Timber Home Nation

A community of timber home enthusiasts and those who love energy-efficient homes

All Blog Posts (121)

The Art of Compromise

Probably one of the most difficult parts of building any home is agreeing on design, products, and color. In working with clients recently, I realize how wonderful it is to have two partners who love each other, have been married for years, and yet who still have their own style and feel strongly about what they want for their dream home. I did say it was wonderful. And, it is. This is an opporutnity to compromise and realize that your partner wants their dream just as much as you want… Continue

Added by Pam Pringle on April 22, 2009 at 9:01am — 2 Comments

When should you start the design process?

I’ve been asked many times over the years by clients, “I don’t own my land yet, but I’d like to begin designing my new timber frame or post and beam home. Is this wise?”

The advice I’ve always given is to wait until you close on your land, because starting the design process too soon could end up costing you more money. For example, the site you decide to purchase may have the potential for a walk-out basement, which could allow for more usable square footage, such as a recreation… Continue

Added by Jeremy Bonin, AIA NCARB LEED AP on April 20, 2009 at 11:28am — 2 Comments

When you think you know everything there is to know ...

We now have two timber frame homes under our belt. I thought after the first one we built, that the second would be a piece of cake. But, great lessons from each home.

Electrical - both were hybrid timber frame homes built with SIP panels. In addition to the SIP panels we wanted to tongue… Continue

Added by Pam Pringle on April 13, 2009 at 10:47am — 1 Comment

How do i add video to my page?

I just started exporting 3D ADT and HSB objects to SketchUp and I created a couple of really rough SketchUp generated avi files based off of HSB diagrams that i have done. I would like to upload the walk throughs to my page. Does anybody know if i can or how to add them to my page? The images are from one of the walk throughs.…


Added by Jake Lappan on April 10, 2009 at 8:30pm — 2 Comments

Timber Framing & Bathroom Mildew

I just built a new addition and the bathroom has rough cut Doug Fir timber framing running through it. Should I treat the frames with a sealant to prevent mildrew?

Added by Greg Roberts on April 7, 2009 at 11:15am — 8 Comments

Pollen & Barn Swallows

It's yellow everywhere here in the South. Spring has sprung. The beautiful light green leaves of the trees sprouting out, and our azaleas and rhododendruns are getting ready to pop. The barn swallows from last year decided that the the beams of the timber framed porch were great shelter last year. So, they're baaack. Can't blame them, it's a wonderful protected spot.

I have some open dates for Spring & Summer vacations remaining, come to Western NC. Hiking is great this time of… Continue

Added by Pam Pringle on April 6, 2009 at 9:36am — No Comments

The Sun's effect on design

When dealing with the summer sun, let's say in Tennessee and the typical 2 story, peaked, atrium, window wall facing south, how much overhang do you need to keep the sun out of the room? Since it may not be feasable to completely keep it out, what would be a reasonable compromise distance?

Is it actually better to face a windowed wall home slightly Southeast in the midstate areas to avoid too much sun in the summer especially in the afternoon?

If you wanted to take… Continue

Added by Joe Volpe on April 4, 2009 at 10:42am — 11 Comments

11 Ways To Seemingly Grow Your Square Footage

From your back-in-the-day apartment hunting days, you no doubt remember the code words from the classified ads. “Inviting,” “charming,” and “cozy” all translated into rooms that were so claustrophobically small, you’d have to go outside to change your mind.

But that doesn’t mean a small room in your new timber home has to leave you feeling confined. In fact, reducing square footage is one of the main tenenents of green building. Often, an effective strategy is simply a matter of… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on April 3, 2009 at 1:00pm — No Comments

An Eco Friendly Paint I Love!

My 30 year career as a certified interior designer has included endless hours of research to find new products for my projects. I read over 25 magazines a month, subscribe to many product newsletters, I go to design markets, meet with manufacturer's reps and go to product showrooms. My studio is stuffed with samples of materials and products that we are using or testing. My criteria requires products that perform for the specific space and use, support my design concept, meet the given budget… Continue

Added by Cindy Trimble Kelly ASID IFDA on March 25, 2009 at 6:30pm — 2 Comments

Today's Low Flow Shower Heads Save Energy, Water Without Seinfeld-like Results

If you’re a fan of the Seinfeld comedy series (by federal law, now in syndication at least four times a day on various cable channels), you may remember the episode where they were installing low-flow shower heads in Jerry’s building. As a result, the show's characters hair soon looked like it had been plastered down with crude oil. Seinfeld's talented writers were tapping into nearly everyone’s first experiences with low-flow shower heads. Remember those back in the ‘80s and early ‘90s? Those… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on March 10, 2009 at 11:57am — No Comments

Fixed Bid or Cost Plus? Sorting Out How Construction is Bid

Investing your life savings in a dream home is near the top of life’s fear factor scale. You don’t want to be taken advantage of, or waste money.

