Shuswap hammer beam residenceSlide thumbnail
Shuswap lake hammer beam residence
Shuswap lake hammer beam front
view from the front at shuswap lake
view of the lake
patio living
outdoor living area
stair landing
dining room
kitchen to dining room
warm fireplace
living area
hammer beam detail
view from above
ceiling beams and timbers
sitting area
master bedroom
timber frame detail
stairs into living area
steel and timber integration

Shuswap Lake, BC, Hammer Beam

This magnificent home is L-shaped, and all three roof peaks are the same height. This means that one intersecting point in the structure receives structural members from three directions. Normally, many beams coming together at once would weaken the intersection. Our challenge was to achieve the strength needed without changing the height of the horizontal structural members — and presented a good opportunity to use non-visible steel fasteners at key spots.

We installed the timber frame for this house in 2008. The project was brought to lockup stage, with completion scheduled in 2011. This high end project incorporates tight-grain coastal Douglas fir, all free-of-heart centre and radio frequency kiln dried for as much stability and beauty as possible. All materials and processes on this frame are optimal. The wall and roof timber frames are wrapped with structural insulated panels (SIPs); the exposed timber is then added to the outside of the panels.


Hammer beam truss with tension bar.

Intersection of three roof peaks.






Peter Sauter, JP Sauter Architect



3,000 board feet



Select structural coastal Douglas fir, all tight ring, at least 12 rings/in., radio frequency kiln dried