What is mortise and tenon

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What is Timber Frame?

Timber frame is the practice of structurally connecting dimensional lumber using joinery, without the use of foreign materials or metal connectors. Joinery is the act of shaping wood so that they fit together like puzzle pieces. A hole is then drilled right through the joint, and a wooden peg is pounded in to hold it all together.

Why is Timber Frame better than 2x4 construction?

Typical modern construction relies on metal connectors to join wood together. Timber frame uses specially designed joints, most often mortise and tenon, with wooden pegs driven through to secure it. Wood moves, it's living even though it is no longer growing. Properly designed frames allow for this movement which results in a much more relaxed aging process. Conversely, metal doesn't have the same properties as wood and they often react differently to environmental conditions of moisture and temperature. Because of the wood's movement and the rigidity of the metal, over time the movement will slowly loosen if not completely fail over time.

Why is it more expensive than a regular construction?

It takes experience and knowledge to properly design and construct a timber frame structure. The same is true for 2x4 construction, however, the knowledge and experience needed for timber frame is much more intense. In addition, most of the work must be done by hand to ensure a perfect fit. All of this contributes to timber frame's durability. All conditions equal, a timber frame will outlast a modern construction by at least double. There are structures that have been standing for over a thousand years and many lasting more than a few hundred years.