as the dramatic great room, while using conventional stick framing to complete the rest of the house. The timber frame portions of a hybrid home usually include the main living area and may include an entryway and attached outdoor area.

What is a hammer bent truss?

The use of hammer bents allows for the addition of beautiful cathedral ceiling features to your custom home. The construction of the bent ceiling can be seen in the Westminster Hall, constructed in England in 1395. A bent is a cross-section of the home that provides more shape. Two common modern examples are the hammer beam truss and the modified hammer beam truss. According to Vermont Timberworks, “Bents can be modified to almost any style, and different bents can be used in the same building to form L’s, additions, porches, and sheds.”

What is reclaimed timber?

Beautiful woods used in the past are becoming scarcer, and new home construction and renovation projects are now incorporating reclaimed timbers. When beautiful pieces of wood are reclaimed from old buildings, they can be customized by a recycled lumber company for new projects. For example, timbers might be resawn, sanded, surfaced, wire brushed, or sandblasted. This option is perfect for building homes with wood that can no longer order from domestic or foreign lumber suppliers.

What is a timber accent?

Accents allow you to add small components of timber framing to your new or existing home to add interest and character. These could include an entryway, interior trusses, or an attached outdoor living patio cover.

What are mortise and tenon?

The mortise and tenon joint has been used for thousands of years by woodworkers around the world to join pieces of wood, mainly when the adjoining pieces connect at an angle of 90°. In its basic form, it is both simple and strong. Although there are many joint variations, the basic mortise and tenon comprise two components: the mortise hole and the tenon. The tenon, formed on the end of a member generally referred to as a rail, is inserted into a square or rectangular hole cut into the corresponding member. The tenon is cut to fit the mortise hole exactly and usually has shoulders that seat when the joint fully enters the mortise hole. The joint may be glued, pinned, or wedged to lock it in place.

How is the kit shipped and will the shipper unload upon arrival?

We will load the kit on to a truck with a shipping company – usually a flat bed or curtain side. No, they do not unload. You would need to have a small fork lift on site. Another option would be to have it dropped at a local lumber yard and then you could have them deliver the package to you and off load it for you. Many lumber companies offer this service.

Can this kit be put together by hand or is heavy equipment needed to erect?

We recommend a Genie Lift, crane or reach forklift for setting the higher beams. It also helps having a few strong guys to help move the beams around.

When do I pay?

We ask for 50% down with signed contract and 50% when a kit ships. We accept checks or credit cards for payments.

Is there financing available?

We can recommend a lender that is familiar with our product. They offer a program that can help clients with the costs of adding an outdoor living space to a new house or a home they’re already in. The client can roll the costs of upgrades into their mortgage.

Is there a footing detail available that can be used for contractors to provide quotes?

Yes, we can provide a detailed plan with the foundation footings. If needed, we can also provide engineering for your state.

What is the turn-around time from placing order to delivery of the kit?

Once we receive an order we start the process. That process consists of drawing the plans and sending them off to the engineer. Once we have approval we will order timber (or provide engineered plans to client for the permit process if necessary). When the timber package arrives in our shop all beams are re-milled and then the layout and cutting process begins. Once cut, all joints are test fitted and predrilled for the oak peg fasteners. All timbers are then wheel sanded and stained in the clients choice of color. Kits are packaged and ready for shipment. This whole process can take 2-3 months depending on the engineers schedule, the amount of time to receive timber and what else we have going on in the shop. Spring is our busy time – everyone wants it in time for Summer. Order Early!

What kind of stain do you use?

We use Timber Pro Coatings. We apply 2 coats (in your choice of color) prior to a structure leaving our shop. It is recommended you apply a clear maintenance coat 6-12 months after installation and then as needed to maintain the beauty and protection of the wood. Timber Pro’s unique wood finishes protect your outdoor wood with durable penetrating renewable oils that are carried deep into the wood by water. Once the water evaporates during the drying process it leaves behind a naturally tough wood protectant with very low odor. Timber Pro’s Deck & Fence Formula repels water and stabilizes your wood without the hazardous chemicals found in many wood preservatives.

What is “checking” in a timber?

Checking is the process during which the wood grain begins to separate while the timber is drying or experiences changes in moisture. This process causes a crack or “check” in the wood. It is important to note that checking occurs in all timbers and does not directly impact the strength or stability of your wood.

What is special about “free of heart” timbers?

Free of heart timbers are cut without using any of the center (or heart) of the tree. Free of heart timbers are more stable and frequently feature minimal checking or twisting.

How do I get started?

Look through our gallery and find a style you like. Decide on the size that will work in your space and then call or email us. We will work with you to make sure the kit we provide for you will be exactly what you are dreaming of for your outdoor space.

Can I customize a kit?

Yes, we can work with you to design a structure that meets your needs in the style you love.

Feel free to browse our gallery to get inspiration and ideas for your project. Contact us today at 503.669.7063 to request your free quote.