Everything You Need To Know About Timber Frame Pavilions
Imagine…you’re attending an outdoor summer wedding. A cool breeze stirs the air, smelling faintly of roses and eucalyptus. The band begins to play, and you breathe deeply, relishing the sights and sounds of summer in the great outdoors.
And then you feel it, tiny and cold as it splashes on your arm. Was that a drop of rain? You look up to see ominous clouds rolling in.
Beautiful outdoor moments turn sour quickly when inclement weather interrupts the fun. We often try to solve the problem with event tents or cheap pavilions, but depending on the weather they may become damaged or blow over. Furthermore, they cheapen the look of the event and may not offer enough space.
Here at Fisher’s Backyard, we understand the frustration caused by an inadequate shelter, and we’re here to help! Our timber frame pavilions are large, beautiful, sturdy structures ideally suited for providing shelter for outdoor events.
But is a timber frame pavilion right for you? Keep reading to learn all the ins and outs of timber frame pavilions.
What Is a Timber Frame Pavilion?
A pavilion is a free-standing outdoor structure consisting of a roof supported by posts. The open sides allow you to take advantage of the fresh air and nature, while the roof provides shelter from direct sunlight and sudden rain storms.
Pavilions come in many different styles. One popular style is the timber frame pavilion, which is constructed using timber framing.
Timber frame construction uses heavy timbers instead of typical dimensional lumber. The timbers are fastened together using interlocking joints. This construction method gives the pavilion a great deal of strength and stability, and a majestic look.
Pros and Cons of Timber Frame Pavilions
Is a timber frame pavilion right for you? Let’s explore that question by looking at the pros and cons of timber frame pavilions.
Pros of Timber Frame Pavilions:
- Timber frame pavilions are solid and sturdy. Their heavy timbers and interlocking joints lend them strength to support a large structure and to withstand harsh weather conditions.
- Timber frame pavilions have a beautiful, majestic look that blends well with natural environments.
- Timber frame pavilions are an environmentally-friendly shelter option. At Fisher’s Backyard, we construct our timber frame pavilions using recyclable materials and sustainable construction.
Cons of Timber Frame Pavilions
- If you’re looking for a backyard shelter you can easily construct yourself, a timber frame pavilion is not the best option. Timber frame construction is precise and requires experience and a specific skill set. Also, the timbers are very heavy—not something you can set yourself.
- Because timber frame pavilions are such high-quality, well-constructed, sturdy pavilions, they are a costlier shelter option and may not be within your budget.
- Timber frame pavilions have a specific look and are often used for larger event spaces. Depending on your needs, a different type or style of shelter may suit your needs better. Before deciding on a timber frame pavilion, consider other options, such as wood pavilions, vinyl pavilions, pergolas, and gazebos.
Popular Uses for Timber Frame Pavilions
Timber frame pavilions serve a variety of functions. Let’s take a look at some popular uses for timber frame pavilions.
Many couples love a rustic-looking wedding, utilizing nature to add charm to their decor. That’s why outdoor weddings are so timeless and popular.
However, there’s no way to guarantee that the weather will cooperate. It may rain, or the sun may be too hot and intense for comfort unless you have proper shade.
Because of this, couples who are looking at wedding venues prioritize places that offer some kind of shelter.
If you have a beautiful property you’d like to turn into a wedding venue, or a current wedding venue you’re looking to update, one great shelter option is to put up a timber frame pavilion.
Timber frame pavilions are popular for weddings because they’re gorgeous, and spacious so guests never feel crowded or cramped, and they offer a sturdy, reliable shelter.
Parks and Other Public Spaces
It’s important to build event spaces in parks and other public places because not everyone has space in their home or on their property to host large events. Also, many people are uncomfortable holding public events on private property.
Parks and other public spaces often have pavilions where community members gather in large groups for church meetings, concerts, theater productions, community parties, or even festivals. In fact, you likely have many happy memories of birthday parties, church picnics, and family reunions that utilized pavilion space in a local park.
Timber frame pavilions are a large, sturdy, and timeless option if you’re looking for a pavilion for a park or public space.
Private Event Spaces
Many private entities such as churches, private schools, and restaurants also need to host large groups of people outdoors.
Timber frame pavilions are a great option for creating event spaces on private property. Whether you’re a church hosting a kid’s club, a private school looking for a place for families to picnic on field day, or a restaurant looking to vastly expand seating in the summer, timber frame pavilions offer the size, stability, and aesthetics you’re looking for.
Outdoor Living at Your Home
Are timber frame pavilions only used for large communal event spaces?
No. Although timber framing is ideal for large pavilions because anything of a substantial size needs a sturdy frame to support it, timber frame pavilions come in a variety of sizes and can be used in your backyard as well.
If you like the look of a timber frame pavilion, you can build a smaller one on your property, outfitting it with an outdoor kitchen, a fireplace surrounded by comfortable outdoor furniture, or whatever else suits your style.
Customizing Your Timber Frame Pavilion
So you’ve decided on a timber frame pavilion. You love the look of sturdy, distinguished beams and are willing to invest in quality construction.
Let’s go over some things you need to consider as you customize your timber frame pavilion.
