Why Now Is The Perfect Time To Plan Your Timber Frame Dream Home

While there is never a bad time to start planning your barn home, there are several factors that make this time of year a great time to do so. These reasons range from the personal effects that the change of seasons have upon us to the logistic realities of building a home.

One great reason to start planning your new home now is the new perspective that the winter months bring to your planning process. In most of the country, the longer daylight hours and more moderate temperatures of the summer encourage us to spend more time outside. As a result, while the kitchen and bedrooms still see the same amount of use in the summer, other rooms may not see significant use. Now that we stay inside more, it is easier to evaluate what works and what doesn’t in terms of room layout and design.

Maybe in the summer it worked to have a detached garage but the cold weather leaves you longing for an attached garage? Maybe your living room saw little use in the summer but you now wish for a great room that is located closer to the kitchen? While the cold weather can also contribute to “cabin fever”, it also presents a great opportunity to consider a home design that will work better for you and your family.

In the winter, features like mudrooms become all the more important.

The holiday season also creates great opportunities for assessing what you need in a new home. If you are hosting parties this time of year, then take note of what issues come up at your parties. Perhaps everyone gathers in the kitchen and you could use a more open concept design? If instead you are attending parties at others’ homes this season, you can get even more ideas about home design details that contribute or detract from the ideal home.

Post and Beam Open Great Room

An open concept timber frame home design with adjacent great room, kitchen, and dining area makes for great entertaining.

While these personal reasons help you design a better home, the logistics of building a home also mean that this is a great time to start planning if you wish to build a home next year. Nationally, the average time it takes to build a home from the issuance of a building permit to completion is seven months. However, homes built for sale tend to lower this average, so homes built on an owner’s land take around 8 months nationally. The time taken to build a home is the shortest in the Mountain and Central states, at around 6 months, while homes in New England take up to 10 months to build.

So, if you’re considering building a home next year, it’s important to get planning right away!  To learn how you can begin on a timber frame home design of your own, contact the design team at Timberpeg to get started.

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The Sun Also Rises on this Timberpeg Home

This recent cold snap has sent quite the chill across the nation, with at least one location in each state reporting below freezing temperatures this past Tuesday night. Although frigid temperatures may send many of us pining for more tropical climates, others can’t wait to hit the slopes. And while Sun Valley, Idaho has a name that invokes warmth, it hosts one of the country’s great ski resorts. This Timberpeg home is the perfect home for such a wonderful setting. Join us below as we explore the Sun Valley plan, designed by Carolyn Wicklund, AIA.

Photographer Kevin Syms, Architect Carolyn Wicklund, AIA

The Sun Valley is built to emphasize the superb views of the surrounding Smoky Mountains. The large bank of windows in the cathedral-ceilinged great room maximizes this view, while the dining room and master bedroom are also positioned with rear-facing windows for the best views.

Architect Carolyn Wicklund, AIA

Photographer Kevin Syms, Architect Carolyn Wicklund, AIA

At the front of the house is a formal entry, with a coat closet and lavatory close at hand. Ahead, the stairwell to the basement and large stone fireplace separates the entry from the great room. The 1600 square foot basement is very functional, with walk out access to the rear of the home. It features an office and rec room, as well as two bedrooms and two full bathrooms.

The master suite is located in a wing of the house, with a spiral staircase to the loft above providing privacy by separating the room from the great room. The master bathroom features large separate shower and tub, and the walk-in closet has a generous amount of space for bulky winter outdoor clothes.

In the other wing of the home are the kitchen and dining rooms. The kitchen is set up for a serious chef, with a combination L-layout and island. The L has a small prep sink in addition to the main sink, while the island houses the range. A large pantry is conveniently located right off of the kitchen. Since this home serves as a base for outdoor activity, a large mudroom with outdoor access, laundry facilities and closets connects the kitchen and garage.

Photographer Kevin Syms, Architect Carolyn Wicklund, AIA

As if the 3725 square feet between the two floors and loft wasn’t enough, the Sun Valley also features and apartment space above the garage. Independently accessed, this apartment has a full kitchen, three-quarter bath, bedroom and plenty of closet space.

If you’d like to learn more about this timber frame home floor plan from Timberpeg, or would like to learn about designing a warm and cozy home of your own, then contact the design team at Timberpeg today to learn more.  Stay warm out there!

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Holiday Safety in the Timber Frame Home

Candlewood Barn Home in SnowThe Thanksgiving and Winter Holidays, along with the increasingly early onset of night, present certain increased safety concerns to a homeowner. Many of us will soon be putting up holiday decorations. And while we hope most of us at least have more sense than Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation, the decorations, lights, and increased fireplace use creates an increased fire risk. With this in mind, here are some safety tips for the holidays.

