Since we opened our doors, we are always answering questions regarding home design and timber frame design. Some are different while some are ones we’ve answered time and again. We will continue to answer those questions just as if it’s the first time we’ve heard it because it’s the first time you’ve asked it! However we have encountered one question more often than others. How can we reduce cost?
We’re advocates of a simpler design that we refer to as the rectangle home. This design is really any home that is made up of one or more rectangles. The most cost effective home is a single rectangle. It’s also the simplest in terms of curb appeal. You can increase the curb appeal of a home through porches, dormers, windows, and wall finishes. All of which don’t have a tremendous impact on the overall construction of a home. If you’d like more detail in the home, you begin considering what would happen if a room was bumped out a few feet. So long as the room remains at right angles to the house, you still have a rectangle design. It’s just that now the home has more than one rectangle.
The rectangle design contains common wall and roof lines that are all framed nearly the same. That trait is what reduces time, material, and labor in constructing a home. In the case of a timber frame home these common lines allow the efficiency of a timber frame to shine. In addition to that, these common lines almost always provide clean breaks where we can transition from timber frame construction into hybrid construction. The hybrid construction can then consist of structural insulated panels or conventional construction. Either of those can achieve a significant cost savings in your home so long as they are kept simple in their design as well. So as a rule, we try to reduce cost through simplification of a home rather than asking the homeowners to change their living style to fit less square feet.