Pergola with tables

When a baby grizzly bear is born it is the size of a 4-week-old kitten —weighing only 1-pound. And although, bears may seem like cuddlesome creatures, they are not your lovable Paddington, Winnie-the-Pooh or Theodore fluffy-style teddy bear.

Wild bears grow to be rather large in size. They are not a creature most people would look forward to meeting on a hiking trail. Relative to where they live and the food they eat —a mature female grizzly weighs anywhere from 300 to 500 pounds; the male grizzly between 400 to 700 pounds.

Typically, a newly born bear cub will weigh between one three-hundredth to one five-hundredth as much as their mother. If you were to liken that to a human newborn, the infant would have a weight of 3.5 to 6 ounces.

Perspective of your weight at 500 times

A 1-pound bear cub could never stand up against a 500-pound grizzly bear by throwing its pound around.

The Dovetail Difference®
500 Times Stronger

500% GREATER
STRENGTH AND LOAD CAPACITY
compared to traditional hangers
Cherishing
THE AMERICAN TRADITION
of FAMILY
COMMUNITY
and COUNTRY
large timbre frame pavilion kit

The strength and stability of an arbor, gazebo, pavilion, pergola or trellis
depends heavily on the joints that hold all parts together
.

Western Timber Frame’s The Dovetail Difference® is a patented sure support, wood-to-wood joint system that connects all of whole structure together. The beefed-up construction is engineered in a unique joint design that is 500% greater in strength and load carrying capacity as compared to traditional lags and hangers.

pressure test dovetail mortise joint

The patented design The Dovetail Difference®, the massive mortise and tenon dovetail joint system throughout our timber construction process creates very strong, rigid joints. On the test pictured this joint did not give until it reached over 11,000 pounds!

Timber framing is an elegant and beautiful style of construction. For millenniums of time, timberwrights around the world have used mortise and tenon joints to securely join two pieces of wood together.

Ancient Joint System

Archeologists unearthed four wooden water wells that were built using a mortise and tenon joint system. Located near the town of Leipzig in Germany, the wells are believed to be the world’s oldest preserved timber frame construction. They are dated to have been constructed somewhere between 5206 and 5098 B.C.

The skill of artisan timberwrights have been passed down through the generations and their mastered skills have withstood the test of time. One example, is the Jokhang Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet.

The Jokhang Monastery is believed to be the oldest, still in use —timber frame architecture in the world. It dates back to the 7th century.

timber frame timbers ancient craftsmanship

Sketch of Jokhang Monastery timber frame columns. Built in 674 A.D., the Jokhang Monastery, is touted as the oldest timber frame architectural dwelling in the world.

types of joinery

There are many different types of wooden joint connections used in traditional joinery. The most basic joint in timber framing is the mortise and tenon joint. Traditional timber frame joints are variations on this joint.

To give more strength to joint connections  —a conscientious timberwright may house the mortise and tenon joints. This is to help take some of the heavy load carrying weight of the beams as to not rest solely on the tenon.

mortise tenon joint connection plan

Mortise and Tenon before sliding into connection.

wood to wood mortise tenon conatural

Mortise and Tenon after sliding into a joint connection.

Unlike nails, (the most common fastener used in construction today) the union of timbers by mortise and tenon joints are superior in strength, time-proven to hold steadfast.

Withdrawal resistance of a nail depends upon the condition and diameter of the nail, the depth of penetration, and the density of the wood. Wood naturally expands and contracts through seasonal weathering and eventually nails loose their grip.

This is why, even though timberwrights may even go so far as to reinforce their joint connections with steel plates and ties, it will not have the same staying power over time as a wood-to-wood joint connection.

The Dovetail Difference® — Unrivaled Design
Immaculate Craftsmanship, Dependability & Quality

dovetail

At Western Timber Frame, plates and ties can be added for decorative purposes only —not as a support. The ability of a nail to resist withdrawal from a piece of wood depends upon the condition and diameter of the nail, the depth of penetration, and the density of the wood. As wood naturally expands and contracts, nails are liable to loose their grip.

