Natural Building Blog

Earthbag Building & Other Natural Building Methods

Post and Beam Knee Braces

Post and beam frame with knee braces

Post and beam frame with knee braces


Perhaps the simplest to build post and beam frame, and the one easiest to get code approval for, is the one described in a previous blog post about Post and Beam Hardware. The standardized hardware used in this method takes all the guesswork out of the process and ensures a strong structure. However, that system is not suitable for every situation. Some people prefer the beauty of traditional post and beam where the frame is exposed. Traditional post and beam construction is much slower and requires much more skill and tools than joining the frame with standard hardware, but the results can be worth it.

Post and beam detail drawing showing knee brace joinery

Post and beam detail drawing showing knee brace joinery


Knee braces in the post and beam frame provide lateral support to resist wind loads and prevent racking of walls. Knee braces improve shear resistance and help transfer lateral forces in the upper part of the building to the foundation. Each post typically has at least two knee braces in opposite directions so one is always in compression. Research post and beam construction for further details.

Image source: Earthshare Construction
Image source: Arlington Frame Company

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One Response to “Post and Beam Knee Braces”

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