Spring is the Season for a Timberpeg Home Show

The snowy winter weather in the northern half of the country has been a bane to both residents and homebuilders. Nationwide, new home starts in February were down 17 percent from January. While that sounds severe, the role of weather is even more obvious when you look at the regional data. New home starts barely budged in the South, with a 2.5 percent decline, while the Northeast saw a staggering 56.5 percent drop.

barn home with snow and clouds

Snow compliments the beauty of a timber frame home, but it is hard to work in!

These numbers do not reflect a long-term drop off in homebuilding, however. The economy is still improving, and employment and consumer confidence continue to climb. While fewer homes were started last month, permitting climbed by another 3 percent over January. This indicates that while the weather caused some home projects to be delayed, the demand for new houses continues to climb. We are certainly keeping busy in the Timberpeg offices!

Once the weather is more favorable and materials are on site, a Timberpeg home comes together quickly.

Just as spring brings more home construction, it also gets more people thinking about building a new home. For this reason, spring is also the time of year that home shows start to become more popular. Of course, if you have any questions about designing and building a timber frame home of your own, then we encourage you to contact Timberpeg directly or talk with your local independent representative. If you would prefer to learn more about timber frame homes at a home show, then there are several in the next few weeks and months we will be attending.

Helpful displays - and helpful people - will be present to answer any questions you may have.

Last week, Timberpeg attended the New Hampshire State Home show in Manchester. If you missed us there last week you can catch us this weekend at the HomeLife Expo in Hanover, New Hampshire. This show began today, Friday, March 20th at 2 and will be open until 8pm. It will continue through the weekend – Saturday from 10am-8pm and Sunday from 10am-3pm. Come visit Timberpeg Independent Representative Old Hampshire Designs at table E30 and talk with them about their experience building Timberpeg homes for over 30 years. The show even has a kids play area and local farmers’ market with food and crafts. Click here for show details.

We recently featured the Lakewood, built by Old Hampshire Designs, Timberpeg Independent Representatives

If you live in the upper Midwest, then next weekend we will be visiting the Log and Timber Home Show in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This show will start on Friday, March 27th from 12-8pm and conclude Saturday from 10am-6pm. Click here for show details. Then, in May we will be in upstate New York at the Log and Timber Frame Show in Lake George. The Show begins Friday, May 15 and runs through Sunday, May 17. Click here for show details. Both of these shows have tickets on sale for $12 online.

Home shows are a great first step towards building your dream Timberpeg home.

If one of these shows works for you, we look forward to meeting you to discuss your Timberpeg home. We keep scheduling shows throughout the year, so if there isn’t one in your area you can keep checking our show listings here. Or, feel free to contact Timberpeg today so we can help answer any questions you have.

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Roofing Materials for the Timber Frame Home

At its most basic level, the function of a roof is to protect the home from the ravages of the elements. In practice, of course, the roof is much more than that and has a very profound effect on the appearance and maintenance of the home. Since roofing options are often a prime source of questions among Timberpeg customers, we thought we would assemble this guide to the more popular choices. Here is a breakdown of the benefits and costs of various roofing choices.

Asphalt Shingles

Timberpeg home built by Smith & Robertson, Inc.Throughout residential construction in the United States, asphalt shingles are undoubtedly the most popular choice in roofing finishes. They are also known as 3-tab shingles and are constructed of paper saturated with (or fiberglass coated with) asphalt. They are the least expensive option available, as the material costs around $70-$90 per square (100 square feet). Despite the low cost, asphalt shingles provide excellent protection for their functional lifetime. Typical manufacturers’ warranties are 25 years. Since asphalt is softened by heat and washed away by rain, these shingles last the longest in cool climates or hot, arid climates.

Architectural Shingle

This is an increasingly popular subtype of asphalt shingle. Here, the two layers of fiberglass/asphalt shingle are bonded together with an asphalt sealant. This construction gives the shingle more depth and texture, giving it more of a wooden shingle appearance while avoiding the maintenance costs associated with wooden shingles.  Architectural shingles cost 10-20 percent more than 3-tab shingles, but the installation costs are the same since they are installed in exactly the same manner. Longer warranties are typically available on Architectural shingle than are for 3-tab.

Wooden Shakes or Shingles

Although the terms shake and shingle are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings. Shakes are made from a split of wood, while shingles are sawn. You can visit the Western red cedar is typically used due to its natural resistance to decay. Wooden shakes are especially popular when building a home to a specific historical style, such as a Cape Cod design. However, if the wood is not pressure treated sealant must be reapplied every few years. It is also important to keep the roof free of debris like pine needles and leaves. Shakes cost $200 to $300 per square and are more expensive to install than asphalt shingles.

Steel

Home Built by Tony Ciufo, Ciufo, Inc.

Compared to other options, metal roofing is extremely durable. Steel roofing eventually requires re-coating to prevent corrosion, but it can be up to 50 years before this action is necessary. Warranties are also typically 50 years. As a bonus, modern metal roofs incorporate reflective pigments that reflect more sunlight and lead to lower cooling costs. In areas prone to wildfires, metal roofing frequently qualifies for insurance discounts. The material for metal roofs average about $500 per square, but the roof is very low maintenance and typically has very high resale value.

