Frequently Asked Questions
What is timberframing?
Timber framing is a method of building that uses heavy timbers joined with carefully crafted mortise and tenon joints that are secured by large wooden pegs. Timberframes are distinct from “post and beam” buildings in that they are fully braced to resist lateral loads (wind and earthquakes). For thousands of years this building system has provided shelter almost everywhere that has good forest resources. Timber frames are relevant today because they create beautiful, durable, open plan structures that can be enclosed with a variety of high performance wall and roof systems including SIPS, strawbales and straw-clay walls.
Does TTF build complete houses, or do you just build timberframes?
Teton Timberframe cuts and raises 8 - 12 timberframes or truss packages each year throughout the northern Rockies. We also general contract one or two turn-key homes in Teton Valley, Idaho or Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
How much will it cost?
We build high performance custom homes for between $250 and $400/SF in Teton County, ID or WY. The range of costs is a function of the complexity of the design, the level of finish and the nature and location of the building site. One valuable service we offer is to help our clients determine if their budget supports building their dream home in Teton Valley or Jackson Hole. The first step in that process is what we call the “feasibility study.” It’s a simple one-page spreadsheet that separates pre-construction costs (design, engineering and permitting) from infrastructure costs (land, driveway, well, septic system, utilities, etc.) and construction costs. Here is a link to that spreadsheet with sample values included for a recent project in Driggs, ID.
If the feasibility study puts your dream home in line with your desired budget the next steps are to get much more specific about the design, project schedule, material specifications, structural and HVAC systems and prepare a detailed whole-house estimate for the project. Please contact us here to schedule an Alignment & Discovery Meeting to see if we're the right builder for your vision.
The cost of our timberframes is also dependent on the complexity of the design, the nature of the joinery and the species and source of the timbers in the frame. Reclaimed, handhewn timber is beautiful and tells a great story; it’s also expensive to buy and challenging to work with which drives up the cost of the finished product. Timber frames cut from kiln dried Douglas fir can be fabricated and raised for around $10/board foot or $750/timber.
How long does it take?
Most of our timberframes can be fabricated, delivered and raised in 4 - 8 weeks. There is a fair bit of design, engineering and milling of timber that takes place before we begin shop work, but that usually occurs while the site is being prepared with excavation, foundations and floor framing.
Whole house construction schedules are as unique as the homes we build. We can build efficient homes under 2000 SF in 6 - 8 months. At the other end of the spectrum we built an 8500 SF timber and stone home in Jackson WY in 14 months.
What kinds of projects do you work on? Is there anything you don’t do?
You only get one chance to give a building soul and we want to be part of that process. Our focus is on designing and building highperformance homes that last for centuries. We have also had lots of fun building timberframe gazebos, stages, bike shops, restaurants, and fancy retail spaces.
We prefer not to add decorative timbers to existing or new buildings that have other structural systems. We call that “trimberframing” or really expensive wall paper. If you’re going to spend money on heavy timbers and the craftsmanship that joins them, why not use them to carry the floor and roof loads they appear to support?
I’m an architect. How do I work with TTF?
Please involve us early in your next timberframe project. We can offer valuable information about timber sizes, allowable spans, joinery, species, finishes and overall “buildability.” We have a structural engineer on our team who is licensed in ID, WY and MT so we can stamp the timberframe portion of the plans or the entire set of construction documents if that is required. Heavy timbers complement many, but certainly not all, architectural styles and building geometries. Please call or email us with your ideas and questions so we can help you determine if we are a good fit for your project.
I’m a general contractor. How do I work with TTF?
Many of our best projects have been collaborations with other talented builders. On those jobs we work as a specialty framing subcontractor. We usually deliver and install the timberframes and trusses that we build at
our shop. For the right builder with the rigging skills and equipment we can provide finished, readyto assemble frames or roof systems for your crew to install. Please call or email us with your ideas and questions so we can help you determine if we are a good fit for your project.
Can I come visit your facility?
Sure! We love to share stories over piles of sawdust. Please call ahead to make an appointment.
Do you build outside of the Jackson, WY/Teton Valley, ID area? How far will your crew travel?
We have raised frames in CA, UT, WY, ID, and MT. We limit our general contracting projects to Teton Valley, ID and Jackson Hole, WY where our crew and team of subcontractors can get home to bed each night.