Without any prior knowledge, it would be easy to assume that building a timber frame home is the same as any custom home. While there are some similarities, it’s really like comparing apples to oranges. Considering the extra production, craftsmanship and materials that go into a timber frame home, the process becomes much more complex, but it can be done!The costs of building at timber frame home versus a conventionally built stick frame home can vary widely depending on how you want to finish out your home or the area of the country you're building in. To know exactly how much extra cost you'll be incurring with a timber frame home, you'll first need to know whether you desire a full timber frame or a hybrid. Many people who are interested in timber framing may not even realize the difference between the two, but it can make a noteworthy difference on the price of the home.
Full Timber Frame, or Hybrid?
A full timber frame will require a foundation that can support the load where the posts are located in the house. A hybrid may only have a few posts with ceiling joists or decorative heavy timber trusses in various rooms and other timber accents to tie it all together. Oftentimes we've even seen a full timber framed great room combined with an otherwise conventionally built home. Just remember there's so much more today you can do with timber framing when building a custom home. The styles reflect Modern, Craftsman style, Traditional and European or Mediterranean in nature. What's so unique is that you may not need as much timber as you think for the look you're after.
Typically, a hybrid with conventional framing costs roughly 15% more and a traditional frame may be 20% higher than a custom conventional stick frame house, depending on design factors. Square footage, fixtures, window packages and other finishes can all greatly impact the final costs, so these are things to reflect on before you even start the design process. Our Design Team asks that you do some homework on costs of fixtures, flooring, windows, etc. in order to have a good knowledge base to draw from. The goal here is to have a well designed and quality built home in the end. If that means reducing square footage in order to have real wood floors, then you know the choices that need to be made on the front end.
According to Timber Home Living, alternatives enclosure and insulation options such as Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) can come with a 4-6 percent higher up-front cost, but end up saving you money in the long run with lower energy costs. Installation is quicker, too. You'll want to work with an experienced timber framer to understand all of your home finishing options and what is best for your specific desires.
Additional Timber Elements
Other considerations are that most timber frame homeowners are very fond of adding exterior heavy timber accents or timber frame porches that add interest to the home. These are important factors to think about, as they add costs but also a lot of visual interest to the overall project. Our goal at Homestead Timber Frames is always to design within your building budget. We do believe you need to carry a bit of heavy timber on the exterior of your home in order to help balance what's on the inside and give your home that wonderful 'curb appeal'.
Get the Ball Rolling
To help you learn more about the process of getting your dream home under construction, we're bringing you the complete quide to financing your timber frame home. Inside we cover more info like:
- Different types of new home loans
- Simplifying loan qualification
- Streamlining the approval process