Log Homes vs Timber Frame Homes

Log vs Timber Frame: What’s the difference?

Designing and building your custom home is an investment in the future for you and your family.  Such a well-thought out decision deserves to be one that you are happy with forever. Careful planning goes into every detail of your custom designed home for months- or even years. For you, there is something beautifully artistic about the intricate detail and noticeable craftsmanship of a home made from white pine or red cedar.

Perhaps you envision a traditional, log home – or maybe you want something a little more modern with a combination of contemporary and traditional style that a timber frame offers. No matter what your vision is, you deserve to have the home of your dreams designed exactly the way you want. One of the best ways to ensure your vision matches your final product is to understand the nuances between a log home and a timber frame home.

In today’s world, it’s common for people to use the terms “log home” and “timber frame home” interchangeably. While they are similar, log homes and timber frame homes are quite different. Both are excellent options for clients looking for solid built homes that will last for generations to come, but the construction and aesthetic details are what make them each distinctive. Now, let’s dive into the features of log homes and timber frame homes respectively to learn more about what makes each home style unique.

Log Homes

First, let’s discuss the qualities that represent a log home in the world of home design and building. Beaver Mountain’s log homes are crafted using sustainably harvested 10” white pine or red cedar logs. One benefit of using 10” solid logs means that log homes are typically stronger than conventionally built homes. The thermal mass of our 10” logs also gives you an energy efficient home. This is an incredibly desirable feature especially when building a home in the Northeast where large temperature swings occur over the course of a year.

When it comes to the overall aesthetic of a log home, the traditional look of stacked logs is truly unmistakable. Today, modern log homes feature large windows and skylights that let in natural light and help the interior feel bright and airy. Many log home owners are drawn to the elegance and artistic details of vaulted ceilings, exposed beams, and the rich warmth of white pine or western red cedar wood throughout the home. A custom crafted log home will truly be an investment that lasts for generations and one that Beaver Mountain clients are sure to love for years to come.


Timber Frame Homes

Although they are often discussed in direct comparison to log homes, timber frame homes deserve a category all their own. Similar to log homes, there is an art to timber framing that creates a unique structural and design element that draws people in. Timber frame homes allow for more architectural complexity due to the framed wall sections and unlimited interior and exterior combinations. Their structural design allows for the exterior to be easily customized in a variety of architectural styles such as wood siding, stone, or a combination of options. Clients can mix and match siding and trim to give their home a fully unique look from the outside.

The interior of timber frame homes also allow for design flexibility. Clients can choose to have a more traditional look of tongue and groove paneled walls and ceilings or use drywall to create clean and modern interior lines or combine the two to their taste. The natural beauty of exposed timbers fit in with many different design styles making timber frame homes a wonderful option for clients looking for flexibility in their vision of home design.

Timber frame homes feature handcrafted structural frame wall sections that fit together precisely. Just like with our log homes, we use sustainably harvested white pine or red cedar in the design and building systems of our timber frame homes. Beaver Mountain’s timber frame building system is designed so that the main section of the home, second floor, and roof are structurally timber framed using posts and beams. Additionally, we offer a wide variety of truss options designed to match the unique style of each individual home. Timber frame homes designed by Beaver Mountain feature up to R-28 insulation for framed wall sections and up to R-60 for roofing systems. This is a huge benefit for those looking to build in the cold climate of the Northeast US; especially New York State.

Understanding the qualities of both log homes and timber frame homes helps you decide which building system you want. Those who prefer a more traditional look might gravitate towards a log home, while those who prefer architectural diversity might prefer a timber frame home. Some may even want to combine log walls with timber framed second floors and roof systems. Those homes are typically called a hybrid home. Beaver Mountain does not offer a standard materials log home “kit”. Instead, each custom home is a site specific design featuring materials chosen by the client that will best suit their lifestyle, personal style, and needs.

We know our clients value home design that features beautiful aesthetics and true craftsmanship inside and out. Designing and building a custom log home or timber frame home is truly a first-hand experience in living within the walls of your own personal work of art. We hope that the information shared in this article inspires you in your journey of crafting your own perfectly tailored log or timber frame home. Beaver Mountain’s team of experts are here to guide each of our clients through every step of the design and build process. We are very proud of the quality of materials, the artistry, and the level of customer service we offer to our clients when it comes to designing and building a personalized one-of-a-kind luxury log or timber frame home.