When wood interlocks with wood-to-wood joint connections it is as though it becomes a beautiful extension of itself.

The reason for housing the tenons is also because the tenon is the most vulnerable section in traditional timber frame joints. Traditional timber framing requires notching with a chainsaw cut or a “U” shape —mortising out of the center of a post— which weakens the integrity of the timber. The smaller remaining portions of extended wood are the tenons left to support on the sides. They are almost sure to eventually separate, leave gaps, and eventually even break off. Eventually could mean in a season for over several seasons as timber is strong and is still one of man’s best and finest building materials. But at Western, we believe in quality. We are not just building for the present; we are building responsible and aesthetically pleasing architecture for the future —the grandchildren’s grandchildren should enjoy it, too.

The award winning patented joint system, we call The Dovetail Difference® was engineered by its originator, Hyrum Thompson, co-owner of Western Timber Frame™. Hyrum had envisioned a more architecturally responsible timber frame construction.

Hyrum’s ingenuity in this innovative patented design of The Dovetail Difference® joint system is recognized as an artisan engineering masterpiece, exceptionally superior to traditional timber frame joinery.

Hyrum believed there had to be a way to cut a mortise without compromising the integrity of the timber. The idea came to him to bevel the mortise with a tapered joint on the outer portion of the post instead of cutting out the center of the post.

Housing the tenons is also because the tenon is the most vulnerable section in traditional timber frame joints.

The ability of a nail to resist withdrawal from a piece of wood depends upon the condition and diameter of the nail, the depth of penetration, and the density of the wood. As wood naturally expands and contracts, nails are liable to loose their grip.

With the help of modern industrial tools timber frame construction we now have the means to create cuts and designs that our forefathers could only dream of.

Douglas fir is well-known to hold nails and screws well.

chainsaw traditional timber frame mortise tenon

Traditional Timber Frame

The Dovetail Difference Joint Connection

Similar to a three dimensional puzzle, the tenon —a reverse image of the mortise— slides in to create a tight fit. With the wood-to-wood connection, it allows the wood to naturally expand and contract, virtually eliminating gaps!

elephant in a red high heel shoe

Imagine an elephant balanced with all of its weight on a high-heel shoe. The inch area beneath the heel would inflict a considerable increase in weight force than if it the elephant had all of its weight balancing in one running shoe that covered one square foot. By spreading the force per unit area the load factor is much less.

On every single joint connection the ShadeScape® outdoor living shelter is 500 times more resilient. With each individual joint carrying its own weight, an arbor, gazebo, pavilion, pergola, or trellis built with The Dovetail Difference® joint system is exponentially stable. ShadeScape® outdoor living structures will stand up against other conventional shade shelters.

For centuries dovetail mortise joints have been used for wood-to-wood joinery. We have used dovetail mortise and tenon joinery on our pergolas and pavilion for many years, and our customers can attest to the strength and durability of The Dovetail Difference®.

ShadeScape® Pergola Stood Strong Through Hurricane Irma!

“Are you kidding pavilion-planthis Pergola has already been through its first hurricane, Irma. She stood tall and proud and never wavered.

Our neighbors with us sat under her and watched as men from Texas cut trees down off the lines and restored our power. Thank you for your wonderful product she gave our neighbors shade when there was none.

Be proud of your product. Thanks.” — Kenneth Baker, Florida

For centuries dovetail mortise joints have been used for wood-to-wood joinery. We have used dovetail mortise and tenon joinery on our pergolas and pavilion for many years, and our customers can attest to the strength and durability of The Dovetail Difference®.

half round pergola kit

#DFYPergolaKit Half Round ShadeScape® Pergola Kit #DIYPergolaPlan

With a thorough understanding of load paths and design properties, well-seasoned timbers with the mortise and tenon joint systems have supported wide open spaces including cathedral ceilings, great rooms in castles, commercial constructions, expanded bridges and more. Timber frame structures have lasted for centuries; in some cases, even millenniums.

