Douglas fir timber framing has long been a favorite of log home builders who desire their unique rustic appearance. However, this structural material is now being appreciated as a design element that transcends nostalgic styling, giving opportunities to highlight the kind of quality craftsmanship in which high-end builders specialize.
Timber framing with Douglas Fir often includes some time-tested aspects such as giant trusses, beefy vertical posts, and pegged, hardware-free joints. The kind of solid wood joinery includes specialty pegged and draw bored mortise and tenons that demand the kind of attention to detail that’s become rare in this age of cookie-cutter sub divisions and slipshod workmanship. Those with distinguished tastes know the difference, though, and many of today’s homeowners desire the kind of unique flavor that sets their homes apart. Those who recognize true craftsmanship appreciate the beauty and expertise that contribute to the awe-inspiring beauty of timber frame designs.
Visible woodwork such as exposed beams require a different grade of lumber than the more common structural elements that are hidden from view. Designs favoring timber framing often involve high ceilings and long runs, which further limits the type of wood that can be used. Specialty log products are required, and Douglas Fir is the timber of choice. This species boasts impeccable strength and weather resistance; fortunately, it’s also a readily available resource, since Douglas Fir trees grow to great heights fairly quickly. When 8- and 12-inch square beams in lengths topping 25 feet are required, Douglas Fir can fit the bill. With tight graining that finishes well, this species lends itself to such applications visually, as well.
Douglas Fir trees grow in two distinct regions: the West Coast and the Rocky Mountain region. Because the Coastal variety tend to grow larger and, as a result, yield more large timbers suitable for timber framing needs, J. Gibson McIlvain’s stock is almost exclusively made up of the Coastal species. Many Midwest and East Coast lumber suppliers struggle to stock this domestic species due to the issues related to shipping such large logs such long distances. J. Gibson McIlvain does keep some in a West Coast storage facility as well as in our East Coast facilities, so we can ship to your job site from the East or West Coast, whichever is nearer to your locale.
Because of the unique demands of the timber framing industry, J. Gibson McIlvain has an employee dedicated to this niche market. From sourcing and maintaining structural timber stock that meets high standards of appearance grade to handling the unique shipping demands related to extreme lengths and widths, we’re devoted to ensuring that you have the resources to meet the needs of your high-end clients. If you need 32-inch wide beams or 40-foot-long trusses delivered directly to your job site, we can make it happen.
To find out more about the specific building needs addressed our timber framing department, contact J. Gibson McIlvain today by visiting our website at mcilvain.com or calling toll free (800) 638-9100 to speak with a regional representative.