Luxury Timber Frame Homes

Luxury Timber Frame Homes

Timber Frame Homes - Luxury Timber Frame Homes - Green Building methods by Cabin Creek Timber Frames of North Carolina
Timber Frame Homes - Luxury Timber Frame Homes - Green Building methods by Cabin Creek Timber Frames of North Carolina


Timber Frame Homes - Luxury Timber Frame Homes - Green Building methods by Cabin Creek Timber Frames of North Carolina


Luxury Homes & Luxury Mountain Home Design

We often have enquiries about luxury timber frame homes, luxury mountain home designs, custom mountain homes, and custom timber frame homes. Different people describe the same idea differently, but are all talking about the same idea-basically a luxury timber frame home. What makes a house a luxury home?

Here are a few core ideas which separate the good and thoughtful designs," luxury", from the simply big house designs which are so often seen in high end developments.

Many of the large houses built today still reflect the life style of the 19th and 20th centuries. Our approaches to life style and living have undergone many changes over the last half century. Unfortunately many builders and realtors prolong the adherence to a lifestyle rapidly fading. Most enquiries now about a new luxury mountain home design do not ask for a formal dining room or a formal living room. These are combined into a great room with many functions-kitchen, gathering, playing, television, meals, and more. Another difference is that good and thoughtful houses do not include space just to make buildings have a certain square footage as called for in many subdivision provisions. Big is not necessarily better.

Many people mention the word luxury in describing their ideal home. Luxury means different things to each of us. To all, though, after some thought, a luxury house means a comfortable, livable, functional house with no rough edges. This does not mean it is large, just that it does very well what is anticipated. So often, a large house means wasted space. Smaller, well thought out functional and efficient houses often do a better job, and cost less due to using less material, allowing one to spend more on personal touches. To define your personal touches, we would need to list and work through some of your ideas and dreams you have collected about your dream of a luxury timber frame home.

All of us have budget restraints. We need to decide where to save and where to spend our budgeted money. Space or volume does not make a house desirable or luxurious. The character of a house is formed by details such as paneling, wainscoting, wooden flooring, a room for a particular activity, stair cases, and built in furniture. These details cost more, but make a home more livable. So in order to meet the budget and have what is desired, a compromise may have to be reached. Often there is wasted, overlooked, or unused space which can be used effectively for built in storage, and the house size decreased to save material costs.

Many people think that luxury timber frame homes are defined by soaring cathedral ceilings. This certainly can be a component of luxury timber frame homes, but does not need to be so. There are times, and these come frequently, that people need cozy, intimate spaces for conversation, contemplation, and concentration on particular endeavors, to read quietly, or to relax and enjoy a quiet view. This feeling of coziness and intimacy is usually not found under soaring ceilings, but in a small close low-ceilinged room, comfortable and intimate, providing a sense of privacy. A space like this can be a bay window or alcove, a small room with a window and a view, away from the bustle of a busy house. Christopher Alexander in his book, A Pattern Language , discusses this as does Sarah Susanka in The Not So Big House. Both are full of great ideas.


Timber Frame Homes by Cabin Creek Timber Frames - The Balsam North Carolina Timber Frame - CLICK HERE FOR LARGER VIEW -
This timber frame home in North Carolina was built by Cabin Creek Timber Frames of Franklin North Carolina. Cabin Creek shows an entire line of their luxury timber frame homes.

Objects in a house should be either beautiful (art or treasured belongings) or functional, and the beautiful should be celebrated. In a timber frame home, the frame itself is both functional and beautiful, and is worthy of celebration. If a post is required for strength/function in a particular place, there is no need to hide it. It can be given a place of honor and celebrated, and the stream of people and activities can flow around it. Timber frame homes, well built, are very similar to fine furniture, and can be treated as an art object themselves with finely polished timbers and posts. Better than in furniture, however, timber frames present the opportunity to look at the whole frame of a building and admire the craftsmanship and the way the array of timbers work together to strongly support the whole. They are a thing of beauty and a joy forever.Objects in a house should be either beautiful (art or treasured belongings) or functional, and the beautiful should be celebrated. In a timber frame home, the frame itself is both functional and beautiful, and is worthy of celebration. If a post is required for strength/function in a particular place, there is no need to hide it. It can be given a place of honor and celebrated, and the stream of people and activities can flow around it. Timber frame homes, well built, are very similar to fine furniture, and can be treated as an art object themselves with finely polished timbers and posts. Better than in furniture, however, timber frames present the opportunity to look at the whole frame of a building and admire the craftsmanship and the way the array of timbers work together to strongly support the whole. They are a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

Personal touches turn a bland space into a luxury space. First, a home is a very personal concept. Few things are as personal as your home. For a house to become an ideal home, it must include personal touches which are important to you, and which reflect your interests and things dear to you--which reflect the way you wish to live your life.

Both my wife and I love wood. When we built our home, we wished to use our collection of wood we had accumulated over a period of years, hoping to incorporate it into our new luxury home. We used walnut for flooring, trim, stair newel posts, balusters, pickets, hooks and knee braces. Some of this was sawn wood and some naturally curved. Spalted sycamore, maple, and beech were used for flooring, trim, and wainscoting. These personal touches transformed a generic space into a very personal luxury space at little cost, some personal labor and elbow grease, and helped create a luxury timber frame home.

