Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Timber Frame Home Design Trends

Trends in timber frame design are following the general trends in home design, moving away from specific rooms and space to materials and energy efficiency. This is good news, as we strive to become more energy conscious.

Here are some of the current trends in timber frame home design:

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle: More and more homeowners are looking to purchase recycled building materials to use in their new timber frame home. Reclaimed timbers, siding, decking, trim, doors, brick, and stone are all very popular. Simple, bio-degradable materials are replacing resources that harm the environment.

2. Here comes the sun: Solar energy systems, particularly solar hot water heaters and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to produce electricity are extremely popular. The current tax credit helps, giving you back 30% of the total cost (product + installation), now with no upper limit.

3. Size and flexibility matter: Smaller, energy efficient timber frame home designs are more popular than the rambling, spacious mansions of the past. Homeowners are addressing changes in lifestyle by replacing separate dining and living areas with large, multi-purpose family rooms, and adding sliding or pocket doors which allow flexibility in living space. First-floor bonus rooms which can be used as a home office or additional bedroom address changing needs.

4. Save a buck: Let’s face it: low maintenance is in. Popular low maintenance materials include green flooring, tankless water heaters, ENERGY STAR appliances. Low-maintenance landscaping using native plants has a positive effect on the site by reducing irrigation, pesticides, and fertilizers – which means less time you have to take care of it.

5. Accessibility: Universal home designs address the comfort of people of all ages and abilities. Features that may be eliminated are spiral staircases, sunken or raised living rooms, and high cabinets or shelves. Wide hallways and low storage areas are incorporated into the timber frame home design without sacrificing the home’s beauty and appearance.

Going green makes $ense: with green technology and materials flooding the market, prices continue to come down, saving you money over the life of the material. The home design is the start of the timber frame home’s life cycle – and undoubtedly it is the most important phase, as the home’s space, features, and systems are designed to work together as a whole for your benefit and comfort – and the environment’s.

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