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What made you choose a timber frame home?  Did you purchase a home with the perfect mountain view, or did you have one custom built?  What was the deciding factor when you chose your home?

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In 2002, we had an opportunity to purchase land adjacent to our family's farm that provided unrestricted south exposure. We decided that this place offered an ideal site for a retirement home small enough for two people. We visited an expo on log and timber frame homes. Log homes seemed to have too much in the way of dark interiors, and settling log walls demanded too many solutions that might not always work. We decided that a timber frame offered the right combination of open spaces, aesthetics and insulation values. We worked out plans, made drawings and than took our plans to several framers until we found the right one. We had no problem with the township, who was hoping someone would keep the land from turning into a development, and so had only the code and ourselves to satisfy. The result is a one-bedroom home of 1475 square feet, off-grid and passive solar with virtually no utility bills and no mechanical. We love it. WES & LINDA

My grandfather was a carpenter in Yale, South Dakota. Growing up I used to marvel at the creations he made. During high school I discovered I also had a passion for woodcraft. Now I am joined by my sons and daughter creating a new timber frame construction company based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Together we have over 20 years of construction experience and decades worth of wood working expertise.


If you are considering building a timber frame in South Dakota, we would love to talk to you.


David Hubbard

hello my name is charles brister, i live in madison, ms. i have always wanted to build a log or timberframe home but have not had to chance to. my wife and i are in our early fiftys and with just 2 kids left in college we are starting the process of building a timberframe home. we finally went with a timberframe because it allows us alot more options in different neighborhoods. as of now we are staying in ms. looking for lake front property to build on. have been looking at magazines for years pulling ideas reading stories of others that have already gone thru the process. so i hope to keep coming back here for answers from friends we work our way thru the process. thanks again for a great site...


charles brister

My wife and I fell in love with the Grand Tetons and the areas surrounding.  We visited regularly and decided to begin searching for land in the area.  Because of the market conditions we began to realize that there were some amazing deals to be had if we decided to purchase an existing home. We looked at both timber frame and log homes.  Although there was some interest in the log homes, we heard from friends that the maintenance could be pretty daunting and the flexibility of changing the design of the interior spaces didn't seem to offer the flexibility of a timber frame home.  We found an incredible home in Idaho on the west side of the Grand Tetons.  Teton Valley, ID is where we plan to retire and we love our Timber Frame home.  We are working on the landscaping now and I am really in need of some help finding plans and designs for an outdoor living space.  I have the August 2010 edition of Timber Home Living and love the outside space in that issue.  I can't seem to find many other resources and ideas though.  Hoping this is the place....

I did some remodeling at young age and finished completing a new house years ago but always wanted to complete one from ground up doing most of work myself. After attending a log cabin show we sit down and watched a seminar on timber framing and knew that was the look we wanted in as many rooms as possible. We not only put the Hammer Beam bents in the great room, but put arched beams in the kitchen, king post in master bath and flat beams in the master bedroom and dining room. Found a lot over looking lake in southern Indiana and started the two year process. We also wanted open floor plan with a unique character for entertaining and offering fantasic views without all the up keep required by log cabins. Enclosing the timber frame with ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) was the biggest cost savings because of doing the labor ourselves by laying the forms like LEGO blocks and house is so energy efficient....over 4800 sq. ft electric heat pump less than $300 per month on average cost year around! Be glad to answer any questions for anyone considering to do the same. dalewaynemills@gmail.com

I always dreamed of having a log home in the mountains some day?  Now at age 60 and looking to retire, I began thinking about that log home again, but this time for real.  So I began looking into log homes.  But, although I loved the look outside the inside was another story.  Especially, since this was to be our full time residence. 

So I began to look at alternatives, like Prefab Cedar Homes, Post and Beam Homes and Timber Frame homes. 