Copper

Home built by Smith & Robertson, Inc. - www.smithandrobertson.com

Within the category of metal roofing, copper undoubtedly reigns supreme. It can last for hundreds of years and it develops a wonderful green patina. If there are ever any small leaks, they can be easily fixed with solder. The costs are very high, since the material alone runs over $1000 per square and installation costs are also high. However, the roof is fully recyclable in the unlikely event that the roof ever needs to be removed. Given the expense, full copper roofs are rare but Timberpeg homeowners will sometimes choose to add them as an aesthetic detail on dormer or porch roofs.

After looking at these roofing options, what choice do you think would look the best on your Timberpeg home? Would you go with that tradition of shakes, or everlasting copper? Regardless of your preference, please contact Timberpeg today to start designing your dream timber frame home, roof and all.

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Lakewood Cottage is Ready for Spring

Although the current season may make it seem like the winter that will never end, spring is in fact less than two weeks away. With the lengthening and warming days our attention returns to enjoying rather than sheltering from the outdoors. So while the past few months may have focused our attention on ski lodges and fireplaces, we thought now was a great time to look forward to time at the lake. The Lakewood Timberpeg home is a wonderful home on Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire.  Although built as a weekend/vacation home, it packs several features into its 2,127 square feet that make it a great fit for a full time residence as well.

With its steeply sloped roof-line, natural cedar shake and green trim theme, and exposed king post trusses, the Lakewood has a very charming exterior. To the right is a two car garage, with ample storage space above for all your outdoor gear. The garage is connected to the home with a breezeway, which can be easily converted to an enclosed walkway if desired. The breezeway leads into a mudroom corridor, which has ready access to the front closet, laundry, and lavatory. The hall leads to the left and towards the main entryway, which accesses the house via a small covered porch.

The home makes the most of its space by dispatching with unnecessary hallways. The stairwell and fireplace in the middle of the home partitions the space, separating the living room from the front of the home. Heading to the right leads to the kitchen, which features charming painted cabinets and island bar seating. The adjacent dining room provides seating for six, and also has access to the screen porch for bug-free outdoor entertaining.

The living room is spacious with comfortable seating and a great view to the lake beyond. The large stone fireplace in the living room provides great aesthetics while also separating the room from the master bedroom area. In keeping with the home’s focus on the outdoors, the master bedroom has access to a covered porch in the rear for a great view with your morning coffee. The master suite also includes a walk-in-closet and large bath.

The upstairs of the house has a few unique details as well. There are bedrooms on either side of the floor with a loft space between. The bathroom in the center is interesting in that it is two separate rooms, a separate lavatory with sink and a bathtub with vanity.  There is even an additional ladder-accessed loft space above the bathroom, which is a sure hit with the kids.

If the Lakewood interests you, check out the video tour below to get a real feel for this house. And if you want a Lakewood of your own, or any other Timberpeg, please contact us here.

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More Tips For Building a Great, Cost-Effective Timber Frame Home

Last week, we covered a few of the ways in which to plan a timber frame home in order to get the most value for your dollar. While these are all great points, the topic was too expansive to fit into just one post. Since everyone loves maximizing their return on investment, here are a few more ways to make the most of your home purchase.

Location, Location, Location….

This maxim about real estate is certainly true, as the real estate market will vary widely depending on location. For example, the median price paid for an existing house in the United States is just below $200,000 but the median in San Francisco is now over $1 million. In most cases, moving further from an urban area can help reduce your land costs. However, people with longer daily commutes report less happiness and lower overall health, so you will have to decide which compromise is best for you.

Some locations, like this Timberpeg on Lake Winnipesaukee, have higher costs.

Even after land costs are considered, different locations have different expenses. In some areas permitting is more expensive and time consuming  while in others it is more straightforward. Areas which require more earthquake-resistant housing will have higher costs than more stable regions, while regions with greater snowfall will require more robust roofs. The cost of labor can also vary substantially depending on where you’re building, driving the total cost of the home up or down.

Wood Species

Our standard timber species are beautiful and cost-effective.

Our frames are typically constructed from Douglas fir or eastern white pine timbers. These choices are very cost-effective, visually appealing and easy to work with. While other species like Cedar or Oak are possibilities, the cost-effective house should stick with Douglas fir or Eastern White Pine. Similarly, we can use reclaimed timbers in your house’s construction if you so desire, but this option typically increases the overall build cost.

Use Straight Stairs

These stairs cost more than a straight run, but the space savings can be worth it.

While a curved staircase may have a greater “wow-factor” than a straight staircase, it is also much harder to engineer and construct. A 90-degree or 180-degree set of stairs does cost more than a straight run, but they can save enough space in the house to be cost effective in certain situations. Our designers will be glad to work with you to choose the best stair system for your layout.

Plan for Cost-Effective Upgrades

Since your house’s structure, plumbing, and electrical wiring are all very expensive and hard to change in the future, you want to build these right the first time. If you plan to expand your home in the future, build out the structure and plumbing ahead of time. For example, if you wish to finish the basement at a later date, plan for the bathroom and build the plumbing now. This saves you the hassle and cost of digging up the foundation later.

Do plumbing right the first time to save money.

Meanwhile, you can use items like less-expensive lighting fixtures or faucets now and upgrade them in the future with minimal installation hassle. Also, even items like kitchen ranges can be upgraded easily in the future. Is it really worth delaying your timber frame home to save thousands of dollars extra for a commercial range?

Our staff prides themselves on working with our clients to get them into a Timberpeg home on a budget that fits. Please contact Timberpeg today to get started on your very own affordable dream home.

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