Modern timber frame houses – timbered was the most common type of wooden building until the development of milled oversized timber. Half-timbered houses are built of large timber, sometimes as much as 12 inches square, joined by a variety of interlocking joints held together with wooden pegs. Traditional wood frames do not use nails or other metal fasteners.
The basic common used in modern timber frame houses, called a mortise and tenon. A mortise is a hole which has been cut into the side of a timber. The tap is the end of the piece of wood that will join it, cut to fit snugly into the hole. After the pin is mounted in the mortise, one or more holes are drilled, passing through the forest around mortise and tenon through. Pegs are hammered into the holes, thus ensuring the two beams together permanently. Mortises can only go half-way into the wood, leaving the other side untouched, or can be cut all the way through, so that the pin protrudes on the other side.
A defining characteristic that can be seen in the half-timbered barns and homes, the presence of diagonal bracing. Diagonal braces, built into the corners where the beams meet posts, helping to keep the angles of the square and in order to strengthen the joints. Braces can be created with just timber, but is sometimes more decorative by using natural bent pieces of wood. Braces are attached to the posts and joists with mortise and tenon joints. The beams that support the ceiling is often left exposed in modern timber frame houses to show the natural beauty of the wood.