Character living in a Mohawk barn, Motueka

Character living in Motueka

The standard Mohawk barn design was used here resulting in a character property in the Motueka Valley.  These clients opted not to have an open vaulted area as in the Mohawk in Rangiora but went for additional living space upstairs instead.  Again, the pale walls contrast with our timbers to give a clean, fresh look to the home.  Polished concrete floors on the ground floor and oak boards on the first make for a stylish property as does the decorating in one of the bedrooms!

NZ Woolsheds inspire stunning frame for new home in Tai Tapu

NZ woolshed-inspired stunning frame for new home in Tai Tapu

Our clients on this project have taken ‘involvement’ to new heights! The macrocarpa trees were planted (26 years ago), felled, logged and milled by the client. He then bid them au revoir and had them transported from Christchurch to our workshop in Ruby Bay. Our instructions were to create a rustic frame, retaining all the wane (natural curve to the wood once the bark is removed) and natural features that we found in the timbers. The 10-acre section where these timbers were ultimately destined for is far from ordinary.  Rich planting of natives took place twenty years ago and there is a beautiful flower garden and established vegetable patch, so the new property needed to sit here comfortably; an organic approach was called for.

Ensuring the joints and housings matched up perfectly made an interesting change for the Timberworks crew as normally we’d be dealing with right-angles and square timbers but it was an extremely rewarding process and everyone was delighted with the end product. It was a fascinating journey for us to work with a client who had such intimate knowledge, not only of each and every timber on this project, but of plants and forestry in general. The lifecycle of these trees is clearly evident in the macrocarpa frame; many details which are normally removed during milling and crafting were actually retained, accentuated and celebrated; photos 15 & 16 show this clearly; sapwood as well as heartwood, wane, burrows created by insects etc. The walnut stain applied as the final stage brought all these details to life and gave a rich patina to the dressed but only coarsely-sanded, timbers.

We had a great team for the 4-day raising in Tai Tapu with the clients and their builder pulling their weight and putting in long hours. We had a clear, perfectly even ‘Magroc’ floor pad to work on and the whole building will be sheathed in these structural insulated panels (SIPs) which will make for a fast, straightforward build. The Canterbury weather was ideal and the week flew by; before we knew it, that enormous jigsaw had been assembled, the last piece ceremoniously inserted and the frame ‘topped out’ traditionally with a large sprig of macrocarpa. For now we must wish our clients good luck with the remainder of their build and we look forward to renewing acquaintances when we visit later in the year to see the finished product!

** April 2017 We’re delighted to hear that our clients are now happily esconced in their stunning new home having fought off the fires which raged all around them in February 2017. Their vision and attention to detail sing out in the finished property as these new photos demonstrate.

Great work by High Country Homes who were the principal builder and designer.

Pre-engineered design for Mohawk barn in Rangiora

Mohawk barn in Rangiora

We’re delighted to have some photos of a recently completed house near Rangiora. The exposed Macrocarpa internal frame contrasts beautifully with the white walls and the clients’ choice of furnishings showcases the timber in spectactular fashion. The drama of the vaulted ceiling can be appreciated from many different angles within the property and of course from both the ground and first floors.

Award winning B & B in Hanmer

Award winning B&B in Hanmer

Set in the beautiful outskirts of Hanmer, surrounded by 360 degree mountain views, this architect designed property is a stunning place to call home. The clients drew inspiration from the English style post and beam projects they saw on Grand Designs and in books and magazines and committed themselves to creating something similar. The Post and Beam is crafted from rough-sawn macrocarpa with a light sand and oiled finish. The post and beam extends throughout the living areas, Bed & Breakfast reception area, front entrance and covered verandahs.  There are a multitude of exposed beams, posts, braces etc which look gorgeous in this extensive building.  The combination of warm timbers and pale plastered walls creates a truly inviting home and the split-levels and mezzanine make for an interesting, characterful layout.

Experience Timberworks’ craftsmanship first-hand by staying at this stunning property; go to Mad Cow Manor.

Expansive Douglas Fir frame in Kaikoura

Expansive Douglas Fir frame in Kaikoura

Kaikoura Mountain Retreat was a truly inspiring project to be involved in. The location has unsurpassed views over the Kaikoura coast line and mountain ranges. The clients have extensive experience in the international timber industry and knew the style of property they wished to create and from which species of timber. The Post and beam frame is made from Canadian Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar. The structure consists of two 12m long by 1m deep girder trusses which sit on four large posts and are connected with black steel plates and traditional Mortise & tenon joinery. Spanning between the two girder trusses are nine 6m span arch trusses at 1.5m centres.  Douglas Fir common rafters tie the trusses into the side walls.  The end result is spectacular, the photos say it all.

Elevated Property overlooking Tasman Bay

Elevated property overlooking Tasman Bay

This house design was inspired by the client’s desire to create a home with many unique features and functions; from the curved church-like front door, to the circular tower with a captain’s lookout on top.  The large post and beam frame in the living areas creates an original, warm feel throughout the home.  This hand crafted Timberworks frame is made of Macrocarpa and includes oversized main posts and rafters.  It also has curved floor joists through the entrance foyer which give a nautical feel and the post and beam front entrance is carefully blended into the circular tower.

