Log homes are not the only kind of wood home. Expand your vision of the perfect home by reading Elegant Wood Homes digital magazine. Designed with interactive content that you can swipe, tap and drag to learn more about topics. This digital formatted magazine is only available on touch devices such as tablets and smart phones. There are over 50 pages worth of content on topics ranging from Universal Design to the history of Timber Frame Raisings. Three magnificent homes are also featured, with amazing photography. Visit the website to learn more and download your issue today!
For years, PrecisionCraft’s realistic and detailed renderings have brought floor plan concepts to life for clients searching for the perfect design. While every client will resonate differently with each concept we display, we know that sometimes a plan can get overlooked simply based on perspective. As a result, we will be taking a fresh look at a few plans every month that may not have made it on your list of favorites to begin with. This month we focused on different viewpoints of three Appalachian style designs. Check out the newsletter now and see if you can recognize these plans by their alternate angles.
This is just the first installation in the Alternate Views campaign, so make sure to sign up to receive the rest of the series by email now.
We are very proud to introduce our new digital interactive magazine, Rustic Architecture.
In this ever-changing digital world, we wanted to get ahead of the curve and meet the growing demand for tablet-specific content. As a result, we created Rustic Architecture, one of the first in digital magazines that offers completely interactive content — from advertising to floorplan galleries to map exploration and much more!
The magazine will also feature exclusive stories and breathtaking pictures from some of our most exciting homes, as well as informative articles about design, building and energy efficiency.
For a limited time, we are offering the first issue of the magazine, which has over 50 pages of content, for only $2.99! In the next two weeks, the price will go up to its normal $3.99 per issue price. So order today: http://www.rusticarchitecture.com/
Please note that this magazine is only available digitally via a tablet or smart phone.
Browsing through PrecisionCraft’s floor plan concepts, couples will find a wide variety of style ideas; from Adirondack to French Country, handcrafted to timber frame, and sprawling log home to cozy cabin. Much like the different styles and plans, our clients also come to us from various backgrounds, each desiring unique floor plans for their lifestyle. Today we look at the Telluride, and how it was modified to fit a client’s specific project goals.
The Telluride concept was designed as part of PrecisionCraft’s line of Rustic Luxury™ Log Cabins. The designs within this line were created to showcase how homeowners could still achieve the creative mountain-style look they were searching for, but at a more intimate square footage.
Comprised of milled walls, large handcrafted posts, and stone, the Telluride’s western style exterior creates a rugged cabin look that is perfect for a mountain retreat. At a little over 1,500 square feet, the floor plan has two full master suites within a more intimate layout without the feeling of crowding.
The Modified Telluride
Building on a lakefront property in Montezuma, Iowa, this client worked with M.T.N Design to retain the rugged look of the Telluride’s exterior as well as the interior layout. However, they added nearly 1,000 square feet of unfinished basement to the design. When complete, the basement will hold an additional bedroom suite as well as extra communal living space for visiting guests.
To learn more about the Telluride and other cabin style plans, visit our Rustic Luxury™ Log Cabins page.
For many people, their log or timber home is a place where they can escape from everyday life, and enjoy views of their property. Because of this, many clients who are building or have already built their dream home will choose to include custom outdoor living structures. Here are four completed spaces by TimberScape Outdoor Living Structures—a company that prides itself on creating stylish, custom outdoor spaces.
This Bungalow design was built to compliment an existing home near central Connecticut. Blending the natural look of log and stone with the industrial feel of iron braces and tension rods, the structure creates a unique outdoor experience for the family and friends.
The unique beauty of TimberScape’s designs has been seen across North America, and even as far as Haiti. The Trailwind features a split design that allows room for multiple spaces like a dining, sitting, and kitchen area. Its notched timber posts and detailed braces compliment the exotic ecosystem of Haiti perfectly.
The Sienna Breeze’s heavy timber beams, crisscrossed by custom barrel trusses create a presence that enhances the look and feel of this backyard space. As a gazebo-like structure, it is great for adding that extra bit of shaded space for enjoying a summer barbeque with the neighbors.
A Custom Pergola
For many clients, creating an outdoor structure that flows with and compliments their home’s design might mean that a completely custom outdoor structure is required. For this Montana couple, they wanted their outdoor area to match the western style of their log and timber home. This custom pergola uses stout timber posts and a cross-hatched timber beam roof to create the open, airy design they were looking for.