A Timber Frame seemed to be the right answer for me.  It had large Wood Timber Trusses with Tongue and Groove planking for the ceilings, and the walls could be normal plasterboard we could paint, wallpaper or even faux finish.  Painting the walls also allowed the Wood Windows, Doors and Trim to standout and not become lost in all that T&G wood paneling.  Maybe as a vacation home having all that wood makes people feel like it's an old country cabin, but as a full time residence I think it's bit to much wood...for me.  Also, using warm earth tone colors makes the rooms brighter and allows you to be more creative in your decorating elements.

Steve Fabiano

Blue Ridge, GA

My wife and I (from NJ) were looking for years in the western part of NC to find a nice spot to build a vac/retirement home in the future.  We spent many long weekends searching the MLS listings of various realtors in the area until we finally located a nice, 1.5 acre mountainside lot that had a gentle slope and a great view of Grandfather Mt. just outside of Boone, NC.  It is about 11 hours away from where we now live and we take a few weeks off a year to visit the area, cut the small meadow of the tall grasses and briars, and meet some of the neighboring owners on the road leading up the mountain.  We have so far had a gravel driveway installed to the proposed building site, had the local electric coop run underground cables to the property (took about 2 years just to get the required easements)  and now we are trying to find a design for a nice timberframe hybrid that is: 1.  Approx. 1600-1800 sqft.  2. master bedroom on main floor with 1 bedroom, bath and loft area on the second floor.  3.  a walk out basement that would include the garage  4.  arranged so the great room looks out over our property toward the mountain view.   You would be amazed how difficult it is to find something that fits those requirements without having to hire a designer to start from scratch...  It is difficult to determine what something like this would cost to build without first choosing a builder or timberframe company.  It seems to be a problem of what comes first, the chicken or the egg...  It may end up being too expensive to even build so we are just biding our time until we figure out where to go from here.       


I would invite you to call our design department.  We can probably take down your thoughts, orientation and be able to give you a good idea on the cost of the timber frame via a conceptual drawing.  I understand your plight with the chicken and the egg.  We've found it actually better for the client to design a home based on their individual needs, wants, budget, site, etc.

Let us know if we can help talk that through for you for a rough estimate at least.

Amy Good, Lancaster County Timber Frames, Inc.

www.lancotf.com (shop in PA, serving U.S.)

Amy,  Thanks for replying so quickly.  We have browsed through tons of plans from magazines and timberframe builder websites and have a good sense of what we want and need but nothing we see matches our requirements.  We were concerned about getting too involved with someone only to find out that we couldn't afford the building and we wasted someone's valuable time...  We will certainly check out your website and make a phone call to someone in your design department to determine if we are in over our heads or not.  Thanks again for your help.  Gary S.

My pleasure!  Best of luck in your search!  Let me know if you need any further information. ~Amy LCTF, Inc.


My husband and I had very similar wants in a timber frame.  We worked with Timberbuilt (http://www.timberbuilt.com/) to modify their Micro plan.  If you are interested, ask them about the Macro/Micro designed by Marcus Gregory.  My husband is also their rep for the VA/NC region.  When our home is finished, you are more than welcome to come to Virginia and see if it is something you would be interested in!

Hello, I'm Derek :). My family moved around a lot. The folks always picked a place with the woods in the back yard. I built forts in the woods, many forts. I dammed creeks and made ponds with rope swings from trees. Built my own rafts to go paddling around on and spear carp. I found a 200 year old barn in the woods of Virginia, explored it and found a bunch of cool old beer cans to add to my collection, back in '82. I wonder how that barn is doing today..
I didn't choose a timber frame home, it choose me. I haven't purchased a house after I lost mine. Been thinking about though. It was a perfect place or so I thought. Horse property on a river in Montana. It had mountain views, of course it's Montana. The very name means mountain. Had fruit trees too but ultimately it was the three barns that sold me on the idea that this was home. I ran a timber frame company and I needed the space..
Looking forward to the future.. I would like to think there is a book out there that I haven't written yet. Until then I'm a hired gun as it is really the only thing I can do. And teach along the way.

Hope all is well and thank you .




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