Timber frames come in all shapes and sizes. Not every timber frame has to be a traditional post and beam structure. This cabin, located near Park Rapids, MN, integrates Eastern White Pine timbers with structural insulated panels (SIPs) instead of posts on the exterior walls. Given the width of the great room, the owner thought adding posts would make that space a bit claustrophobic. Our design team developed a plan that incorporates plenty of timber, but works from the center out and top down. There is one center post, a ridge beam, rafters, a fantastic bent framing the lake view, and timber floor joists in the loft, which will double as ceiling timbers for the kitchen below.

Eastern White Pine timber frame

The center-out, top-down design of this cabin leads the eye to the lake view.

This frame also demonstrates the versatility and strength of SIPs. Once we have a finalized design, we send it to Enercept to custom cut the SIPs. Consequently, our timber frame and Enercept’s SIPs integrate perfectly to create a seamless, efficient shell.

Rafters resting on Enercept SIPs.

Eastern White Pine rafters resting on Enercept SIPs

The design of the timbers on this cabin all point towards the bent framing the lake view. After cutting the timbers in our shop, we fit them to ensure the raising goes without issue.

Eastern White Pine timber bent

We fit all timber frames in the shop before they are shipped. This is the bent for the cabin at fitting.


The bent after raising and installation of the Enercept SIPs.

Once the timbers were raised on this frame, the crew installed the pine tongue and groove ceiling. Enercept roof panels were then put on the exterior of the tongue and groove.

Pine tongue and groove ceiling with Eastern White Pine timbers.

Pine tongue and groove ceiling over the loft bedroom.

Enercept roof SIPs installed over pine tongue and groove.

Enercept roof SIPs installed over the exterior of the pine tongue and groove ceiling.

This cabin uses Enercept SIPs instead of posts along the wall, utilizing the available space to highlight the timbers in the ceiling and the in the lake-side bent. Whatever the design of your timber frame, the Enercept SIPs will be custom cut to fit precisely with the timbers, creating a seamless structure that is beautiful and efficient. We hope the homeowners enjoy their new cabin.