Thinking about building your own timber frame home? Construction projects can be scary, and we’ve all heard about builds-gone-wrong and unexpected mishaps that blow the price through the roof, but there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure this doesn’t happen and that your final price stays manageable. Here are 7 ways to reduce the cost of building a timber frame house
1. Find the Perfect Lot
So you’ve decided to build your own timber frame house, but where? You will have to find the perfect plot of land for your build, and although you might think the cheapest may be the best option, this may result in higher cost down the road. Sometimes cheaper plots mean that builders will have to blast through rock underneath or clear away trees. Things like this can increase your cost much more than you originally anticipated, so be sure you inspect the land before you buy. In order to keep your timber frame home cost manageable, it’s a good idea to pick a plot that has access to public utilities, such as gas, electricity, and water.
2. Consider a “Simpler” Timber Frame Floor Plan
Many people want to build an extremely custom home, beginning with a unique floor plan. This can seem appealing, but can also raise the cost of building substantially. It’s often more affordable to choose a basic floor plan that your builder has worked with plenty of times. This way, they’ve most likely perfected their building methods and you will have less scrap materials at the end. A rectangular or square style design is also the most economical way to keep down your timber frame home cost. These styles use the least amount of surface area, and therefore need the least amount of materials, keeping your timber frame home cost to a minimum.
3. Smaller Timber Frame Houses Mean a Lower Cost
While it may seem that building a larger timber frame home is more efficient based on the cost per square foot, think about the bigger picture. Do you really need a massive home with extra rooms? Build efficient, and make use of every square foot in your new home. Be aware of your builder’s plan and make sure no space is going to waste. Also, some timber frame builders charge based on square footage, so only planning for the space you intend to use can reduce costs.
4. Build Up, Not Out
Chances are you may have heard this one before. It might seem cheaper to build a one story home that sprawls across the lot instead of building a multi-story home, but it’s actually the opposite. Multiple levels means a smaller foundation and a smaller roof. These tend to be two of the higher cost variables, and keeping them smaller by building up rather than out can be a great way to lower your timber frame home cost.
5. Aim for an Open Floor Plan
Open floor plans are increasingly popular, and they also have economic value. Open floor plans require less walls, which consequently means less materials used. This is a great way to keep your timber frame home cost in check, and many homeowners enjoy the ease of communication from room to room that comes from the open floor plan.
6. Use Quality Materials
When building your home, it can be tempting to opt for cheaper materials to lower the initial cost. This, however, can cost you a lot more in the long run. Choose materials that will stand the test of time, and that won’t need to be replaced in a couple of years. By deciding to build the right way the first time around, you can save yourself a lot of headaches and future costs for your new timber frame home.
7. Think Energy Efficient To Reduce Your Timber Frame Cost
When considering what types of materials and appliances to incorporate into your new home, consider choosing energy efficient options. Although something like an energy efficient heating and cooling system may be more expensive at first, it will lower the cost of your utilities through the life of your home, and it’s better for our planet. Think about adding solar panels to your roof and using recycled materials to lower the overall cost of your new home.
This article was written by Tyler Manner, a blogger with Hamill Creek Timber Homes. Tyler is passionate about quality timber framing and has been featured on various timber home blogs.