Oddly enough, the builder you select to construct your new timber home is fearful too. Their success is far from guaranteed, since transforming a raw building site into a warm and inviting home can be fraught with a host of challenges. The industry is awash in stories of contractors going out of business thanks to mismanagement, litigious… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on March 4, 2009 at 6:18pm — No Comments

Hindsight is 20/20: Homeowners Reveal What They'd Do Different in Designing Their Dream Home

There’s plenty of joy at the prospect of making your dream home a reality, but it’s likely you have some anxieties as well. You may worry about making a blunder—some mistake that could leave you with a home that’s less than the dream you imagined it to be.

That’s why we contacted new homeowners to ask what they did right, what they did wrong and any ways they discovered to save money along the way. Keep their lessons in mind when you’re designing your dream timber… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on March 3, 2009 at 3:19pm — No Comments

Strategies for Finding the Right Land for Your Dream Home in This New Housing Economy

Along with Dow Jones Industrials, land is another commodity that is becoming less expensive to buy. Finally, an upside to the cratered economy! But before you head out to locate a parcel where the buffalo roam, prepare yourself with knowledge. In this new housing economy, many of the rules have changed. To enable you to see the forest through the trees, we’ve compiled a list of strategies to use when land shopping, gleaned from veteran builders and real estate pros.

Make a list,… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on March 2, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

8 Easy Ways to Add Timber Style To Your Home

It was love at first site for Ted and Nancy Brown when they invested in a 200-year-old colonial farmhouse in the historic section of Simsbury, Connecticut. Set on seven and a half acres, the couple’s home offers the kind of old world charm that is in short supply in an era of mass-produced subdivisions of look a-like homes.

“We’re located well off the road, which is great for our peace of mind with two small boys. We’ve got woods all around us, so it offers a lot of privacy. We knew… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on February 26, 2009 at 7:24pm — No Comments

Looking For Real World Examples of Green Homes? 'Unity House' Earns LEED Platinum Status

Unity: A super efficient, net-zero energy home

Unity House, the second home designed and constructed by longtime timber home producer Bensonwood Homes (Unity, ME) as part of the groundbreaking Open Prototype Initiative (OPI), has achieved LEED Platinum… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on February 17, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Got A Room With A View? New Window Wall System Can Bring the Outside In

If you're lucky enough to have a building site with a spectacular view, you may be looking for ways to let the outside in on your new dream timber home. For years, architects have been trying to design projects with large glass walls that completely disappear when open – a seamless transition from inside to outside that is also weather-resistant and easy to operate. Past solutions have had multiple tracks with thick wall requirements, were difficult to operate (since multiple panels were hooked… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on February 10, 2009 at 2:56pm — No Comments

Designing For Daylight

Adding lots of natural light to your new timber home can improve your mood as well as your energy bills. Have you ever noticed how the newest shopping malls, schools and office buildings incorporate lots of natural daylight in their design? Walls of windows and clerestories (peaked roof sections equipped with windows) bring indirect sunlight deep into these buildings.

That’s because architects, engineers and social scientists have discovered we humans are drawn toward areas… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on February 9, 2009 at 4:25pm — No Comments

Window Glass That Insulates Like A Wall? Pimp Your New Home's Energy Performance

All this talk of increasing our new home's energy performance runs into a problem when it comes those things we use to look outside--windows. Up till now, the best low-E windows only offered an insulating value of R-4 (think of it as a light sweater, in terms of energy performance).… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on February 4, 2009 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Adding Timeless Curb Appeal

Timber accents on the exterior of your home can offer visual clues to the graceful symphony of wood inside. Old world timber style homes are easy to spot in Europe. That’s because the craftsmen of yesteryear placed the timber frames on the outside of the structures, announcing to passersby that this home was built to stand the test of time.

But by today’s standards, that’s not an energy efficient way to build. Nor does it protect the timbers from the damaging effects of weather. This… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on February 3, 2009 at 5:44pm — No Comments

The Pieces of the Puzzle: A Primer on Timber Definitions & Styles

If you’re drawn to the timeless beauty of these homes but are confused by some of the terminology, you’re not alone. When Francine Hemphill first heard her husband Daniel wanted to build a timber home in the Pocono’s, her reaction could best be described as ….Ew.

“I pictured something rustic and dark. I’m not into that,” she says with a laugh. “I wanted something contemporary.”

The couple came to an elegant compromise, however. Their new 3,000-square foot vacation home has the… Continue

Added by Charles Bevier on February 3, 2009 at 5:32pm — No Comments

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