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Timber Frame Construction with Visual Building

Timber frame construction is becoming more and more popular and in some regions it has long been the dominant construction method. Visual Building is the perfect software solution for building or extension design in timber frame or masonry.

In addition to regional conditions and preferences timber frame construction offers several advantages. It starts with the often very short construction time. The production of individual elements or entire walls on an industrial scale (factory prefabrication) is also an advantage because there are far fewer sources of error due to the exact planning and production.
In addition, depending on the design, walls in timber frame can reduce necessary wall width compared to masonry, which can lead to a noticeable difference in usable living space.
It is therefore not surprising that timber frame construction is becoming more and more established as an alternative for house construction or for house extensions. This applies to self-builders as well as home owners extending the existing building.
The entire planning process, from production to execution, is typically carried out by a single company specialized in timber frame construction. Among other things this leads to a very reliable calculation.
That is why we have developed a plug-in for Visual Building as part of the premium version with which you can add timber frames in seconds. The Timber Frame Construction Wizard automatically analyses your entire building and fills the walls according to your specifications.
You can then export this variant as a report and use it to obtain various quotes from timber frame companies and thus decide whether you want to carry out your construction project in masonry or timber frame wall construction. For a quote, companies will also need floor plans, section views, elevations and detailed information such as dimensions, etc. Visual Building is therefore the suitable tool with which you can meet all the requirements in one software package and save a lot of time and probably also money.
The following picture shows a building with timber frame construction. On the left the entire building and on the right all elements except the wooden structure have been set invisible. With our new wizard the whole process took about one minute.

Convert your project into a Timber Frame Building in seconds

With Visual Building and the included Timber Frame Wall Construction Wizard, you can fill all walls of your project with Timber Frames in seconds.
The easiest way is to create the floor plans of your project as usual. When the building is finished, you can start our wizard and automatically add timber frames to all walls in two steps. First select the analysis region in our timber frame wizard. This can be the entire building or just the current floor. If it's a building with multiple floors you probably only need a bottom plate in your ground floor timber frames and not for floors above. In such cases, simply run the wizard several times and create different timber frame wall constructions per floor.
All wall types available in the project are listed in the selection list of walls. Here you determine which walls should be edited and in which layer the timber frame structure is to be inserted.
Note: Visual Building does not check whether the wall layers match the timber frame construction. Ideally, you should enter walls with matching layers while planning the floor plan. Visual Building always places timber frames along the axis of the selected wall layer. If this layer or the walls are thinner than the timber elements, they protrude beyond it. If the layer is much thicker or if the wall consists of only one layer, it can result in an offset in the timber construction. For a first and preliminary cost estimation, you could ignore this for a moment and only adjust the walls, wall layers and timber frame design in detail when the decision has been made.

Timber frame design

On the second wizard page you determine which timber elements are to be created and in which dimensions. You also determine the grid spacing within walls. The grid spacing defines the intervals at which timber studs are placed.
This setting applies generally to all walls. Should it later be necessary to change the distance between two timber studs individually, you can do this at any time in our wall properties dialog on the Timber Construction page.
Now finish the dialog and let Visual Building do all the work.

The following video shows both timber frame wizard steps and the result.

Timber frame wall construction

In some cases you may want to edit the timber frame design in a wall, e.g. because the generally valid grid spacing does not fit. To do this, open the wall dialog and edit the settings with our interactive sketch. In the sketch you can click on a grid field and change its width. All other timber elements in this wall adapt automatically.

Timber Frame House Plans, timber frame visibility in our views

As for all elements in Visual Building, the timber frame construction can be set visible and invisible in detail. So you can create any type of building plan if required, including views of individual walls and then add dimensions and other drawing elements.

How-to get a quote for your Timber Frame Building or Timber Frame extension

When your planning and the Timber frame design has been completed, you can export a PDF, Word or Excel file for the entire project, which not only contains the sketches of the individual walls as shown in the wall dialog but also all relevant data for a preliminary quote. This includes a timber list and insulation volume for example. The volume of the insulation is automatically calculated in Visual Building from the volume of the wall layer without openings, such as windows or doors, minus the volume of the timber frame structure inside. One of the advantages of a 3D design software.
Timber frame wizard 1
Timber frame wizard 2
Timber frame design
Timber frame details
Timber frame summary

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