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Custom Frames

Traditional Joinery

Hand Hewn Timbers

Hand Raising


Natural Building  

About Bear Branch Timber Framing

The ancient craft of timber framing is not only a beautiful art form but is also a very practical and relevant structural form even in our modern age. The structural design components as well as materials used in traditional timber frames has been tested through trial and error over the course of thousands of years. There is good reason why you will find timber framed homes and barns in New England still standing strong after hundreds of years, or why you can still enjoy visiting Japanese Pagodas or Norwegian stave churches which reach back much further into history. All of these frames share a common theme; they were built with earth-based materials (stone foundations, clay or wood-based enclosure systems, high quality timber often containing little to no sapwood), and the joinery and design elements employed were tried and true methods passed down from craftsmen to craftsmen. 

Bear Branch Timber Framing honors the past, present, and future by studying and utilizing these proven materials and methods as much as each situation will allow, by creating structures which are healthy for both its inhabitants and the land it rests on, and by building with the intention that what we produce will last many generations and can eventually be returned to the earth. 

Sustainability and Beauty

We believe very deeply that beauty is just as critical to sustainability as is procuring the proper materials in an intentional and responsible manner. If an individual or even a community is going to have the desire to maintain a structure over time, thus extending the lifetime and sustainability of its materials, this individual or community has to wantto maintain this structure. This can be seen in practice all over the world. The longest lasting structures are often the most beautiful. Perhaps it is an exquisite temple, or maybe just a very well designed and cherished home with high functionality and pleasing traits. Either of these will produce a desire to maintain them properly. 

Bear Branch Timber Framing procures timbers from one of two methods.


Ideally, timbers milled directly from trees on the build site. If the proper species and size of tree is available, this can be a great way to produce a frame. If this not an option, or if there is not enough timber, we source timber from local sawmills in East Tennessee utilizing slow growth, high quality white pine from higher elevations. We trust these mills and have a great relationship with them. Furthermore, we put extensive time into the design process in order to produce a frame that meets a perfect balance of functionality, structural integrity, and beauty. 


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