This craft we love so much – the craft of timber framing – has certainly seen its ups and downs over the centuries. It came over the pond with the Colonials and stuck around for quite a while, at least until the early twentieth century. By the early 1900s timber framing was a memory as consumers turned to “stick” homes and kit structures. Then the late 1970s happened…
Have you ever driven by a home that really caught your eye? It’s usually the lines of a house – the placement of an unusual window or the combination of materials used, or maybe the welcoming front porch. The home stands out from the others around it and, more often than not, expresses the personality of the people within.
Lately we’ve been getting a lot of design requests for one level timber frame homes from clients looking for the perfect ‘forever home’. ‘Ranchers’, as these rectangular homes were once called, are perfect for those who are looking for a grand home with a simple and accessible floor plan. They can come in a variety of styles, from rustic to modern to mountain or even Mediterranean. This only serves to further boost their popularity with home builders, and these layouts are an excellent choice for timber frame homes.
The one level rancher rose to prominence in the 1950’s, usually boasting a square footage of around 1500. California-style ranchers were more rambling and built in an L or T shape with lots of windows and terraces. In the east, you found more compact ranchers with covered porches or a carport attached. A few builders would introduce open roofs or beams in the ceilings which only lent to their attractiveness. Modern ranch style homes featured angled or sloped rooflines also featured open rafters in the ceilings. The ranch style home waned in popularity for some time, but the one level style of living is making a comeback, and for good reason.
Timber framing has been practiced and refined for more than 1000 years now and in many different cultures. In each culture the wood species traditionally employed would have been the strongest, largest, and most abundant species available.
The Great Halls of England are timber framed using English oak. Colonial America saw use of Eastern white pine, spruce, maple, and the oaks. Timber framing in Appalachia added Tulip poplar and even American chestnut. Bald cypress joins the list for projects benefiting from a weather-resistant species. On America’s West coast Douglas fir, Western red cedar, Western white pine, the Redwoods, and Sugar pine all saw use in timber framed structures.
According to Nielsen's Demand Institute, more than 40% of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 are planning to move within the next five years, and in many cases, these people are looking to move into a retirement home. This may include downsizing, or simply moving into a home that requires less upkeep overall, but in any case there are certain things to think about when designing your retirement home.This generation is becoming aware that by being more active in their retirement years and planning for one-level living, being near good services for social integration and healthcare all adds up to being happy overall. Here is a list of our favorites when we begin the design phase for a couple building their ‘final home–their dream home.’
The thrill of finding that perfect house plan in a magazine or online is hard to beat. You love the exterior colors or the curb appeal, the window styles, and especially the floor plan. If only you could just change the size of those bedrooms for the kids or turn the kitchen the other way–then it would be just perfect!
3 Keys to Finding the Perfect Plot of Land
So you’ve decided to finally invest in building the timber frame home of your dreams. Throw a man-cave in somewhere, a dining room fit for a king, and a kitchen that chefs would fight to cook in and you're ready to go.
With all of the glamour that comes with building your dream home, it’s easy to get excited about your finished product, and overlook some of the smaller details. Many times, our clients will come to us with a specific plot of land in mind to build their new timber frame. Whether it’s on the top of a mountain, beachfront property, or somewhere in between, you’ll want to consider these 3 things before making a decision on your plot of land.