rusted hangers on pergola

With the patented The Dovetail Difference® there are no exposed screws, lags, bolts, hangers or other mechanical fasteners.

timber frame pavilion

Putting Your Weight Into Perspective

Every person carries their weight differently. Because people put on weight gradually, they can easily add a few pounds over time without realizing the extra strain on their body. This is due in part as to how the weight is distributed. When the weight force is divided across a larger surface area, it can make it much easier to carry. If an elephant stepped on your foot, would you rather it be wearing a running shoe or a high heeled shoe?  A high-heeled shoe would be more painful when all that weight is centered on one point.

An item carried in a different manner also impacts how heavy or how light it feels overall. This is not a physics trick. It is simply gaining efficiency by using your skeleton to bear the weight rather than your muscles. To simply demonstrate, a modular brick weighs about 3.5 pounds. Hold a modular brick or other similar 3-pound item in your hand and extend your arm out fully away from your body. You will soon notice the strain in your arm muscles. Then raise your arm vertically, straight up over your shoulder. Now, that the weight is supported by the bones in your arm, there is much less effort for your muscles to hold it in that position.

Time has its role in staying strong. Take for instance, a full gallon of water weighs about just over 8 lbs. If you pick it up and set it down it may not seem that heavy. But hold that gallon jug of water for 5 minutes and you would start to feel tired.

It’s amazing how the elements of the human body all work together for things we don’t often think about.

TRADITIONAL
Old-World Craftsmanship

For centuries Dovetail mortise joints have been used for wood-to-wood joinery. We have used dovetail mortise and tenon joinery on our pergolas and pavilion for many years, and our customers can attest to the strength and durability of The Dovetail Difference® —a patented design of Western Timber Frame™.

With a thorough understanding of load paths and design properties, well-seasoned timbers with the mortise and tenon joint systems have supported wide open spaces —including cathedral ceilings, great rooms in castles, commercial constructions, expanded bridges and more —structures have lasted for centuries —sometimes millenniums.

Targeted
SHADE

A cantilevered roof on an arbor, awning, gazebo, pavilion or pergola is the perfect way to extend protection and shade to a targeted area. For example, you could have an area that you would like to set up your barbecue without taking up space in your living area. A designated portion of the roof would extend to provide shade covering the cooking space.

diy pergola plan with cantilevered roof design

#DIYCantileverPergolaPlan Cantilever Pergola Plan

There is an importance of beauty in architecture. Aesthetic appeal is based upon personal taste. Certain architectural forms do make more aesthetic appeal to the masses than others.

Similar to a suspended table or bed a cantilever roof feels free and unfettered jutting out into the open air. It is a design feature that has been extremely popular in outdoor living environments.

Our Design Managers are experts in outdoor living environments to help you create a truly inviting outdoor living environment that fits your needs and your budget.

round roof

#DIYRoundPergolaPlan Cantilever Pergola Kit Plan

Cantilever
PERGOLA

The Cantilever roof is an extension of the timber frame outdoor shade shelter.
Foremost of importance is to take a look at the overall design the cantilever extends from.

We help you design and build your kit, from
CONCEPT to CREATION

exploded attached pergola plan

We help you design your kit; then we ship your kit right to your door. Each kit is pre- marked and includes easy step-by-step instructions. With easy interlocking joints, your kit will be ready to just drop into place, somewhat similar to the toy “Lincoln Logs” we used to play with as kids. The pieces are easy to assemble and interlock into place. We do the hard work for you.

Western Timber Frame™ is different; we do not fit you with a pre-made, cookie cutter kit. These are not kits that you can buy in your average big box store. All of our kits are custom built to match your requirements and to fit your back yard.

We call our pergolas and pavilions a kit because we ship them to your door ready to assemble. However, due to the heavy timbers, and their custom nature your Structure will not look like a typical kit. Your pergola will be an outstanding hand crafted room in your backyard.

Building a Project with Western Timber Frame™ is a simple process you can do in person, over the phone, or via email.

