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How are timber wall frames and roof trusses constructed?

Timber-Roof-Trusses (1)

Timber wall frames and timber roof trusses in construction are more popular than ever, particularly for self-builds. This is because they are faster and easier to use than most other building methods. Timber frames are often built from robust hardwoods like oak and offer various advantages over many other materials, including water resistance and resistance to fungal/bacterial infestation. Timber frames are best applied to simple structural designs like houses or smaller assemblies. Wall frames and roof trusses can help create a sturdy structure with superb aesthetics, but exactly how are timber wall frames and roof trusses constructed?

The process of building timber frames


The structure is made up of prefabricated sections, so a design must be produced and given to the manufacturer. Many companies offer a range of predesigned structures alongside bespoke services where required. This means there often isn’t the need for an architect, depending on the nature of the construction. The provider can ensure all planning and fire regulations are adhered to before construction begins, along with basic advice on construction for simpler builds.

Construction of the frames

The roof trusses and wall frames incorporate hardwood studs and braces. These are nailed to the top and base plates with simple butt joints. The surface of an outer wall typically includes cladding with a sheet material that is screwed or nailed to the stud work. These two elements combine to transfer vertical and horizontal loads to the foundations. There will be a breathable, water-resistant membrane added to the boards that form the exterior wall. This protects that outer layer during building and provides an additional line of defence against moisture penetration. Open-frame constructions possess no further frame elements, but a closed-frame construction will include boards attached to the interior along with a layer of insulation in between. Doors and windows are sometimes fitted, and you may even be able to have electrics and plumbing installed into the wall sections.

Erecting the frames

Once the frames have been put together in accordance with the designs, construction of the building can begin. The most common method involves building the floor first and then erecting the frames on top. Each storey is then built as an individual operation. Alternatively, you can install two-storey wall sections onto the ground floor and add the first storey afterwards. The frame size will dictate whether this can be done manually or with a crane. Roof trusses are added once all the walls are erected and floors installed.

The stick build

This technique involves erecting a building from basic timber without prefabrication. It takes a high level of skill to do this correctly and the build time will be longer with a greater risk of errors. It may reduce the initial cost of building materials, but few self-builders possess the skill for a stick build.

Final thoughts

Your timber wall frames and roof trusses are constructed in a workshop before being transported to the location of your build. From here, it is relatively easy to erect them and put the structure together. The key is the design phase – it must be accurate and comprehensive to ensure the frames are constructed as needed and the project can proceed without any issues. Contact us at Newcastle Frame and Truss or call on 0437 437 231. We service the areas of Adamstown Heights, Birmingham Gardens, Bar Beach, Broadmeadow, Northern Sydney Newcastle, Callaghan, Hunter Regions, Black Hills, Wyong, Beresfield and surrounding areas.