For more information about TimberScape Outdoor Structures, including design concepts and a photo gallery, visit: http://www.timberscape.com/
Your custom log or timber home is something you’ve been dreaming of for a long time. You’ve even researched just about everything, from the layout, to your flooring options, down to the bathroom hardware. But even the most thought out design would not be complete or protected without the right roof to cap it off. Today we are going to review some common roof terms that will help you in your search.
Common Roof Styles
Gable – A gable roof is a simple triangular roof design that consists of two sloping sides that come together at a ridge.
Advantage: The gable roof design is easy to construct and is often used in areas with high rain and snow loads because its sloping sides lend to easy run-off.
Disadvantage: Due to its simple construction, the gable roof can be more susceptible to damage from high winds.
Hip – Unlike the gable roof, the hipped roof will slope down from a ridge point to the eaves on all sides of the home. It is a very French inspired roof design and can also be called a pyramid or pavilion roof.
Advantage: Hip roofs too are a great style for snow and rain run-off, while also allowing for large eaves on the home.
Disadvantage:Due to their generally shallow slopes, accessing them for maintenance or for additional interior roof space is often difficult.
Shed—Similar to the gable roof, the shed roof features a single sloping plane without ridges or valleys. This style is often thought of as a half-gable roof.
Advantage: Probably the easiest to construct, this roof is great for skylights, but can also protect the interior from excessive sunlight at certain times of day if necessary.
Disadvantage:Due to its simple design, it’s not as equipped for proper drainage like other styles.
Gambrel – Often seen in barn-style designs, the gambrel roof breaks each sloping section of the roof into two parts—a shallow one closer to the eaves, and one that drops down steeply.
Advantage: Due to its bell shape, this style offers the maximum use of space under the roof.
Disadvantage:Because of the two-part planes of its design, the Gambrel roof is not ideal for the pressure of heavy snowfall.
Dormer – A dormer is a window that projects vertically from a sloping roof plane. This feature usually has its own roof, which can vary in style itself—gable, shed, or eyebrow.
Eaves – Eaves are located at the edges of a roof and usually project out from the body of the home to offer added protection from the elements.
Valleys – A valley is the ‘V’ created where two sloping roof planes come together.
Ridges – In contrast to a valley, a ridge is generally located in the center of the roof or where two planes slope up and meet at a horizontal point.
Many future log or timber homeowners tend to think that whether inside or out, their view-facing sides of the home are where they will be spending the most of their time. While for many people, this may be true, don’t forget the possibilities available for your front-facing elevations as well. Here are some great examples of features you and your designer can include in your floor plan to make it more interactive from every angle.
Porte-Cochere—A Porte-Cochere or portico is a covering that protrudes from the entrance of the home, allowing vehicles to pass under it as well as creating extended overhead protection for visitors and guests. Including a portico in a design’s front elevation can add a unique element to the overall look that is both distinct and useful.
Front Patios—Whether it is a small front deck for sitting outside in quiet reflection with a good book, or a large patio for sitting and catching up with friends, including a porch or deck to your design’s front-facing elevation can offer great extensions in your livable square footage.
Breakfast or Reading Nooks—Many wood homes are oriented on their site for a specific purpose, for many it is so that the home’s communal spaces can witness the best views, while others may have their home oriented for energy efficiency purposes. Perhaps your home’s layout is designed so that you can watch the sunset out of your great room window every day, why not include a breakfast or reading nook on the front-facing side to catch those early morning rays as the sun rises as well?
Balconies—The amount of interaction available for your home’s front-facing side does not have to be limited to the main floor. Consider extending these spaces to the upper levels as well with balconies or a series of gables or dormers. Collaborate with your designer on what options would work best with your overall design.
There are many other options for creating a layout for your home that is completely interactive, from unique landscaping designs to balconies. Speak with your designer today on what modifications you can make to your design.
How you will use the spaces within your home can dictate not only their design, but where they will be placed in the overall layout. A bath’s design is no exception to this, which is why it is important to think about what purposes each bathroom space will serve, as well as where they will make the most sense in the overall layout of the home. Here are some things to think about for your bath design when you begin working with a designer.
Influenced By Lifestyle
There is no specific formula for figuring out just how many baths are needed in a home. Instead, homeowners should think about their lifestyle and how and where bathroom spaces would be useful for their family. Beyond the common inclusion of a master bathroom, will there be a need for additional full baths? Some homeowners might feel the need to assign one bath to every bedroom, while others may decide there is only need for one full bath and will add half baths and powder rooms where it makes sense. Others might put a shared bath or jack and jill bath between adjacent rooms or sibling rooms. In multilevel homes, it is also important to think about how far away a bathroom is from each level.
