13 Tips To Save Money Building Your Timber Frame Home 

Timber Frame House with TowerYou probably have two plans in your mind for building your new timber frame home, I know I did.

One is the dream home you’ve always wanted: A spa bathroom, a master suite with balcony, a tiered deck leading to the in-ground pool and a chef’s kitchen with the best professional appliances.

The second is the home you can afford and is practical for your lifestyle. You don’t need to give up all your dreams when you’re building your home. Allocate your budget for what’s important and cost-effective now and have a long-term plan for upgrading and expanding to create your dream home as time goes on.

Get the most house for your money now and keep planning that dream home. By using these 13 tips to save money building your timber frame home, your  cost savings may make that vision happen sooner than you think.

13 Tips To Save Money Building Your Timber Frame Home

1. Minimize Your Home’s Footprint

Roofing and the foundation are two of the most costly parts of a house. You save money on these two expenses if you build up and not out. A 2000 square foot ranch and a 2000 square foot two story colonial have the same living space, but the colonial has a much smaller basement and roof.

complex roof lines2. Use An Uncomplicated Roofline

The simpler your roofline, the less costly are the construction costs. Complicated roofs take more man hours, building materials and may increase the risk of potential leaks. Those complicated roof lines look fantastic, but they’re going to cost you and are problems just waiting to happen.

3. Stick To 90 Degrees

Square and rectangular shaped rooms are much easier to build than other shapes. That bay window alcove will cost far more than a simple flat window. Oddly shaped rooms add a lot of man hours and building materials due to the waste created from unusual construction dimensions.

4. Spend Extra On Insulation

By sealing and insulating your home very well, you’ll reduce the amount you need to spend on HVAC equipment. You’re also permanently reducing your energy bill.

5. Properly Size Your HVAC System

Don’t install a system that’s too small for the size of your home and the region in which you live. You may be saving money up front, but the system may not maintain your home’s temperature properly.

Conversely, don’t think bigger is better. An oversized system will merely cost more to buy and use extra energy every month.

6. Consolidate Plumbing

By placing your kitchen, laundry and bathrooms in close proximity, you reduce the amount of piping and time required to install your plumbing system. If you can stack bathrooms from floor to floor, that’s a significant savings as well.

7. Look For The Best Deals In Appliances

If necessary, combine brands to get the best prices on appliances. Don’t feel you’re locked into one manufacturer. Look for Energy Star certified appliances for future savings on your utilities. Some utility companies even offer rebates on the purchase of energy efficient appliances.

8. Finish And Upgrade When You Can Afford It

You can opt for less costly items for the time being with the intent of upgrading later on. Builder’s grade faucets, lighting fixtures, knobs and handles can save you money now and are easily replaced down the road. The basement ceiling and the garage walls can be finished when there’s time and money.

timber stairs with landing9. Patios And Decks For Outdoor Living

A deck or patio is a great way to add additional and affordable living space to your home. With lighting and a roof for inclement weather, this area can become a favorite space for entertaining or a place for the kids to hang out.

10. Use Materials Efficiently

Sheets of plywood, greenboard, rigid insulation and drywall all come in standard 4’x8′ sheets. Design your house to make the most of standard size building materials. Eight foot ceilings and even sized wall lengths reduce the use of materials and the amount of scraps that go to waste.

11. Install A Factory-Made Fireplace

A zero-clearance, direct vent fireplace can save many thousands of dollars over the cost of a traditional masonry fireplace. You’ll be able to create a beautiful hearth and mantle with some of the savings.

12. Build A Simple Stairway

A straight stair design with no turns or curves will save a lot of money in both time and materials. For extra savings carpet it and use less costly wood.

13. Don’t Build Rooms That Will Be Under-Utilized

Think about the way you live to determine what rooms you really need. Do you need both a family room and a formal living room? Does your family use a separate dining room frequently or does an open floor plan with an eat-in kitchen make more sense for your lifestyle? Does a large foyer seem important or could that space be used to increase the size of your living room, dining area or study?

2 Responses to 13 Tips To Save Money Building Your Timber Frame Home 

  1. Cari August 14, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

    “…merely cost more to buy and use extra energy every month”

    Installing an oversized HVAC system is worse than spending extra on energy… if your unit is oversized it won’t run long enough to remove moisture that builds up in the air from showers, cooking and even sweating and breathing. That moisture can cause mold and mildew problems in your home and cause rot of structural members in some circumstances.

    It’s best to find someone that will do the more complicated ‘Manual J’ calculations to properly size your unit… Your HVAC guy may have a rule of thumb way, but he’s the only one that wins if he’s wrong, because you just bought a bigger unit than you needed.

    • Brice Cochran August 15, 2015 at 12:56 am #

      I agree completely Cari.
      Every home is different due to its elevation and direction facing the sun and each home should have a Manual J Load Calculation completed. On my person home I got 3 bids for the HVAC system and only one did the calculations. He came in at 2.5 tons and the others where at 4 and 4.5 tons. My home is extremely efficient and comfortable.

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