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How Much Does A Timber Frame Cost?

By Caitlin on May 03, 2018


People ask us this question more than any other, and we thought it’d be helpful to address the question of pricing here. Because the price of a timber frame is less of a question and more of a conversation. When it comes to the cost of a timber frame, the simple answer is, well…


It Depends.

The cost of a timber frame is determined by a variety of factors. Today we’ll look at the factors that will contribute to the cost of your timber frame so that you can understand why you need an individual quote, what factors will affect your quote, what the quote will involve, and what we’re basing your frame’s price on.

The Factors That Determine Pricing:

There are several factors that will determine the cost of the frame.

Wood Species.

What type of wood are you interested in using for the frame? Douglas fir has a higher cost than White Pine for instance, so the wood species you choose will obviously affect the overall price of the frame. We are happy to assist you in choosing the right species for your project keeping in mind your design, engineering, and budgetary concerns and needs.


What is the size of your project? How big do the timbers need to be? Do you have long spans? If you don’t know the exact size of the home or barn, a close approximation would still be helpful in determining an estimate.

Timber Frame Options.

This could include wood surfacing and finishing, for instance the cost to have your timbers hand hewn would be greater than having them planed and chamfered. There are also joinery details to consider, such as steel connections, tie rods, or gusset plates that can be added which can add cost to your frame as well.


Frames are engineered to meet site-specific snow and wind loads. Frames on the sea coast or in the mountains are engineered for higher loads and therefore they are more expensive.


Are you located outside of the US or across the country from our VT workshop? The cost of transporting your Frame to CA will be higher than shipping to a building site in CT.


The more complex the truss design, generally the higher the cost. Are you looking for a scissor truss or a hammer beam? Or are you looking for a standard king post truss for your barn? The complexity will affect everything from designing, engineering, and fabricating the frame.

Why you need an individual quote:

Because everything we do is custom, we don’t have ready-made plans or designs that you can choose from to get an estimate. To give you an accurate quote we need to have an idea of what you’re looking for and what your timber frame will entail.

What you need to get a quote:

Connecting with the sales rep for your region and sending them your building plans will get you the most accurate estimate for your timber frame. If you don’t have plans, a drawing or a sketch is also helpful. Or if you’re still very early in the planning process, you can give a thorough description of the design you have in mind, and we can give you a basic estimate. If there’s a past project of ours that you think would be very similar to what you have in mind, that can also be a helpful reference that will help us give you an estimate for your frame.

The quoting process:

After giving us your plans, drawing, sketch, or general idea of the kind of timber frame you’d like, we’ll give all this information to our estimator who will figure out the size and dimensions of the timbers and be able to formulate a quote. Generally, because of our workload, you will receive your quote in about a week.

How we arrive at the price we quote you:

Our Estimator arrives at your price by calculating the necessary size and dimensions of the timbers and then pairs those timbers with current timber prices from our suppliers. We then add the current cost of labor and shipping/erection. We pride ourselves on our exceptional quality of work from start to finish, and this quality is reflected in our prices and business practices.

Customer service and satisfaction are important at Vermont Timber Works and we strive to work together with you and your building partners to make sure that you get exactly what you want, and that the process is as organized and hassle-free as possible. We try to foster transparency during the estimating process so that you understand exactly what your frame will cost from beginning to completion.

Looking for a quote on a timber frame project? Email us at [email protected]. Do you have a question for our Timber Framing Experts? Submit a question to our Ask the Experts page. Interested in signing up for our newsletter? Sign up here.

About the Author


Caitlin is a writer and a full-time Marketing Assistant. She has worked at Vermont Timber Works since 2017.

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