Overall Layouts and Baths
Where will your bathroom space be best located in the overall flow? Beyond the master suite, think about what other areas could use a place to wash and freshen up. If you are building your wood home to act as a ski retreat or a lakeside getaway, a half bath next to the mudroom for cleaning up after these outdoor activities may be a good thing to consider. If you are including an additional level with a communal space and bedrooms, think about whether you will want one communal bathroom, baths located within the bedrooms, or perhaps even both. Will you have a dedicated guest bath? If so, where will it be located in relation to the main living spaces? It is important to find the balance between keeping a guest bath accessible, while still retaining privacy—putting the bath next to the dining room or TV, might not be the ideal place for privacy.
Many people get excited about the different features they can incorporate into their baths; from what tile they will use to whether or not the space will include double sinks. That is why it is good to think about things like, whether or not you will keep the toilets segregated from the rest of their baths. Or if the full baths in your home will have a bathtub and shower, or just one. Keep in mind that there are still other ways to customize your bath rooms. For example, a past client once had urinals designed into their bunk room’s bath to accommodate for multiple grandsons. Steam rooms, saunas, and bidets are also popular additions to the conventional bathroom design.
For more pictures of bathrooms and the different styles that can be achieved, take a look at the PrecisionCraft bathroom photo gallery.
Got questions about log home maintenance or styles? We’ve just released a fun and informative infographic entitled, “All About Log Homes” that will help answer your basic questions!
Follow the link to see the full infographic:
When you purchase a piece of property, your decision of where and what lot should stem from more than its natural beauty and pristine views. By knowing the land’s history and the condition of its surrounding areas before you buy, you will have a more accurate depiction of what your budget and timeline for construction will be. Here are some things to consider when looking for that ideal piece of land to build your log or timber home upon.
Is the Land in Proximity to Necessary Services?
While mountain style homes and rugged locations often go hand-in-hand, it is good to be aware of where the closest amenities are. For instance, how far are the nearest police and fire stations? Will a grocery store be close by? How about a gas station? Even if your goal is to get away, it is still important to check how far away you will be from these services.
Are Utilities Accessible?
Are there accessible utilities for your location? Is it in an area where public water, sewer, and electric are available or will you have to pull those sources to the site? Will you have to dig a well and septic system? The cost and effort expended to supply utilities to your site will vary depending on your location. Before you purchase, you should check with the area’s utility providers so you can better understand and be prepared for what is involved.
Does the Land Have Road Access?
Does the property have a main road leading to it or will one have to be made? How far away are the major roadway systems? If there is no road to the site, you will have to consider not only how much it will cost to build a road, but how long it will take and also what the impact the site might be.
Is the Lot on Federal or State Lands?
Many couples building a log or timber retreat are often looking for a location where they can get away from it all. If you are looking for that undisturbed piece of property, look to see if your land falls under federal or state protected land rules. While these lands can have a pristine quality, they may also have rules that can affect how you will use the land. For instance, if you are looking at a waterfront property that is also a protected waterfowl habitat, you probably won’t be able to have a boat house or dock.
Do You Know What it Costs to Build in the Area?
Property costs don’t actually impact or reflect building costs, but your location does. In fact, the cost per square foot to build can vary from location to location. By checking into what it costs to build in your area, you can evaluate how much these costs will affect your project’s budget and timeline.
Are You Aware of All Codes and Covenants?
Many communities across North America have covenants or codes that put stipulations on what exactly you can do on your property. Design and construction factors like how high you can build your home and what trees can be cut down on your property can be determined by the area’s codes. It is important to be aware of all codes and covenants before your begin your project.
What are the Zoning and Density Requirements?
You may love the secluded value of your lot, but will it always be this way? By checking with the local building department you can research your area’s zoning and density requirements to see how nearby developments could affect your views, construction, and noise levels, now and in the future.
Would You be Building by a Fault or Floodplain?
Is that piece of property you are looking at located near a body of water or in an area that is known for earthquakes? Check to see if you fall within the area’s floodplain or fault zones. If your lot is within these zones, you will want to alert your designer so that they can make the necessary adaptions to your design before you begin construction.
It is your dream to build a mountain style home that will last for generations. By following this checklist, you can make a more educated decision on where you should build this home.
At PrecisionCraft, we know the popularity of our floor plan gallery not only stems from the one-of-a-kind design concepts it features, but also from the exciting examples it provides of how past clients have altered a particular design. In a campaign to show our clients the freedom they have to customize their design beyond minor layout changes, we’ve started a four-part series highlighting real client project modifications. Below we list these four areas of design that we will focus on.