The Dovetail Difference®

The Dovetail Difference® is an unprecedented masterpiece of architectural engineering. A simple, yet strong design provides greater stability and heavier load capacities.

It allows the wood to perform as nature intended, expanding and contracting while keeping the joints tight and secure throughout the years.

Helps to Eliminate Gaps and Exposure

The Dovetail Difference® has a trapezoidal angle shaped dovetail (mortise) that interlocks with another angled (tenon) creating a snug fit. This snug fit allows for the natural seasonal expansion and contraction of timber pergola joints.

the dovetail difference

Tight fitting joints in which little movement is allowed between the mortise and tenon can shoulder greater loads than loose, bolt or peg joints. The dovetail mortise and tenon gives the timber the ability to expand and contract while remaining tight, minimizing gap exposure, reducing twisting and warping.

The patented The Dovetail Difference® also eliminates virtually all exposed hardware, bolts, screws, hangers or other mechanical fasteners unless they are decorative in nature.

Mortise and tenon joints have soundly stood stronger through centuries of architectural constructions because it allows for the wood to naturally expand and contract while maintaining its integral shape without nail or glue construction.

eliminate exposed hardware
ocean timber frame pavilion

Buildings are considered to be solid, immobile structures, yet we live in an environment of continual motion where even the most solid structures will move in waves up and down as well as side-to-side.

Seasoned timbers of this scale with The Dovetail Difference® naturally move and adjust to this persistent micro-motion.

Superior Strength

Independent engineering has shown that dovetail joints are 500% greater in strength and load carrying capacity as compared to traditional hangers. They can withstand strong 120+ MPH winds, heavy mountainous snows, and they have strong, rigid corners. Not only do you get superior strength, but this design makes installation faster and more convenient.

pressure test dovetail mortise joint

Picture: On the test pictured above, The Dovetail Difference® dovetail didn’t break until it hit over 11,000 lbs!

pavilion test

Traditional Craftsmanship

For centuries Dovetail mortise joints have been used for wood-to-wood joinery. We have used dovetail mortise and tenon joinery on our pergolas and pavilion for many years, and our customers can at- test to the strength and durability of The Dovetail Difference®.

With a thorough understanding of load paths and design properties, well-seasoned timbers with the mortise and tenon joint systems have supported wide open spaces including cathedral ceilings, great rooms in castles, commercial constructions, expanded bridges and more structures have lasted for centuries, sometimes millenniums.

Beam-to-Post Application

Our unique drop-in rafter layout system allows for a quick, snap-together Beam-to-Post application that prevents warping and twisting for unmatched quality and durability.

Saves time in layout and assembly of your beams and posts. Our experienced craftsman does the hard work for you.

beam to post
guide slot rafters

Drop-in Rafter Layouts

Another unique feature that we include with every timber pergola kit is drop-in rafter layouts.

There are two main benefits of the drop-in rafter layout. The first is ease of installation. Because the timber beam that supports the rafters is already marked and slotted, you do not have to measure anything or try to figure the proper spacing of your rafters.

The second benefit of the drop-in rafter layout is that it helps prevent warping and twisting of the rafters.

Heavy Timber Kits

We ship ShadeScape® Pergolas, Pavilions, and Arbors daily throughout North America. These kits range from 2,500 – 11,000 lbs. (they often larger on commercial or large custom projects).

The average ShadeScape® shipment weighs over 5,500 lbs. We transport the kit by freight because of the sheer mass and weight of the timbers.

ShadeScape® Timbers are not a small bundle of wood or dimensional lumber from your local big box hardware store. These structures are NOT like your average $800 – $2,000 cookie cutter pergola kit that weighs somewhere around 200 lbs. – 380 lbs and fits inside 2-3 cardboard boxes.

timber beam ends

Packaged ShadeScape® shelter kits have an average of 16 feet in length, 36 in height, and 48 in width. We build custom heavy duty pallets to ship these ShadeScape® kits to sustain the mass and weight of the timbers.

