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 and 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 and 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

*Blue Outline = Usable Space

Post and 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.

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

Related Articles