Altering Square Footage
Requests to reduce or enlarge a floor plan’s overall square footage are common, but sometimes difficult for clients to envision. We’ve worked with empty-nesters who love the dynamic layout of a larger plan but want to reduce it to fit their two-person lifestyle, as well as with clients who are drawn to a specific smaller design but need more space. Whatever size you want your home’s square footage to be, your designer will work with you to ensure that the details you love in the original concept will carry through to your own unique design.
Adapting Product Styles
Another popular modification our clients ask is if they can adapt or change their project’s product. Whether it is a milled log design concept altered to incorporate timber framing, or a handcrafted floor plan adapted to a mountain accent, our in-house design firm, M.T.N. Design can work with a plan’s design to utilize your preferred product style.
Adding or Removing Levels
Adding and removing the amount of levels you have in your home is another way to modify the original concept you love to better suit your needs. For the newly retired couple who is looking to their future lifestyle by wanting to reduce the use of stairs in their floor plan, this may mean turning the concept the like into a single level home. For a family building on a mountainside, adding a walkout basement level may be a natural choice to better take advantage of their sloped property.
Redistributing Square Footage
Often times we will have clients come to us who have selected a design concept that they love, at roughly the square footage they desire, but the layout isn’t quite where they want it to be. For some, that might mean mirroring the floor plan to better suit their property. Or for others, it could mean eliminating an office space to expand their master bathroom. By redistributing the existing square footage of a plan, we are able to achieve your desired layouts.
It is that time of year when the steady decrease in temperatures outside, only increases our urge to grab a cup of hot tea and get the fire blazing inside. But where do you envision yourself enjoying this crackling fire? In the past, the placement of a fireplace might have only made sense in a central living space, but today you can find fireplaces throughout the home. Here we offer a few fireplace arrangement ideas to help you stoke the fires of creativity.
Where Can You Put a Fireplace?
For centuries, fireplaces have played an important role in providing that warm ambiance that is so characteristic in wood homes. While the placement of fireplaces was once fairly limited to a communal area, now it is possible to place them wherever it makes sense for your lifestyle. Including fireplaces in spaces like bedrooms, studies, and lofts add a sense of comfort and warmth. Many European countries will also add hearth space to their kitchen; you might consider this as an option for your home as well.
Taking Advantage of Chimney Placement
The logistics of your home’s overall design can also impact how and where you choose to put a fireplace. Many log or timber homes today include multiple fireplace designs that utilize the same chimney’s masonry system. When you work with your designer, see if there are areas of your floor plan where it would make sense to do this. Maybe you decide to have your great room fireplace connect to the same chimney system as the adjacent dining room or kitchen fireplace. Or if you have a loft space directly above the great room consider including a fireplace here.
Creating Outdoor Fireplaces
The warm glow of a fire doesn’t have to be restricted to an indoor hearth or outdoor fire pit, including a fireplace in your outdoor living spaces is another option. Perhaps you have a gorgeous gazebo located on your property for outdoor cooking and dining, consider including a fireplace for those crisp fall nights. If you have a great patio setup just outside of your great room, you could also connect an outdoor fireplace to your great room’s chimney system. Speak with your designer to find out if these might be options for your project.
For more ideas for your fireplace design, check out PrecisionCraft’s Photo Gallery.
As the year comes to a close, everyone here at PrecisionCraft reflects on all of the amazing log and timber home projects we have been able to work on this year. For our in-house design firm, M.T.N Design, each home they’ve drawn leaves them with a unique memory. We sat down with our designers and had them each tell us about of the projects that resonated with them and why. Here are the 2012 projects they chose.
Colorado Timber Frame
This timber frame home, inspired by the unique floor plan and prominent view-facing elevation of the Tahoe concept, is set to be built in Trinidad in 2013. Tim, M.T.N designer for the project, chose this as one of his favorites for the year not only for the breathtaking location, but for the unique circumstances. “The home is being built by a very close group of friends that have built a business together and now want a vacation ranch home together so that their families can all utilize it.” Tim said. This 6,500 square foot home features specialty spaces like; bunk rooms for all of the families’ children and four master suites on the second level.
Connecticut Timber Frame
When we asked Scott what project stood out for him, he spoke of one located in Connecticut that is currently in the design process. He chose this home for its open floor plan and the visibility of the timber frame structure from the home’s entrance. With 100 acres of property to build on, this family hopes to retain the french country themes of the Laurette Chateau, while creating a floor plan that fits their need for spaces like a carriage house attached to the garage.