When we ship your kit, it is going to come on the back of a semi-trailer. Remember, our structures are 10 to 30 times the weight of a big box store kit.

our guys in the shop with timber beams

Despite their massive size, they are easier and quicker to assemble than smaller less sturdy kits. Western Timber Frame™ utilizes our patented dovetail joint method for our beam-to-post connections. Everything is pre-cut, pre-finished, and pre-fitted. We make it easy to assemble.

Timber frame pavilion in shop assemble

Conventional Timber Framing

Most Timberwrights build a pergola or pavilion with a conventional mortise and tenon notch. They use a chainsaw to cut a notch out of the post and beam. They cut out a “U” shape through the post on both sides, and then they slide them through each other, lock the joint in place, and then bolt it in place.

If they are very skilled, they can get a pretty tight seam. It can look great. However, after six months to a year, sometimes two years, you start getting gaps in joints. That is the nature of wood. Wood expands and contracts. So thin posts and cuts can become brittle and break off, making the timber structure look terrible.

chainsaw traditional timber frame mortise tenon
conventional dovetail timber cracking

Conventional Joint After Only 18 Months

What Makes Us Different

dovetail difference

SUPERIOR QUALITY

• 500% Stronger Than Hangers and Bolts
• Structural Integrity
• Quick Installation
• Pre-cut Slots
• Fast Alignment
• Simple Installation
• No Exposed Hardware
• Authentic Craftsmanship

INCLUDED HARDWARE

Each pergola comes complete with all hardware and post mounts needed for installation. Our unique assembly method allows the Timber pergola to have a sleek final appearance virtually eliminating all visible screws, lags, bolts, hangers or mechanical fasteners.

hardware included

STAIN COLOR OPTIONS

To make sure that your pergola looks great and lasts, we only use the highest quality premium grade stain. All stain colors have the highest UV-rating possible and are water based to make them durable and safe. For your convenience, we pre-stain all kits before shipping.
Note: Your stain color and your other standard options are completely free. With every kit, we include your choice of Stain, Knee Brace, and Beam Profile.

wild olive stain
early american
rich cordoba stain
canyon grey
Alpine White Stain
rich sequoia stain
ebony black stain
natural stain
beach sand stain
bleached stain
arrows for bleach
bleach stain

ShadeScape® Series

The ShadeScape® Series represents excellence in world-class architecture. We utilize rough-sawn heavy timbers to create the ultimate outdoor living structures.

The Western Timber Frame ShadeScape® Series offer an extensive range of size options to create superior outdoor living experiences.

Each landscape is unique in size, location, and application. The ShadeScape® Series can be customized to fit any outdoor environment.
True to size rough-sawn timbers provide timeless quality while embracing authentic old-world craftsmanship.

6,000 Series ShadeScape® Pergola Kit

6000 series

6,000 SERIES
• 6″ x 6″ Posts
• 3″ x 10″ Beams
• 2″ x 8″ Rafters
• 2″ x 4″ Shade Planks
• 2″ x 8″ Knee Braces

2,925 Pounds
886 Board Feet

8,000 Series ShadeScape® Pergola Kit

8000 series timber pergola kit

8,000 SERIES
• 8″ x 8″ Posts
• 4″ x 12″ Beams
• 3″ x 10″ Rafters
• 2″ x 6″ Shade Planks
• 3″ x 8″ Knee Braces

10,000 Series ShadeScape® Pergola Kit

10000 series pergola kit

10,000 SERIES
• 10″ x 10″ Posts
• 6″ x 12″ Beams
• 4″ x 10″ Rafters
• 3″ x 6″ Shade Planks
• 4″ x 8″ Knee Braces

12,000 Series ShadeScape® Pergola Kit

12000 series kit pergola

12,000 SERIES
• 12″ x 12″ Posts
• 8″ x 12″ Beams
• 6″ x 8″ Rafters
• 4″ x 6″ Shade Planks
• 6″ x 8″ Knee Braces

Light Up Your ShadeScape®

pergola lights

Don’t overlook adequate lighting in your yard. Outdoor Lights extend usability, lengthening the number of hours your family can enjoy in your outside living room. Solar LEDs, garden path lights, fire braziers, candles, a fire pit, etc. are some of the many possibilities.

