Thursday, October 23, 2008

Starting a Timber Frame Design

You’ve decided you want to build a post and beam or timber frame home. Where do you start? First, we suggest you purchase land, as this substantially impacts the design of your home. Work with your architect to design the home in context with the site and addressing all of your needs and desires. There are many things you will want to consider:

Start with a vision of your home. Is there a certain architectural style you prefer? A timber frame home compliments any architectural style you choose. Start with the basics; how many bedrooms will you need? Do you want a Master Bedroom with or without a Master Bathroom suite? Will it be located on the first or second floor? If this is a vacation home which will become your retirement home, you may prefer to have the main rooms located on the first floor for easy access. How much of the home will be timber framed? A timber frame hybrid home, combining timber framing and structural insulated panels, might better fit your family’s needs – and budget. Are you planning to entertain small or large groups of people in your home? Most people are drawn to the cathedral spaces in a timber frame home. How many rooms will have cathedral ceilings with exposed timbers? Will you need a living room or media room separate from your Great Room? Do you have a specific hobby or interest that requires a separate room or area? These are just a few of the many questions in the design of your home.

Analyze the rooms of your current home. Does the space you have now fit your needs? Wherever possible, look for areas to reduce the living space. For instance, if you have a large laundry room now and you only really use half of the space, mark it as a potential space saver. Anytime you reduce the square footage of your home you will save money in initial material costs, but more importantly in energy costs over the life of the home.

Also consider the style and aesthetics that you want your timber frame home to have. Our next blog will discuss how you can document how you want each space will feel to you, your family and guests.

Bonin Architects & Associates, PLLC

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