Modern Homes with Timber Framed Charm

When one thinks of modern architecture, a timber-framed home is undoubtedly not the first image that springs to mind. Rectilinear high-rises of glass and steel and homes with steel structure and cantilevered upper floors might be some of the first thoughts we have. Modern architecture, however, was a very expansive movement with many different stylistic elements. Despite common perception of modern architecture, many of its central themes can be accommodated in post and beam construction. Below, we’ll discuss these themes and how a Timberpeg can be the perfect modern home with a hint of traditional charm.

Home Built by Timberpeg Independent Representative, Smith & Robertson, Inc. - http://smithandrobertson.com/

Although not all historians agree, a commonly-held position is that the modernist aesthetic was primarily a reaction to the excesses present in the Victorian and Edwardian architectural styles. For this reason, modern architecture stressed simplicity and advocated elimination of unnecessary detail. This ideal is perhaps most succinctly expressed in Louis Sullivan’s dictum that “form follows function,” meaning that architectural design should be dictated by a building’s intended use.

Home Designed by Timberpeg Independent Representative, Erich Diller of Evolve Design Group, www.evolvedesigngroup.net

Modern architecture also places some demands on building materials and their use. Rectilinear designs were preferred, with structural materials positioned at right angles to one another. Modernism also opposed disguising or enclosing structural elements, insisting that they be featured as part of the design. Furthermore, modernists developed the tenet of “truth to materials,” that materials should be used where most appropriate and presented in their natural appearance.

Home Designed by Morter Architects, http://www.morterarchitects.com, Architectural Photography by Roger Wade

With these guidelines, it is apparent that even a post and beam home can be constructed in a modernist style. If you are looking for a structure devoid of “unnecessary detail,” then you can choose a frame without diagonal brace members. This allows for strictly vertical posts and horizontal beams to show through and embrace the modernist preference for structural materials oriented at right angles. Naturally, a timber framed building does not hide its structural members but instead showcases it as a highlight of the house’s décor.

Home Built by Timberpeg Independent Representative, lake Anna Timber Homes - http://www.lakeannatimberhomes.com/

One aspect of the “truth to materials” ethos involves leaving marks from construction processes intact. For example, a concrete structure will not be painted and imprints from the formwork used when pouring the concrete are not sanded off. Here again, a post and beam construction allows you the freedom to follow this ideal if you so choose. Timbers can be left un-sanded or can even be hand-hewed to showcase their method of construction.

If you would like to learn more about any of the projects featured here, or how you can begin working with our design team to craft a modern timber frame of your own, please contact Timberpeg to learn more.

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Exploring American History with a Timberpeg Home

The robust frame in a post and beam house has remarkable longevity, so many timber frame homes from British Colonial America survive to this day. While a great many old timber frame houses exist in the East, the West has its own history. The Los Angeles area was colonized by the Spanish and then part of Mexico until 1847, and the architecture of the region is still heavily influenced by this history. Thus, when the Riley family wished to create a replica of a colonial pub, they turned to Timberpeg.

Riley’s Farm is located in Oak Glen, California, a small apple-growing region under 80 miles east of Los Angeles. The farm still functions as a working apple orchard, but it also serves as a living history museum. The museum has programs focusing on events from colonial life through the Civil War and also host events focusing on more recent history like prohibition. Needless to say, this time of year the programs on the Revolutionary War are especially popular.

One of the centerpieces of Riley’s Farm is the Hawk’s Head Public House. This charming restaurant is modeled after an 18th century tavern, complete with English ales, period music and appropriately attired servers. To build a pub befitting the museum, the Rileys turned to (since retired) Timberpeg independent representative Terry Bellew. Working with the Rileys, Terry was able to build a charming colonial that was not only a fantastic pub, but also a family residence. Typical of Timberpeg’s independent representatives, Terry’s background in home design and skill at balancing customer’s needs and budget endeared him to his customers. “We love Terry,” said Mary Riley. “He made it so easy. He helped extensively with the first part of the house. In fact, he helped with everything.”

The Hawk’s Head Public House has attracted attention from the film industry as well. Since the tavern is only a two hour drive from Hollywood, this Timberpeg has become a prime filming location. The pub was used as a filming location in the Steven Spielberg movie Amistad, about the 1839 slave ship uprising and ensuing legal case. In the film, the pub serves as a meeting location where lawyer Roger Sherman Baldwin (Matthew McConaughey) discusses strategy and negotiates his salary with Theodore Joadson (Morgan Freeman) and Lewis Tappan (Stellan Skarsgård).

The Rileys were so pleased with their Timberpeg colonial that they returned to Timberpeg for two additional projects. In 2003, Timberpeg shipped the Rileys a barn for use as a cider shed. Then, in 2005, the Rileys decided to expand the seating in the dining hall from 45 to 200, and Timberpeg was more than happy to help in this project as well.

If you are near Oak Glen, CA we highly recommend that you stop by and visit Riley’s Farm for a look at history, a fantastic meal and tour of the Timberpeg buildings that are sure to weather the course of history while helping to keep it alive.  Please contact Timberpeg if you’d like more information about building a genuine timber frame home. And, of course, we wish you all a Happy 4th of July!

