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. Creating house plans with kids in mind is easy and you can incorporate fun for the kids into your plans. Here are some tips to get you started.
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 to 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.
5 thoughts on “Timber Frame House Plans with Kids in Mind”
What a great idea!
I’m encouraging a National Park nearby to host a timber frame demonstration (among several others I’ve suggested). I think it would be neat to have some smaller-scale pieces of joinery that folks could put together like a puzzle so they would have hands-on experience (always a winner in my book) and learn what makes this type of construction so sturdy and beautiful.
This is coming from me, a 58 year-old woman who’s been a huge fan of timber framing for almost 30 years. I figure I can’t really handle the big stuff, but I could certainly use the techniques for smaller projects and perhaps teach others, too. I’m finally living in a place where timber framing is used in old barns, including one that fell down on the farm where I live. Never to late to dream!
Thanks for sharing your wonderful organic brace!
Thanks Sandra, It was fun article to put together. My kids love to knock pegs in.
It is nice to see someone using timberframe for the subfloor components (timbers in the basement). I’m in the design phase of my frame and plan on using timbers in the basement as well.
Do you have more pictures of your frame?
thank you for your newsletter
I would much rather use timbers that LVL to support the floor system when possible. Usually the budget get in the way. Photos of my house are all over the site, anything in particular you want to see?
Just more pictures of the floor system and that show the species of wood that you used. Is it quite a bit more for a timber floor system than dimensional lumber?