Have Chimney Swept and Inspected

While fireplaces and woodstoves produce wonderful sights and radiant warmth, they also are prone to creosote buildup. Hot fires with plenty of oxygen are key to minimizing creosote, but it will build up over time regardless. If the layer of creosote grows thicker than an eighth of an inch, the creosote can burn and cause a chimney fire. If you use the chimney frequently, you should have it cleaned every year. While a chimney sweep will be more expensive this time of year than in the off-season, it is still much cheaper than a chimney fire.

Use Proper Deep Frying Technique

While a deep-fried turkey can be a delicious main course for Thanksgiving, it also has greater safety concerns than cooking in the oven. First, you will need a large pot around 40 quarts in size. Use only enough oil to cover the turkey, but leave at least five inches from the top of the turkey to the top of the pot. Make sure you cook the turkey well away from your house or other structures. Also, you should devise a safe method for lowering and raising the turkey out of the pot without injuring yourself.

Don’t Overload Outlets

If you are using incandescent light strands for decoration, do not run a string more than three sections long. If you use LED lights you may be able to run longer strings, check your instructions. Additionally, all outlets on a given circuit should not carry more than 80% of that circuit breaker’s rating. With a 15A breaker, this means you can draw 12A on the circuit for a total of around 1400W of power. While your holiday decorations will likely draw much less power than this, consider running high-current devices like vacuum cleaners on other circuits to prevent overloading. Also, since dry trees are a much greater fire hazard than well-hydrated ones, if you choose to have a live Christmas tree, be sure to keep it well watered.

Use Battery “Candles”

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, half of all home decoration fires are started by candles. Therefore, you should seriously consider using battery-powered “candles”, especially if children or pets are present in the home. And while you’re thinking of fire prevention, make sure to test your fire and carbon monoxide alarms and replace their batteries if you haven’t done so recently.

With these tips, we know you’ll be off to an enjoyable holiday season (and maybe even with a taste of fried turkey!).  If you’d like to learn more about designing a timber frame home or addition to help make entertaining even more enjoyable, simply contact the Timberpeg design team to learn how to get started.

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Tips for a Stress Free Timber Frame Home Thanksgiving

With November here and Thanksgiving only three and a half weeks away, many of us are trying to get a start on planning for the holiday festivities. Even when planning ahead, however, the stress of hosting large numbers of family and friends for Thanksgiving dinner can become overwhelming. Luckily, there are several ways you can plan to help reduce stress, and several features of the average barn home can help pull off a stress free party. Here are a few ways to make your hosting experience a pleasant one.

Organize Your Entertaining Space

Home Built by Timberpeg Independent Representative Old Hampshire Designs, Inc. - www.oldhampshiredesigns.com

One of the most important aspects of organizing your party is to plan where your guests will go. While you may be able to keep your guests in the great room if you have a large party, if you have a small number of guests they will likely congregate in the kitchen. Thankfully, a Timberpeg home lends itself well to an open concept kitchen that can accommodate guests while you are cooking. One way to reduce congestion in the kitchen is to set up drinks and appetizers elsewhere to draw people to the place you wish them to be.

Clean and Organize Fridge Space

post and beam kitchen with granite counter top

Home Built by Timberpeg Independent Representative Smith & Robertson, Inc. - www.smithandrobertson.com

Even though refrigerators have grown larger in recent years, we always seem to find ways to fill them up. Before buying your perishable food items for Thanksgiving, thoroughly clean out your refrigerator and make room for the turkey and other items. If you have multiple refrigerators in your house, dedicate the most convenient one to Thanksgiving goods and move less used items elsewhere.

Make Fewer Side Dishes

While the phrase “the best part of Thanksgiving is the sides” may be true for many of us, cooking a large number of side dishes is quite stressful. Instead, concentrate on a few side dishes that will be popular with your guests. If you feel the need for a large number of sides, your guests can bring their own dishes to help out.

Plan Your Cooking

timber frame kitchen with gas stove

Once you have your tentative side dishes planned, consider how you will cook everything. A turkey can take up a whole oven, but some dishes can be cooked after the turkey has been removed. Also, if you have a limited number of range burners (maybe four or fewer), so consider when each item needs to cook and make sure you can accommodate all of the dishes. If you have a woodstove, as Timberpeg homes often do, you can use that to simmer a sauce and free up a burner on the stove!

We hope these tips help to keep your Thanksgiving free from stress.  Of course one major component of hosting a stress free Thanksgiving, is having a well designed home that’s easy to maintain.  And that’s where the design team at Timberpeg comes in.  If you’re looking to design a timber frame home, or addition, contact them to learn more about the design process.

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