Fitting your Magazine House Plan to a Timber Frame

By: Cyndy Gardner, Co-Owner of Homestead Timber Frames

Rustic Homestead Timber Frames great room 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!

Well, you have joined the rest of us who always see how those little changes could make it better for our lifestyle.  Now you want it to be a timber frame home so you can create a warmer feel or make it more rustic in appearance.  How do we put a timber frame into this perfect house plan?

Adapting a timber frame to a conventionally built house plan does take some pushing and pulling to help with alignment for posts and joists. It’s not impossible and while we’re at it, we can help make those floor plan changes you feel are important.  Usually as the process begins, we hear of a few more additions or changes you see becoming important.  And now you are in the middle of creating a home that fits you – not the ‘general public’ out there just wanting a house in a plain subdivision without any personality.

Homestead Timber Frames first floor plan for Black Mountain

Click here to see more of our stock home plans.

This is the fun part of building – the Design Process.  And we see a lot of clients bringing in that magazine photo of the home they wish to build.

Our Team starts with each room asking questions that many of you have not thought of such as:  ceiling heights, window sizes, where do you like to play the piano?  Outside porches, and where?  You get the idea.

Then the real brainstorming starts and ideas flow.  Eyes brighten and smiles begin.  The magazine house becomes a real home that, while we talk, you actually walk through the front door in your mind and ‘see’ the fireplace or stairwell – the focus of what represents you and your home.

This is how a home should begin.

The other important aspect of the design process is of course budget.  If your magazine home is larger than you really need or want to afford, then this discussion process can provide insight as to what heads the priority list.  Is it the gourmet kitchen, or the wrap-around porch that wins out?  We can help with all these wonderful challenges and make it easier to make those important decisions.

So keep searching your favorite magazines or online sites to find that ‘perfect’ home that you’ve dreamed of for so long.  Then bring it in for us to match a handsome timber frame to.  Make it your own, and you’ll be happy for many years to come.  We look forward to seeing you!

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Creating a Homestead for Generations to Come

Submitted by: Cyndy Gardner

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary- Homestead- (noun)

Snow Scene

a: the home and adjoining land occupied by a family

b: an ancestral home

The first known use of the word HOMESTEAD was before the 12th century.

Home·stead·er noun

Homestead-transitive verb: to acquire or occupy as a homestead - intransitive verb: to acquire or settle on land under a homestead law

As you can see, the word homestead has been around several hundred years and means many things important to our culture.  Our country was formed by people living in and caring for their homesteads – inherited by some and started by others.  But the homestead was the center of their existence – the hub of daily life – the heart of the family.  Some of the inhabitants built their own furniture, wove their rugs and bedding, and made ‘pretties’ for the children to play with.  Others brought these household items with them from all over the world when they came to settle on the frontier.  But all of them put great value on their homestead.

Today there are among us those who still envision living on and working a true homestead.  The outbuildings surrounding the main house would serve their useful purposes to provide income for the family living on the land.  John Seymour in his book, The Forgotten Crafts does an excellent job of describing these practices.  Some of us just want the ‘look’ of the old homestead in order to create the image of a working small farm, but use the outbuildings in a different manner such as a woodworking shop or an artist studio.  We may have a few animals to care for, but we work outside the home for the bulk of our income.

Most of us can still create our own personal homestead just by owning a piece of land on which we build our ‘dream’ house where we find sustenance of a different kind.  Within this wonderful home, we can fill it with what we love; what we find interesting; what brings peace at the end of the day – a sanctuary where we bring our friends and family to celebrate joyous events or to discuss the issues of the day.  We naturally want it to be a beautiful dwelling with attention to detail.  Not such a big house, but large enough to hold us comfortably within.  This home should inspire you to grow – to plan adventures – to learn more about yourself and the world around you – but also a place that welcomes you home with the ‘warmth of the hearth’ just like our ancestors experienced in their quaint old ‘homesteads’.   Our solid oak timber frames can furnish you with this quiet strength in which to create your sanctuary.  Traditionally joined with wooden pegs and handcrafted by skilled joiners, we still value what makes a home handsome that will last several generations.