Custom-designed frame in the Redwood Valley with Douglas Fir entranceway

Custom-designed frame in the Redwood Valley with Douglas Fir entranceway

This house was inspired by the clients’ love of French oak post and beam buildings.  Originally from the Island of Guernsey, they used large timbers plus oversized walls and recycled brick cladding to create a timeless home.  The frame was made from old growth Douglas Fir grown in Nelson and was left bandsawn with just a light sand to make the timber smooth to touch.  A classic irregular chamfer was placed on all the edges and together with the dark stain produced the aged French Oak look that they were aiming for.

“…as we approach winter, we are stocking up on logs for the fire.  You could say we are looking forward to sitting in our living room under the magnificent structure the Timberworks crew created for us.  We have had so many positive comments from visitors, friends and family over the last year which makes us feel really proud of what we have got here.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for a wonderful experience and an awesome result.” – Simon and Kay Duquemin

Skillion frame in the Cashmere Hills

Skillion frame in the Cashmere Hills

A contemporary home with a mono-pitch roof is not your typical Post and Beam project but suits the timberframing methods perfectly.  Timberworks worked closely with the clients to design three simple Macrocarpa Post and Beam frames which were then connected with exposed rafters. Together with the curved braces and the irregular sarking this created an inviting timber element in all the living areas.

Dramatic two-storey frame in Leigh

Dramatic two-storey frame in Leigh

This stunning location in Leigh, looking over the hills to the sea beyond was crying out for an equally sensational property.  The clients had researched timberframing and had many ideas they wanted to incorporate into their new home.  An extensive home with two-storey Great Hall and dining area was planned with single storey wings to either side.  Lawson cypress was used and all connections were made using traditional mortise and tenon joints.  Deep hammer-beam trusses were incorporated into the frame in the Great Hall, finished with carved pendants at the base of the hammer-posts.  Sadly, we don’t yet have any photos of the finished house but we’re confident it looks spectacular.

Contemporary frame for Braemar Eco-Village, Nelson

Contemporary frame at Braemer Eco-Village, Nelson

Braemer Eco-Village is the site of this project, tucked into the base of the Grampians, in Nelson, with 180-degree views that take in the Richmond Ranges and Nelson Haven.  A contemporary design was developed with posts and curved beams to support the roof.  Hidden steel connections were used.  Wooden doors, window frames and other timber features have been used in the internal fitout which complement the macrocarpa beams and together with the pale painted walls give an light, airy, modern feel to the property.

The property is available for rental at certain times of the year; take a look at the website: Holiday Nelson



Crafted timber frame for a home in Porirua

Crafted timber frame for a home in Porirua

A bespoke timber frame was designed for this client with exposed posts, braces, rafters and ridge beams visible from the ground floor, looking up into the roof on the second floor.  The bedrooms have exposed trusses and macrocarpa posts were also used outside as supports for the veranda.  Concealed steel connections were used.  The final house has a real feeling of solidity and warmth to it, with many interesting features. Note the half lapped, dovetail, collar beam joinery.

Three different Mohawk Barn projects

Three different Mohawk Barn Projects

Timberworks have worked with clients in three locations over the past couple of years.  These are all nearing completion and we hope to have some photos of the finished houses soon. They each had innovative features based on the same cross-section that includes grand vaulted areas, extended floor areas under lean-to roofs, entrance porches and hybrid extensions.

A Timberworks English Barn in Appleby

A Timberworks English Barn in Appleby

This Timberworks English barn overlooks the Waimea Estuary just along the coast from Nelson.  The clients wanted to create an English style barn with two bedrooms and en-suites that could be used for accommodation for themselves initially and then for guests in the future. The Timberworks pre-designed 6.2m wide frame suited the design brief and the bandsawn post and beam frame was exposed externally on the North side of the building to add another dimension to that elevation; whereas the  frame on the remaining three sides of the building was visible from the interior which is how the barns are generally finished.  The clients chose to line the ceilings in tongue and groove plywood to continue the timber theme and create a warm, traditional feel.  Timberworks supplied a full design, build and project management package for these clients, though we no longer offer a full-build option.

English Barn raising near Wanaka

English Barn raising near Wanaka

Stunning rural location not far from Wanaka, this property looks to mountain ranges all around.  Our client was a builder and enjoyed being very involved in the raising process, we are hoping for some finished photos soon!


Pre-engineered barn-style home in Tasman

English Barn in Tasman

Using a barn design that had already been engineered and built by Timberworks meant that this client saved on some design costs.  The ‘basic’ shape was extended with the addition of a lean-to which is currently being used as a wood store and an entrance-porch, thereby creating a more appealing shape to the building.  Though working to a tight budget, our clients were able to create a characterful, homely dwelling.