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Timber Frame: Build Your Own Smaller Frames

Course Overview

Tired of unimaginative, small outbuilding kits available from your local lumberyard? Explore all the basic elements of timber frame construction and take home a handcrafted building. More than 100 timber frame buildings have been built and raised throughout the country by North House students since 1997. 

During the first days of class, participants engage in interspersed lessons on timber frame terminology, layout, and joinery. As the course progresses, each day prioritizes students actively cutting timbers for their structure. Ultimately, students complete all or most of the joinery on the structure and develop timber framing skills that will last a lifetime. Near the completion of the course, a raising rehearsal demonstrates pre-assembly and raising techniques. All that's left is to load the timbers into a truck or trailer and then raise the frame at home.

The Build Your Own course emphasizes smaller timber frame structures that can be completed in a single session (for larger frames see Timber Frame: Build Your Own Larger Frames). Students may choose from a variety of different stock frames. Changes to the stock frames as well as custom small frames can be completed but this needs to be arranged in advance with the instructor. Tuition and course length varies depending on the frame selected. Students may work alone or with a partner on their frame for no additional charge. A partner is required for the sauna frame.

Tuition covers instruction and all materials, including timbers and pegs, as well as use of specialized timber framing tools. Traditional and modern tools will be used and/or demonstrated during the course. The frames listed below are often completed by individual students; however, working with a partner is recommended for the larger projects. Plans are provided for all of the standard North House frames. North House uses only certified sustainably harvested timbers.

Tuition and material estimates:

  • 10’x12’ - 7 days - $3475
  • 10’x16’ - 9 days - $4425
  • 13’x13’ Sauna - 9 days -$5025 (one assistant required)

Separate tuition payment & cancellation policies apply to this course. Tuition and materials will be approximately $3475-$5025 and up depending on project. $3475 deposit requried upon registraion. Full tuition is due (determined after the final design) 30 days prior the start of the class. Given the unique nature of Build Your Own Timber Framing courses, North House uses a slightly revised cancellation policy for this course. From the date of your deposit until three month prior to the start of your course, the entire deposit minus a $100 administrative fee is refundable. Three months prior to your course the entire deposit is non-refundable. For cancellations occurring 21 days or less prior to the start of the course, the balance of the tuition payment is also non-refundable. Should North House be required to cancel the course, all tuition payments will be refunded. 

New Registration Process

In the past, this class has filled within minutes of opening for registration on Member Early Registration Day. In an attempt to even the playing field, we are implementing a lottery system for registration. If you are a current member (easily done by clicking on the red Donate button on our homepage or giving us a call) you can put yourself on the wait list on Member Early Registration Day through the registration portal of our website. You are also free to call us to be put on the list, though if you've tried in the past, you know it can be tough to get through on that day! On the following morning, we will randomly draw names. We will contact you via email if you are selected. You will then have 24 hours to confirm your registration by making payment for the deposit through our website. 

Required Tools

  • 1 1/2 inch Chisel: you will need a chisel with at least a 5” blade. The Stanley "Contractor Grade" and Buck Brothers are less expensive options. Woodcraft and  Sorby make good framing chisels, but make sure they measure exactly 1 1/2". The Barr chisel is an excellent tool and is available at the North House School Store. Call 888-387-9762 to reserve your tool.
  • Wood mallet: with a  wood handled chisel you will want a 20 to ­40 oz. mallet with wood, plastic or rawhide head. (Also available @ North House School Store).
  • Ear and eye protection

Optional Tools

  • Framing square
  • Combination square
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil

Currently Scheduled Sessions

Tue, Aug 27th, 2024  –  Wed, Sep 4th, 2024
9am-5pm each day
Instructor: Andrew Albertson