post and beam sacramento eichler
Notice the beams peeking out of the side of this Sacramento Eichler! Read more here: Balancing Authenticity + Freshness In A Sacramento Eichler.

Post and beam architecture is a style of construction that shows off wooden beams and framing on both the interior or exterior of the home. Post and beam construction may not be the only type of framing a home is built with, but it allows for a more flexible construction and gives a home a one-of-a-kind look.

post and beam diagram
Wood posts, along with braces (though these are sometimes metal) hold up the beams of the home, creating a flexible and unique frame. Courtesy of Houzz.

Post and beam construction relies on vertical posts to hold up horizontal beams, and allows for a sense of visual transparency in the home, as you’re able to see so clearly how a house was constructed. It’s a style that’s quite popular in cabin design and, of course, in Mid Century Modern architecture.

post and beam eichler home
This Eichler uses post and beam construction, allowing for a glass wall and atrium at the back of the home. Read more here: Restoring A Remuddled Flat Top In Northern California.

Mid Mod Post and Beam

Mid Mod architects saw the unique, handcrafted look of post and beam construction as the perfect way to make their homes feel a step above the rest. But because the technique wasn’t incredibly difficult, it was a way to create homes (quickly) that weren’t too costly for middle-class buyers.

The Eichler Network says this about noted architect Joseph Eichler’s own use of post-and-beam construction: “The Eichler architects’ design strategy of post-and-beam structure and exposed wood panels was a simple one which nonetheless imbued their mass-produced product with the feel of a high-quality living environment.”

post and beam clerestory windows
The post and beam construction of this Colorado home allows for some beautiful clerestory and picture windows. Read more here: This Post And Beam House Is A Renovation Success Story.

Post and beam construction also allowed for another important Mid Mod feature: walls of glass. The construction technique gave the task of load-bearing the chance to be taken off the walls and instead placed upon reinforced posts, allowing for more flexibility in wall (and window) design.

post and beam seattle interior
The exposed wood in this Seattle home gives it a handcrafted and almost cabin-esque feel. Read more here: Meet A Master Of Mid Century Style.

Post and Beam Pairings

Post and beam architecture shows up most often in West Coast Mid Mod, like Desert Modern and Northwest Regional style. Desert Modern style may take a more subtle approach to post and beam, while Northwest Regional style may emphasize its handcrafted look.

post and beam clerestory window
Who else is loving the drama of this post and beam/clerestory window combo? Read more here: Among A Tract Of Masterpieces, A Krisel Takes Flight.

Post and beam construction may also be seen with clerestory windows, as the unique load-bearing capabilities of the technique allow for more creative window placements.

Examples of Post and Beam Homes

There are countless examples of Mid Century post and beam homes— it was certainly a favorite for a reason! But take a peek at a few more of our post and beam favorites, and check out their stories.

post and beam glass box house
When the current owners bought this Mid Century post and beam home, they had to rebuild it almost from the ground up, as the support posts had started to rot! Thankfully, with the help of some modern innovations, the home was restored and still keeps it Mid Mod spirit. Read more here: This Secluded Glass Box Lake House Has Stunning Views.

 

post and beam Minneapolis home interior
This Minneapolis home features its original vaulted and beamed ceilings, creating a truly striking entryway. Read more here: Tour A Midcentury Paradise In Minneapolis.
palm springs post and beam
The glass wall, pool and post and beam combo screams Palm Springs Mid Mod. Read more here: Modernist Makeover, Pt. 2: A Midcentury DIY.

Read about another Mid Mod construction favorite, cantilevers, here. And of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest for more Atomic Ranch articles and ideas!