I do timber frame panel repairs, using materials that take into account the movement inherent in the frame, keeping things warm and dry on the inside and preventing rot from causing long-term damage.
Oakum, lime-hemp plaster, and oil mastic provide flexibility, watertightness, breathability, and are non-toxic.
'...oak, if allowed to do so, will survive outdoors for a thousand years, and survive in a condition to defy saws, as the 19th-century restorers recorded.'
- 'English Historic Carpentry' by Cecil A. Hewett
'...not to be thwarted, we replaced some of the supports and cut all of the braces out of the frame with a chain saw. When we pulled the supports out again, it sagged a little... Angry now, we hooked a cable to one of the corner posts and to my four-wheel drive pickup and proceeded to dig little holes for each of my wheels... ...After pulling with the wrecker [truck] for several hours, the frame leaned over...'
- description of trying to demolish a timber framed barn.
'Building the Timber Frame House' by Tedd Benson
Made right, out of the right materials, a building will last for generations. Compare with a modern, standard-construction house:
'Stephen Boniface, the chairman of the Building Conservation Forum at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, says: "Just because a house is old, it does not necessarily mean it is inferior. Victorian and Edwardian houses were generally built with better-quality materials, and using superior methods. That is why they have lasted for 100 years or more. We will be lucky if some of the houses being built today last for 30 years."
Oak post, mortised & tenoned, to support a weak lintel.