Lighting is not the most expensive outdoor improvement, yet it adds value to a home; showing off your ShadeScape® Structure while enhancing the beauty of the landscape.

TimberVolt® Outdoor Integrated Power

We designed the new TimberVolt® power system specifically for outdoor wood arbors, gazebos, pavilions, and pergolas. The TimberVolt® system is pre-drilled with a hole down the center of one post to accommodate all of your electrical and lighting needs.

It is all concealed and out of sight and also offers protection from the elements with electrical boxes with covers installed. The TimberVolt® series eliminates conduits, nails, unsightly and unsafe exposed wires and reduces the cost of, or even prevents the need to hire an electrician.

TimberVolt® power posts allow you to maximize your outdoor time. Timber- Volt® posts are pre-drilled through the entire shaft. Our pre-wiring options will save time and money by making it easy to bring power to your outdoor living area. Your structure will be ready to use the moment you install it; no need to wait for someone to wire it up.

You can add as many TimberVolt® posts as you need, and configure their locations as much as you like. The Dragon and Inferno models provide grid-free power in a self-contained unit. The Dragon and the Inferno models use GFI plugs to protect you and your equipment. Just connect the male plug to a generator, and you are ready to go.

Meet Your Design Manager

Each ShadeScape kit is custom for your needs and your backyard. Our Design Managers work with you to determine what your needs are for your unique situation. They’re experts in out- door living environments. They work for you to help you create a truly personal outdoor liv- ing space based on your needs. They’ll listen to you, and in turn, ask you questions to help you create a truly inviting outdoor living envi- ronment that fits your needs and your budget.

This whole process usually takes less than 20 minutes. Total turn around time to delivery is about two weeks. In our busy season, it can be as long as three weeks. You only need to know the color and the ‘look’ you want to get started. Our Design Managers know the industry and can pull your project together with just a few suggestions.

Your Designer will guide you step-by-step from planning, measuring your yard, and getting your kit built and shipped.

Most importantly, we focus on designing to fit your lifestyle. We want your outdoor living space to be beautiful. We do this through a tailored approach, to guarantee a perfect fit.

Dedicated design manager

Your Design Manager will make sure that your project is a Success.

• He will help you measure and choose the right size for your yard.
• You will see what you’re getting, with free 3D Renderings & Design.
• Get easy HOA and engineering approval, when our experts help you.
• We work with your subcontractors, to get your project done on time.
• Your Designer make sure that your project stays within your budget.

Installation

“We researched quite a few sites and talked to many people before investing in a Western Timber Frame pergola. What sold us was the dove tails! The or- dering process was quite simple. It arrived in a nice bundle. We were able to put up our Western Timber Frame pergola with only 3 of us. It was amazingly simple.” Teri Mullins, Kentucky

pergola kit uninstalled
setting out kit
installation
installing
installed pergola after
with lights on pergola

We make installation simple. We test fit every single piece before we ship it to you to ensure that your installation will be easy and fun. With very little carpentry skills, a few basic tools, and the help of a friend or two, you can install your Timber Pergola in one afternoon.
Your kit will be have detailed instructions for a fast and easy assembly. The joints will have a clean, tight joint finish without the view of unsightly hardware.

All our pergola kit parts are pre-cut, pre-drilled, and pre-notched with easy interlocking corners and drop-in rafter layouts.
We provide instructions in our installation manual as well as technical support from one of our installers at your request. Our support team is available during the week to answer any questions you have via phone or email.

DIY Installation

We are very happy to assemble and install your pergola for you, just give us a call. However, if you are just feeling intimidated by the massive size of these timber frame pergola kits, you will find it quite easy to install, and we are there to ensure your installation is successful.