New to Custom Home Building?

Our process and the steps to quality timber frame homes

Curious about how things work? Read about our timber frame process and the steps involved when building your home.

Our Process

Canadian Timberframes Limited produces high quality residential and commercial timber frames across North America since 1999. We are a team of professional, dedicated craftsman, offering quality workmanship and professional service and can assist you in a variety of ways all depending upon the scope of your project.

Building A Timber Home

Depending on how advanced your project is the timber frame process can take over a year. If you would like CTF to design your home we will get you to sign a design agreement, once you have had initial discussions with us and decided on your budget and style.

We can then start your design and once you are happy with the final plans you can select wall panel systems, roofing, siding, trim, windows, decking and other timber frame components you would like to include. Then we get the architectural and engineering sign off before the production of your timber frame will begin and finally we ship your timber frame to your builder to begin construction. Contact us to discuss your project and learn more about the timber frame process.

Canadian Timberframes Process

  1. Log Selection
  2. Design & Engineering
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Color and Finish Selection
  5. Shipping & Timber Raising


Selecting High Quality Logs

Our location in Golden, BC allows us to hand select the best Douglas Fir logs for our projects. There are many aspects we look for when selecting the logs including tight grains, no knots and no pitch to make sure they are a perfect fit.

In the below video President Jeff Bowes takes you through what we look for when selecting our logs making sure we don’t have logs with inconsistent timber fibre.

Canadian Timberframes Design & Engineering

Once you have determined that you would like CTF to design your home, we will send out a design contract. Once the contract is signed, a site visit may be necessary. This is where we walk the site with you, discuss what's important, the attributes of the lot, where the home will be built on the land; identify where the sun rises & sets and views that are important to you to consider in the design. The contracted services will provide you with a set of conceptual floor plans and exterior elevation drawings, a 3D timber frame model that fits the floor plan developed.

We have a team of highly skilled professional timber frame designers ready to assist you in designing your dream home as well as developing your plans for production. Your designer will work with you throughout the design phase to ensure that the final plans meet your needs and align to your budget. We typically start with a design questionnaire to get a better understanding of your design style & how you wish to use the space. We will create a unique design that blends with the landscape and uses the landscape & terrain to shape the house through a multi-level design while maximizing value. Canadian Timberframes also offers Exterior & Interior Timber Components; Project Specific Enclosure Systems; full wall systems, roof systems, T&G, doors and windows and can all be programed into your 3D model for a full and complete quote of your new home to lock up mode.

Working with an Architectural Firm

If you would like to work with an Architectural Firm to develop drawings for your custom home that fit your style and approach you are looking for they will complete your drawings and work with you through the design phase then submit your drawings to our team for quoting. The detailed floor plans will be converted into a 3D timber frame model, which in turn helps us, price the cost of your frame as well as our full enclosure package if you choose to go that route.

Whether working with an architect or our skilled in-house design team; they will draw out the ideas and styles, size & layout that you would like to incorporate in the design of your new custom home. One of the biggest determining factors in choosing an architect or our in-house design team is typically budget related. Either way we are happy to provide you with top-notch professional service every step of the way.

Things to consider before you start your design:

  1. What size of home would you like to build?
  2. Make a list of the rooms that you would like to live in.
  3. Do you have children? Or would you like to make room for grandchildren?
  4. Do you frequently entertain?
  5. Do you work at home?

It is also important to consider the location you would like to build. A house should be in harmony with its surroundings and balance the needs of the occupants with the building site.

Graded Timber

Establishing Definable Levels of Quality

Canadian Timberframes (CTF) is part of the Timber Products Inspection program. Timber Products Inspection, Inc. (TP) is an independent, third party woods product inspection, testing and consulting company with field representatives throughout North America.  They provide professional inspection services as well as monthly auditing to all of their customers.  Using TP, our customers will now have independent, professional third party assurance of our timber grades stamped on our timbers.  Their grading rules are based upon ‘Standard methods for establishing stress grade for structural members used in log and timberframe buildings’ Standard ASTM D3957 a North American recognized standard used for both residential and commercial uses.

“We are excited to pass this high level of quality to our customers and we are one of the few of North American timberframe companies with this level of timber accreditation.” Says Jeff Bowes

One of the great benefits to our customers from this program, is when a grade of timber is specified by an architect or engineer within their design, we can deliver on these requirements in house without adding additional costs or time, where other manufacturers would have to source this service; get tested & comply. Grading also provides a layer of protection for the manufacturer and homeowner by establishing definable levels of quality for the products being sold and marketed within the industry.

The Grading Process

  • TP’s lumber experts, engineers and research scientists have developed an accredited program to define stress grades for the log and timber industry’s use. In this program, logs and timbers are visually inspected with qualified graders observing all the surfaces of the member for strength reducing characteristics.
  • Graders must be TP personnel or individuals trained by TP at manufacturing facilities.
  • Manufacturing facilities with grade-marking privileges must have their graders certified and their performance is routinely monitored on an unannounced basis to assure conformance to the guidelines.


By providing this level of confidence and security to our customers it ensures 3 important measures: each piece has been visually inspected and graded – ensuring quality plus; it ensures all clients are delivered the quality of wood specified in their contract and lastly; with the ongoing monthly surprise inspections by TP the quality & grading is always being validated and endorsed.

Air Dried vs Kiln Dried

What does CTF do?

Air drying often produces a higher quality, more easily workable wood than with kiln drying but many timber manufactures do not have the luxury, space or inventory to air dry so their only alternative is to kiln dry.

Kiln drying typically adds about 10% to 15% to the cost of the frame. You’re cooking the timbers very aggressively and it costs money and energy to power those kilns. You’re also adding another place where the timbers need to be shipped, which adds time to your project. Plus, kiln drying can cause timbers to twist and check more than they would naturally, which won’t affect the structural integrity of your home, but could render some wood unusable. In fact, if we know we’re going to use 25,000 feet of timber for a home, we’ll typically need 27,000 feet because we know some of it won’t make it through the drying process. This is why we air dry our handpicked logs unless you would like them to be kiln dried.


At Canadian Timberframes, we hand pick every log to ensure proper length, grade & quality needed to maintain our standards and we choose to air dry all of our logs. Logs are placed into log decks and dried for over a year in our yard to lower the moisture content in the logs. Every log is dated when it is received.  A log is taken from a deck to our sawmill, and sawn into cants - this is where your project will start its journey;  the lumber is sorted and graded, it is stacked with spacers between each layer of lumber to start the next phase of the drying process.

The first part of the process is harvesting the tree.  A harvested tree is called a log & is obviously ‘green’ when harvested. A “green” log still has the moisture from the “water” in the tree. The second phase is stored in our new dry shed to dry further & again reduce moisture content in the lumber; this phase too is referred to as “air drying”.  This process of air drying can take months depending on lumber thickness.

Let's Get Started!

Are you ready to build your custom timberframe home?

Contact Us

Keep Up To Date

Are you wondering what our company is up to? Sign up for our newsletter.

View our Photo eBook

Download our Photo eBook & get ready to be inspired!

Get It

View our Design eBook

Download our design eBook and start your planning today!

Get It