Raising Day for Your Timber Frame

Once we’ve completed the design, fabrication and finishing phases, we’ve arrived at the best part, raising day!

During this step we focus on checking and then double-checking our work, test fitting each piece, review our stain colour and finish to ensure it is just right and we meticulously wrap the finished timbers to keep them safe from dirt and scrapes.

Test-fitting a scissor-braced truss at the Cornerstone shop near Kleefeld, Manitoba

When the loaded truck arrives at your building site, a flurry of activity begins. Each package of timbers is labelled, and the raising boss needs to decide the order of unpacking and assembly.

Many sites have limited space in which to work. Organization is critical to a safe and speedy install.
Timbers are transferred to the open floor where the timber frame will stand. A pleasant sunny day is always preferred, but timber frames can go up in the rain or on a cold, winter day.
A nicely built floor, square and level makes everything that follows easier.
Each section of your frame is assembled on the floor and when ready, it’s lifted by the crane so that connecting girts can be added.
A queen post bent has its final connecting girt secured. Stop blocks at the deck edge prevent the bent from sliding away.
After one day the frame is taking shape…
A skilled crane operator and experienced crew can assemble about 1000 sq. ft. of frame per day.
And by the end of a long second day the timber frame is complete and ready for the roof boards.
Dormers and valley framing make for an interesting project and a slightly longer installation.
In places where equipment for lifting isn’t available, human creativity and muscle will find a way…
Scaffold, lift beam and a block and tackle provide some help for straining arms.

Topping Out Ceremony

This little celebration is less common nowadays but “topping out” has ancient roots. This tradition hails from over a thousand years ago. Scandinavian timber framers saw a world where every tree and animal had its own life-giving, protecting spirit. To take trees from the forest required acts of thankfulness, an acknowledgement of the gift being received.

In Scandinavia, one of the final rituals in building a timber home was to lash a tree crown to the highest point of the timber frame. In various places and times gifts of food and drink, colourful streamers, flags, and speeches were also part of this “topping out” ceremony.

If you want to include a topping out ceremony on your raising day, please let us know before we come to site. Your participation in topping out is a crucial part of the ceremony. And don’t worry if heights are a problem for you, we’ll take care of the top if you do your part at ground level!

High above the Copenhagen skyline, circa 1925.
Wrapping up Raising Day by Cleaning Up…

Safety may not be a priority in some traditional communities but it’s a critical part of our mindset!

We expect to go home to our loved ones at the end of every raising.