We are empty nesters. We designed, built, and live in a 2800 square foot timber frame home with structural insulated panels (SIPs) for insulation. There is a cathedral ceiling in the living room with large windows opening to interesting views of the Appalachian Trail ridges and the stream. My work often keeps me away from home for a period of time. I noticed after a series of winter snows that the relatively small guest bedroom of our home, with low ceiling joists overhead, spalted maple wainscoting, and handmade furniture, had been converted to a "nest" with soft lighting, curtains drawn across the window, sewing table/sewing machine/laptop set up, offering a cozy space with a feeling of warmth and comfort. When I commented on the room, she said, "This is my nest" and grinned. We all welcome a space of our own. Her plan for her "nest" would not have worked well in the soaring family room. This concept is one which differentiates a large volume house from the luxury home many are seeking. Even our family room with its high ceilings has three distinct seating areas for quiet, closer conversations.

One aspect of a smaller but more functional house that saves space or volume and therefore money in construction costs, is the use of built in storage or furniture in spaces many would not think to employ. This allows the use of possibly neglected space. This allows too the saving of money which can be put toward those special personal touches or a more efficient heating/cooling system to save more money through efficiency.

An example of our cozy, no space wasted area, is our library. Built under the sloping gable roof sides, the outside walls do not offer headroom until one moves back a few feet. This would have been wasted space, but we used the outside spaces for an attic storage area, and on the inside built bookshelves for our library collection. One can stand now with headroom beside the library shelves. This was much less expensive than building a separate room for a library.

Luxury mountain home designs in general are energy saving, (that is, efficient and therefore money saving), durable or long lived (expected to last well for centuries), and functional (or thoughtful) meaning that people and activities flow easily and that all spaces are commonly used, not neglected as a formal dining room might be. This description sounds much like that of a green building, but goes a step farther, that is, in the sense of being functional as well.

The cost of building a house should be looked at in a way not often considered. When one builds or buys a house to live in over years, one must consider the cost of building or buying plus the cost to operate this house. A cheap house is often quite expensive to operate, and very often, well built and efficient houses are much less expensive to operate, saving the owner much money over the years.

Building to make a house last for decades and centuries is a concept not often employed in this country. In Europe, many structures built from the 12th century on are still in comfortable use today. A few people here are beginning to think of building for future generations and it makes great sense. The long lived buildings in Europe have lasted for a reason. They were well crafted. Now with modern building materials, we can expect timber frames with SIPs (structural insulated panels) insulation to last and save much money over the years. It is not unusual for a well insulated (SIPs) building (1800-2800 square feet) to cost $50-$75 per month to heat, cool, and power. It is also not unusual for a stud wall/fiberglass building to cost $400. per month. The difference of $350 per month comes to $42,000. over 10 years. SIPs panel insulated buildings usually cost half as much to heat and cool as stud wall/fiberglass buildings, and often even less. This monthly saving adds up over the years to considerably decrease the lifetime operating cost of the building.

Putting these concepts and ideas into a coherent luxury timber frame design takes work. We will be happy to work with you and your architect or designer to offer our opinions, ideas, lessons learned, advice, and even whimsical ideas we have had over the years. Together with your ideas and your designers, we can help construct a luxury mountain home of your dreams.

All text and photos are the property of Cabin Creek Timber Frames
Copyright 2010 © Cabin Creek Timber Frames, all rights reserved.
All are published here with permission

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Links & Resources

Home Design, Building, Decorating & Landscaping Resources

Cabin Creek Timber Frames - Luxury Timber Frame Homes, beautifully handcrafted with compound joinery
Timber Frames are Green
GA Timber Frames
NC Timber Frames
NC Post and Beam
NC Post and Beams
SC Timber Frames
Timber Frame Online Magazine
Timber Frame Magazine
Green Built Timber Frames
Offering self-build assisted services for timber frame homes
Homes from the Ground Up - Home Building Resources with an emphasis on Timber Frame, Log & Alternative or Sustainable Building methods
Timber Frame Home Living - Timber Frame Life Styles - Landscape, Decor & Lighting
Timber Frame Home Source
Commercial Timber Frames
Luxury Mountain Home Designss
Luxury Timber Frame Homes
Timber Frame Custom Homes
Custom Timber Frame Homes
Alternative Building Methods
Sustainable Building Methods
Timber Frames are Green - Timber Frame Construction for Green Building and Healthy Homes construction
Timber Frame Homes
Log Home DesignsHeavy Timber, Timber Frame and Post and Beam Designs for Mountain Homes
Log Home ArchitectsHeavy Timber, Timber Frame and Post and Beam Designs for Mountain Homes
Mountain Home Architects
Mountain Home Architects in North Carolina
Heavy Timber, Timber Frame and Post and Beam Designs for Mountain Homes

Mobile Sites on Timber Frames, Home Building & Mountain Home Design
Custom Timber Frame Homes
Luxury Timber Frame Homes
Timber Frame Homes
Timber Frame Photos
Timber Frame Magazine
Timber Frames Are Green
Cabin Creek Timber Frames
Custom Timber Frame Homes
Luxury Timber Frame Homes
Timber Frame Homes
Timber Frame Home Living
Timber Home Living
Post and Beam Homes
Building a tmber frame home - Offering self-build assisted services for timber frame homes