Blog > Posts By Sandy, Timber Framing 101 > Principal Purlins

Principal Purlins

By Sandy Connolly on December 27, 2013

Timber frames aren’t always designed to have a structural ridge carrying the load of roof rafters. In these cases, the design needs principal purlins to support the rafters.  A principal purlin is a beam that runs horizontally from gable to gable and supports roof rafters.

Principal Purlins

Design Featuring Principal Purlins

In the picture above, and below, the purlins are the two large beams that run horizontally.

Principal Purlins

Principal Purlins with Arched Connector

This frame is constructed using douglas fir timbers with a natural stain. A nice detail of the design is the arched timber that runs between the principal purlins. Because the radius of the arch is slight, it was cut from a timber — no glulam was needed.

Thanks for stopping by our timber framers blog. If you like this timber frame, or have any timber work questions, we encourage you to get in contact, ask an expert, or share your thoughts in the comment section below!


About the Author

Sandy Connolly

Wife and Mother (twin girls ROCK), Horses are fun...beautiful kitchens make me smile :-) love timber framing!
  1. Emery says:

    Always have to think about that one. Principal, got it.

  2. Purlin Sizes says:

    This post gives basic information of purlins. Thank you for the post. Keep it up!

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