Structural Design

Structural Design

A successful timber frame is not only esthetically pleasing but also incorporates many structural components and details. Structural integrity and safety are paramount in assuring the frame’s life will be measured in not dozens, but hundreds of years.


Housed Mortise and Tenon Joinery

Each connection and intersection of timber is carefully evaluated and the strongest and most efficient tenons are used to make each connection. Materials, direction of grain and peg placement are considered in the tenon design.

The joinery is traditionally housed in a manner which compliments the tenon and gives the frame its ability to support all of the loads that it will see during its lifetime.

Ridgetop maintains a close relationship with Timberlinx Fasteners. Certain frame designs require additional strength and rigidity that traditional joinery cannot provide. The Timberlinx fasteners are use in combination with traditional joinery to meet these structural needs. Each fastener is fully embedded within the beam and is not visible.

National Design Standards (NDS)

The National Design Standards are the accepted standard for evaluating and establishing material and connections used in Timber frame design. Each Ridgetop Design frame is evaluated with the values and techniques found within NDS.


All critical spans and columns are evaluated with this structural frame analysis software. The movement or deflection of timber elements under load is critical to the safety of a frame. Beamchek software utilizes the NDS values and computes the numerical and graphical values for critical loads.

Timber Frame Guild and Business Council

The Timber Frame Guild and Business Council is an important resource for providing current business practice information and assistance. Clients can be assured that the ethical and professional standards of the Guild and Business Council are maintained throughout the design process.