Congratulations! You decided to build a timber frame home. It’s a building style rooted in centuries of traditions from topping out ceremonies to Raisings. And, while these traditions differ slightly in definition, depending on region, the history and legacy of timber framing is a common thread that ties these traditions together. It also creates exciting, extremely memorable events for those in the process of building their dream home.
If you browsed through our photos, you likely came across a picture or two of a tree mounted to a timber frame’s top. Perhaps you wondered exactly what was going on. It’s a topping out ceremony, the most popular timber framing tradition. Placed at the very highest point of the home is a bough or small tree.
Long ago, Scandinavians placed a pine bough at the highest point of timber frames to bring good fortune to the land and the home. Brought across the ocean by European settlers to North America, this tradition has been beautifully adopted. In more recent times, Mohawk Indian ironworkers usually placed a small tree at the top of sky rises in metropolitan areas. This is because of their belief that no building should be higher than a tree. Today, workers in some parts of the world, continue this tradition.
Another age-old tradition is the placing of coins under timber posts in the home’s frame. This ceremony originated from an old maritime tradition called: stepping the mast. It is meant to bring good luck and fortune to the home. Coins traditionally, placed under the post? Silver dollars, of course! However, quite common these days is using coins originating from one’s homeland or coins minted in a specific year.
Gathering family and loved ones together to sign the wooden pegs that connect the timber framing is another tradition observed by some homeowners. Wishes of well-being and good fortune are written on the last pegs and the homeowner is given the honors of driving them in to secure the blessings on their home.
Building your own timber frame home is a once in a lifetime experience. And, there are several traditions that you can choose to participate in as we raise your timber frame. Whether you decide on one of the above traditions or make your own, your home’s legacy will live on for generations to come.
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