Choosing a Style
Timber frame pavilions come in multiple styles. At Fishers Backyard, we offer two styles of timber frame pavilions. While both styles are similar, with sturdy posts and majestic beams, each has its own flair.
The unique design stands out and exudes strength and elegance.
Grand Teton-style pavilions work well at wedding venues or restaurants because there’s such a deliberate grace to the design.
A smaller Grant Teton-style pavilion would also make a spectacular outdoor living area if you have the backyard space for it. For instance, if you build it into an outdoor kitchen you’d be the envy of the neighborhood.
The distinguished design of Denali-style pavilions makes them a popular choice for anything from a wedding venue to an outdoor gathering space at a private business.
Denali-style pavilions also make a lovely addition to your backyard, whether they’re providing shelter next to a pool, or being used as an outdoor dining or kitchen area.
Kingston-style pavilions are similar to Grand Teton and Denali-style pavilions, but they have a simpler design and are less expensive.
Instead of standing out, Kingston-style pavilions are meant to blend into the nature surrounding them without calling too much attention to themselves.
Kingston-style pavilions, while beautiful, are also highly practical for any purpose involving large crowds of people who need shelter in an outdoor space. They’re a popular choice for churches, parks, and wedding venues.
Choosing a Size
After choosing what style you’d like, it’s time to think about what size of pavilion you need.
Timber frame pavilions can be as small as 12’x12’. However, the average starting size of Grand Teton and Denali pavilions is 18’x24’, while Kingston pavilions typically start at about 20’x40’.
But remember: At Fisher’s Backyard we offer custom sizing for all timber frame pavilions—just figure out what dimensions you need and we can make it for you!
When trying to determine how big of a pavilion you need, consider three factors:
- How much space do you have on your property?
- How many people do you want to be able to accommodate? Estimate 6 sq. ft. of space per person for a standing crowd and 8 sq. ft. of space per person for a seated group. If people are sitting at tables, you’ll need 9-12 sq. ft. of space per person.
- What does that size of pavilion look like? Before you commit to a size, look at pictures of similarly-sized pavilions to get a feel for the look and if it will overwhelm your space.
Most timber frame pavilions are made of premium douglas fir wood, which is ideal for structural framing. The wood can be stained to suit your unique taste. Color options include:
- Jarrah Brown
- Mahogany Flame
- Rustic Cedar
- And more!
You can customize the roof of your timber frame pavilion by choosing between a variety of roofing options, including:
In general, asphalt shingles are the most common roofing choice as they’re relatively inexpensive, come in many different colors, and give your pavilion roof a traditional look.
Regular Metal Roofing
Metal roofing is gaining in popularity due to its highly durable nature. Although metal roofing costs more up front than asphalt shingles, it's more robust and long-lasting overall and also comes in multiple colors.
Standing Seam Metal Roofing
Standing seam metal roofing offers the same benefits as regular metal roofing, with one added advantage: all fasteners are hidden, giving your roofing a smooth, professional look. They are also less likely to leak.
Although most standard timber frame pavilions look similar, you can customize your pavilion to your unique taste by adding specific features.
A cupola is a small structure protruding from the roof of a building or pavilion, adding decoration and sometimes ventilation. Cupolas get their name because they look like a little cup placed upside-down on the roof.
Adding a cupola to your pavilion roof is an architectural decision that gives your pavilion flair and distinction.
Is the cupola look right for you? Scroll through our project gallery and see what you think!
Timber frame pavilions evoke the rustic outdoors and are the perfect setting for an outdoor fireplace.
What could be lovelier than gathering around a massive stone fireplace as the rain patters outside, close enough to see and smell, while you’re dry, warm, and cozy by a crackling fire?
Adding a fireplace to your timber frame pavilion is a practical yet beautiful way to customize your timber frame pavilion.
Timber Frame Pavilion Kits
One way to save money on a construction project such as a pavilion is to do the project yourself. Many pavilions are sold in “pavilion kits,” with pre-cut and pre-drilled lumber, all the roofing and hardware you’ll need, and clear instructions.
If you have some construction experience, you can buy the kit and put it together yourself, saving on construction costs.
However, if you’re looking for something you can easily put together, timber frame pavilion kits may not be the best option.
Framing is a specific skill that requires experience and precision. Trying to put together a timber frame pavilion kit can cause a lot of frustration and hassle for the average person.
Furthermore, larger timber frame pavilions often require heavy equipment such as an all-terrain crane, a telehandler, or a scissor lift.
But don’t be discouraged! Here at Fisher’s Backyard, we do everything we can to make the process simple and doable for everyone.
Keep reading to find out!
How Fisher’s Backyard Can Help
At Fisher’s Backyard, we offer many pergolas, gazebo, and pavilion kits, including timber frame pavilion kits.
Our mission is to make the installation process as easy as possible for you.
If you would like to install the kit yourself to save construction costs or hire your own contractor, that’s fine! Our kits have everything you need to install the pavilion, including pre-cut and pre-drilled lumber, roofing materials, and all the necessary hardware.
But if you or your contractor don’t have the expertise or equipment to install the pavilion, we have a team of installation crews trained to construct it for you. We also have the equipment needed to build your pavilion with as little hassle for you as possible.
We also offer custom pavilion kits, so if you’re dreaming of something a little out of the ordinary, contact us today to see if we can help make your dreams a reality!
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