The rugged look of the Adirondack-style Peaks Lodge is what spurred the design of this California handcrafted log home design. Matt, the in-house designer for this project, selected it as one of his favorites for the year due to the design challenge it presented and the passion of the homeowners. Despite the restrictive guidelines set forth by their development, Matt worked hard with his clients to achieve the exact plan they had been dreaming of, which included almost 1,000 additional square feet for extra bedrooms and specialty rooms.
Oregon Timber Frame
An eclectic mix of architectural styles and an Oceanside location are what Design Manager, Celeste believes makes this custom timber frame project one the most unique of the year. Designed for a couple residing in London, the house will be built a stone’s-throw away from Oregon’s coastal waters. Due to its narrow lot, the project’s designer worked with the clients to develop a floor plan that accommodates the lot dimensions and would still include the layout they wished to see in the home. One-of-a-kind elements were also included to the design, like a spiral staircase that leads from the garage to an Art attic, and a lighthouse that powers the home’s ventilation.
To see other projects that are on the boards, visit the M.T.N Design website.
When in the midst of the design process, people don’t usually think about all of the exciting elements that can be added beyond their home’s structure. From the trusses within the home, to the character posts adorning an entryway, there are several structural and non-structural accents to think about when you are looking for that extra something in your design.
For many log and timber frame homes, it is not uncommon to see trusses in the interior living spaces. While these trusses are sometimes meant to bare weight and add to the structural integrity of the home, there is also the choice of adding decorative truss work to your design. Whether this is seen in a single log truss framed in the eaves of your entryway, or in a lighter design not meant to hold weight, there are plenty of options for adding unique flair to your home with custom log and timber trusses.
At PrecisionCraft we offer the choice of incorporating flared cedar character posts into your design. These posts provide a distinctive look that contrasts traditional Douglas fir logs. Whether they are used as a structural component of your home’s entrance, or they act as a bold, decorative statement for your view-facing porch, character posts showcase the raw and unique beauty of the wood that makes up your home. For those looking for a more rustic, mountain style for their design, character posts are a great addition for both structural and non-structural purposes.
Much like how a fresh coat of paint can change the appearance of a room, including wood siding on your home can also change the appearance of the exterior and give it a unique look. With a variety of different sidings available, this material offers unique ways to get that extra character in your design. For instance, the use of skirl siding is a popular choice for many home owners as it has a rough, raw appeal that looks hand-cut. Another likable choice is vertical board-and-batten siding.
A feature seen in many log and timber homes, fireplaces and their design are another great opportunity for adding a one-of-a-kind accent to a project. Whether your fireplace is comprised of stone and reaches floor-to-ceiling, it is a dual-sided structure that connects your master bedroom to the great room, or it is placed outdoors for the comfortable enjoyment of all four seasons, fireplaces are a good thing to consider when looking to add uniqueness to your home’s design.
Windows don’t have to be a function-only square in the side of your home; they can become a great accent or focal point in any space. For some people, they choose to use windows to encase their sun room, while others frame their breathtaking great room views in magnificent window walls. By working with your designer, you can discover ways to include windows of different shapes, sizes, and designs so that they are functional and add to the architectural distinctiveness.
For more examples of structural and non-structural accents you can include in your home’s design, take a look at our Flickr gallery.
An entryway is a portal into your home, setting the tone for the rest of the interior. Although it is the first stop once you step inside, it is not always the first thing you think of when you begin your design process. Here are some things to consider that can help your entryway make a statement in your home.
One of the first questions to ask yourself when you begin is; what do you want your guest’s to see first when they step through your door? Do you want it to be a sweeping, uninterrupted view of the great room with repeating truss work overhead? Or perhaps you would like their first impression to come from witnessing a great glass window prow framed in robust logs and overlooking a mountainous terrain.
The fluidity of your home is very important and it starts at your front door. Your entry could flow right into the formal, intimate setting of a dining or sitting room. Or you may prefer the entry to continue into a hallway, separating rooms and showcasing art as it leads your visitors into a more informal environment like your main living space.
Your entryway does not have to be limited to a walkway; there are several features you can include to make it functional as well as inviting. The functionality of your entryway can be as simple as including a coat closet or you can make it interactive by including a sitting area where guests can stop to take their shoes off. Will you be building in an area that has harsh winter weather or heavy rain? Consider making that entry space work with the climate by turning it into a mud room where all of your winter jackets and rain boots can dry off without impacting the rest of the home.