Post and Beam vs Stick Frame

Like the look of post and beam, but not sure how it compares to a conventional (stick frame) building? Here we discuss four of the key structural differences.

1) Bent/Truss Spacing

  • Post and Beam: Twelve feet between bents
  • Stick Frame: Two feet between trusses

Legacy Post and Beam buildings get their strength from ‘bents’ that are built from 6 inch thick fully dimensional Douglas fir timbers. Stick frame buildings are supported by wood trusses built from 2 inch thick dimensional lumber. These are durable pieces of wood – but a large number are needed to provide the strength to support a structure. When you compare that to the post and beam bents, the load bearing capabilities of the 6 inch thick wood is significantly higher, which ultimately allows for larger spaces between the supporting sections.


2) Interior Walls

  • Post & Beam: Not needed for strength. Customers add interior walls to meet floorplan preferences.
  • Stick Frame: Supporting walls are required and can dictate/limit floorplan options.


3) Visual

  • Post & Beam: Since fully dimensional timbers are used, the natural beauty can be left exposed according to owners tastes.
  • Stick Frame: Structural components are not appealing and must be covered up completely with drywall or other materials.


4) Second Story/Loft

  • Post & Beam: As you can see in the picture below, the second story of a post and beam building has a significant amount of usable space. By simply adding floor joists and flooring materials this space can be finished from corner to corner as desired by the customer.
  • Stick frame: – To use the second floor in a conventional building, attic trusses are needed that close off the sides and allow only the center square to be utilized.

*Blue Outline = Usable Space

To learn more about the differences between post and beam and stick frame buildings, post and beam construction in general, or to get started on a Legacy Post & Beam kit, contact us at 605-665-8310 or