Bracewood
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House exteriorFrom the outside Bracewood looks the simple cozy cottage, but a walk through the front door quickly reveals the massive beams and intricate joinery of its timberframe interior. For a moment you are stuck with the impression that the house is bigger on the inside than its exterior implies.

Although timber framed structures date to before Christ, they weren't popular in Europe and Japan until the Middle ages when they enjoyed a golden era. Westminster Abbey was constructed in the 14th century during a period in which large trees were still available for milling into structural timbers. But with the decline in suitable materials and the development of cheaper construction techniques, for the past 150 years timber framing has been ignored as a construction method until it was rediscovered two decades ago.

House interiorUnlike post-and-beam construction which uses iron bracing to attach the timbers, true timber framing involves the careful cutting and fitting of wood using only wooden pegs driven through the joints. The wooden bones of the structure are fully exposed to view from the inside and their beauty is complimented by the intricate joinery which holds everything together.

Historically, after the frame is assembled and raised, the areas between the timbers were infilled with mud, bricks, rocks and the like. Modern structures use stress skin panels, a sandwich of expanded foam with plywood on each side, a highly efficient insulator. Today, a well-designed and constructed timberframe is not only a sight to behold but also a comfortable and efficient place to call home.

     2001 by ged