Incorporating a timber frame into your house will bring many compliments from your adult visitors, but it also has the potential to bring squeals of delight from the younger age crowd. By including several key elements into your timber frame construction details, you can achieve timber frame house plans that are sure to please everyone.
As a parent to two young children, and the current owner of a timber frame home, I have several suggestions if you are looking to incorporate “kid friendly”, fun, and useful timber frame kit aspects into your home.
First, the pegs that are used to lock the joinery together are great to hang things on. We currently have our stockings hanging from our pegs. Some people choose to cut their pegs flush with the posts, whereas we chose to leave about 1-2” on either side. These are also great to hang hats, or even heavier objects that would traditionally need a nail due to weight. Knee braces also make great hanging tools, such as baby mobiles or other hanging arts and crafts.
Other really eye catching pieces to add into your timber frame construction details include organic pieces. These are pieces that follow the natural shape of the branch or log. We have an especially curvy and unique piece of sassafras that is used as a knee brace. Since it is located above our couch, the kids use it as a place to climb up and sit like a sloth. When they are older, I can foresee them sitting there with their backs on the timber and reading a book. Adults think it is one of the neatest timbers in the house. Even though it was not needed for support, we added it in for the character. If you are in the design process, ask friends if they have especially interesting pieces on their property that you might incorporate into your home.
Last, we use the vertical and horizontal timbers that are not against the wall or ceiling as places to run Christmas lights. We don’t decorate much outside since we live in the woods and no one would see it except for the bears and us, so we decorate more on the inside. We also have one of the most popular toys in the community-a wooden ladder/swing from Ikea. This simple toy has kept children from age 2-17 entertained for quite a while.
If you are planning a timber frame house with kids that will live there permanently, or grandkids that will visit periodically, doing some simple prior planning will lead to not only an aesthetically pleasing timber frame, but also an indoor kid friendly playhouse.