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The Linville Floor Plan: Space-Efficient and Feature-Rich

A large house can be a wonderful thing, since more space means more room to live in. And while it is nice to have enough space for amenities and belongings, many people feel that a large home merely encourages them to buy furniture and decorations to fill space that is seldom used. If you are the type of person that prefers a smaller house but doesn’t want to skimp on the comforts, then the Linville floor plan may be just for you. Despite its modest 1698 square feet, this plan features
in-demand items like a first floor master suite and cathedral-ceiling great room.

First, you’ll notice the pictures in this post are renderings rather than photographs. While we normally post photographs of completed Timberpeg homes when discussing floor plans, we thought we could show you how our designers can use renderings to bring dream homes to life while it’s still in the design phase. Here, the Linville is a lake house, with abundant outside space. While a porch wraps around two-thirds of the house, a section off the dining room is a screen porch. Providing shelter from weather and insects, this space features its own outdoor fireplace for wonderful three-season entertaining.

Entering the house brings us to the dining room, with more than enough space for a table for six. Utilizing one of the great advantages of a timber-framed home, the dining area is open to the great room and kitchen so no space is wasted on unnecessary walls. The great room has a large stone fireplace and shares a cathedral ceiling with the dining area, features which aid in making the space feel cozy yet expansive at the same time. The kitchen is not pressed for space either, and includes an island with seating and a range. Since this build has no basement, the space below the stairs is utilized to the fullest with a stacked washer and dryer.

On the rear of the house, the master suite has all the amenities one looks for in a modern house. The bedroom has the space needed for any size bed, while the bathroom has ample room for a double vanity. Oftentimes in small houses, closet space is compromised, but the Linville easily accommodates a spacious walk in closet.

Heading upstairs, there is a small loft space overlooking the great room and dining room. Ahead is the larger of two bedrooms, featuring an en-suite bathroom with shower. There is a smaller bedroom with hall-accessed bath as well, which also serves as the guest bathroom for the house.

If you’d like to learn more about this plan, or how the talented designers at Timberpeg can create a custom plan for you, then contact the Timberpeg design team today.  When working with the Timberpeg team you’ll be able to explore visual renderings of your own timber frame home during the design process to help you envision the design in real life.  And while the rendering technology is great, there is of course nothing so wonderful as stepping foot inside your very own timber frame home for the first time.

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Hail-Resistant Siding for the Barn Home

In regions such as the front range of Colorado, and the plains of Kansas and Nebraska, hail storms are a common occurrence.

While ice is a problem usually associated with winter weather, the summer creates favorable conditions for hail storms. Since hail forms in severe thunderstorms with large updrafts that bring liquid rain to a higher elevation where it can freeze, these types of storms are most likely in the warm season. While small hailstones are unlikely to cause major damage, larger stones can fall at speeds over 50 mph and cause great damage to roofs and siding. This damage is usually most pronounced on western walls and roof slopes. Since this damage can be expensive to repair, if you live in a region prone to hail it can make sense to build with hail-resistant materials. Here is a rundown of common siding materials and their resistance to hail damage.

Wood Products

Wooden siding options, whether they are vertical siding like board and batten or horizontal ones like clapboards and shingles, have an enhanced durability to withstand hail damage. With more intense hailstorms, the wood may dent or crack.  Usually, damage can be repaired by sanding out dents and re-staining or painting the finish, but in severe cases the siding may need to be replaced.

Stucco

Stucco has great impact resistance, and usually weathers a hail storm without issue. If there is damage in a larger storm, it is typically isolated to corners and near window ledges. Since these blemishes can be patched rather than replacing the entire siding, repair costs tend to be lower.  Those factors make stucco a very popular choice in the hail prone regions of Colorado (such as this ski home shown at right which was built in Vail, CO).

Concrete Products

Concrete Siding, like HardiePlank siding, tends to also have superior impact resistance. These products use wood fibers set in concrete to mimic the look of wood while offering greatly reduced maintenance. If these products do become damaged in a hail storm, it is likely that only the edges will chip.  The durability, combined with a classic look that can fool many into thinking it’s genuine wood siding, make this an excellent siding option.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl Siding is perhaps the most inexpensive siding material, but it is also likely the most prone to hail damage. Hail may just dent or crack the siding, but it is also very likely to punch a hole through the siding. This is especially true if you have older vinyl siding, since over time vinyl weathers and becomes brittle. Some vinyl siding is available with foam insulation behind it which helps with impact resistance, but this added expense does nothing to increase the aesthetic appeal.  For these reasons we do not typically recommend vinyl siding.

Aluminum Siding

Unlike vinyl, aluminum siding will not break or crack from hail damage. However, larger stones are likely to dent the siding. This means the siding does not need to be replaced, but its less than flattering looks may prompt you to replace the siding anyway.  We do not typically recommend aluminum siding either, though it is a step up from vinyl siding.

So if you’re planning to build your timber frame home in a region that experiences hail storms, make sure you consider your options.  The best choices all around for aesthetics and durability are wood products, stucco or cement products.  If you have any questions about a specific siding option, or would like to learn about the siding products Timberpeg recommends, please contact the team at Timberpeg today to learn more.

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