Types of wooden private houses

Timber nowadays is becoming such a very modern building material. It is ecological, natural, durable and time-tested. Despite that people perceive a private house as just a dense stone building, more and more demanding are wooden frame, wooden panel and beam houses. Does they have pluses and minuses?

Tiber is a prolonged, durable, nature friendly material.

Wood is one of the oldest building materials, which is used not only for building houses, but also other constructions – bridges, water supply, canalization. Yet building materials such as cement, concrete and bricks let us think that the wood life cycle is temporary. But the wood has been proved its long lasting life cycle. In the North Russia there has been found 600-700 years old preserved wooden house; also in the North America, Canada and Scandinavia

Foto: dezeen.com

there were found old wooden built frame houses, so it proves, that modernized building materials, modern tendencies and resolutions give an opportunity to find the marble-equivalent substitute.

High quality wood has a special sign. The wood is a good thermal insulation, because it has a porous structure and relatively low weight, hence the thermal expansion is so small that it has no effect on the constructions.

The wood is an excellent building material, which provides a fantastic opportunity for living quality. It is natural, nature friendly raw material, it is durable against the heat and frost. Humidity is the only factor, which has to be controlled, that’s why the most important aspect in building of wooden frame houses is a smart processing of the wood.


By the way, the environment do not influences the heating in the wooden house. Wooden beam houses save accumulated heat through the day, and, at the end of the day, accumulated humidity evaporates by itself, that’s why the heat-to-humidity ratio is maintained. As a proof of wooden horizontal beam houses’ long lasting, there are old houses. Smartly processed and impregnated timber is able to endure several centuries.

How to choose the right timber?

Main factors: simplicity, warm, long lasting. Despite that wooden frame and wooden panel house is possible to build quickly and relatively cheap, a huge percent of people still prefers to choose beam house, which is nature friendly, because for its building it is used high quality, pure, natural wood, not, for example, pressed wood chips.

Foto: dezeen.com
Non traditional use of classical horizontal beams

What kind of timber is necessary for the building? Usually it is chosen pine tree or fir wood. Do you have questions about that, when is the best time to saw for raw materials’ building? Winter driftwood is sleepy, so it do not becomes blue so fast, do not changes the color. If horizontal beam building is made from the dry material, then before the building process the humidity of the material has to be until 20 percent.

Wet timber is not applicable for the building in comparison to the ready wood, because in the process of dying it can deform. If the ventilation is bad, it can change the color, become blue or even black, start to rot, the mold may occur or even change the size. So dried up timber has two times less chance to “become smaller”, it is able to endure much more load and shows more aesthetic view.

What kind of timber is necessary for the building?  The thickness of the structure of horizontal beams’ walls usually is 15-35 cm. Horizontal beams can be  rounded up (popular in the North America at the moment) or squared. Wooden beams can be naturally rounded, unpeeled, rounded, peeled, heated up on the longitudinal sides or in four parts.

Actually, it has more aesthetic purpose, because, for example, squared beams automatically give more thicker wall. At the same time, specialists say, that the more important thing in the building of the horizontal beam houses is the quality of the horizontal beams and making connections.


Good architects say, that the most important element of the house building are its foundations. Sometimes it is written, that the horizontal beam house can be an exception, that, probably it needs foundations, but it is possible to omit them, for sure. Rounded trees are so close to each other, that frost and wind or other natural phenomena, which are common in our climate, cannot move them: the tree is a live organism, it can spoil, change the color of the form, but it will not crack and will not go out of the overall design of the house. Also, if the structure of the horizontal beams is made on foundations, which “walks”, when it is cold, then walls will be not hermetical and they will have cracks. For the good placing of walls, foundations also have to be stable. Since the beams are lighter than the masonry, they can be built on pile foundations.

An important issue of these types of houses is saving of the humidity. That is the reason, why do we feel

“Twisted House” overturns the myth of a log house as an array and heavy build. Photo: dezeen.com

good into structure of the horizontal beams even, when it is only 17 ° C. But this process can be also reverse, if there is not enough humidity in the air, then walls will give it.

Structure of the horizontal beams has another plus. An example is like this – place your hand onto a stone wall (even good isolated) and you will feel the change of the temperature. When heating a brick room, cold walls interact with warm air causing moisture condensation. But in the structure of the horizontal beams this process is happening slowly, because the timber has the same volume of high of the heat capacity. Because of this characteristic the inside of the beam maintains the temperature of the room reducing the possibility of moisture condensation.

Possibility of formation of cracks

It is important to avoid cracks between formations and the first crown. Lower trees have to be impregnated, it is desirable that the lower woods could be covered with the rot resistant foam and water-resistant layer in the foundation. Also it is necessary to have a wide chore for the roof and to be sure, that foundations are not out of the wall.

It is preferable to make inside walls from rounded trees. Fixed structures, bricks or plasterboard walls can cause horizontal beam creep or crack cracks.

Pluses and minuses of the horizontal beams


  • Good sound isolation (because walls are thick and suffered)
  • Good environment (humid atmosphere, less static dust)
  • Long lasting (more than three times higher ratio than wooden frame or panel houses).


  • Timber needs suitable process, because it can start to rot or bend.
  • It is necessary to do maintaining of the timber – often impregnation.
  • The tendency of the house to “sit” found complications, when interior decoration is made.

Look, how it happens to one Canadian men Sean James, making horizontal beam house by himself in the forest: