The Norwegian trestle-frame building is a genuine example of a regional building custom that was adapted to local conditions in an excellent manner.
This form of construction was dominant in non-insulated, wooden outhouses in western Norway from central Rogaland in the south to Sunnmøre in the north. The exceptions are Voss in Hordaland and inner Sogn, including Nærøyfjord, where good-quality pine timber was more readily available and cross-jointing was the dominant form of construction.
Trestle-frame construction is known from Medieval buildings and is related to the far more refined stave technique employed in the stave churches, such as Urnes Stave Church (a World Heritage Site in Luster, further up Sognefjord than Nærøyfjord). Norwegian trestle-frame construction is thought to be the oldest form of stave technique that has been in continuous use up to our time. The bestknown examples of Norwegian trestle-frame buildings are mainly outhouses in the Geirangerfjord area
In Geirangerfjord, timber was difficult to obtain and many farms stood in very inaccessible positions several hundred metres up precipitous mountainsides above the fjord. The use of Norwegian trestle-frame construction enabled the erection of strong, comparatively large buildings from local wood without involving significant transport. Relatively small, crooked birches and pines were satisfactory as building material. The construction also required little working of the tree trunks and permitted rapid building using simple tools.
In Geiranger, roofing generally consisted of birch bark and turf since the local bedrock is unsuitable for making flagstones, which are common further south in western Norway.