Are Timber Frame Houses Cheaper To Build?

Making a decision to build yourself a new home is a great life achievement and an enormous project to undertake. Provided that you have saved enough money to fund such a construction, it will be the ultimate proof that you have made it and that you are your own person. Becoming a homeowner and not having to worry about a roof over your head comes with a whole variety of benefits and securities. Most importantly, you will finally have the basis to give your own family a place of their own, somewhere where they will always be comfortable, warm, and welcome.

With all that being said, not all houses are built the same nor are they approached the same. There are numerous types of houses, materials to be used to build them, and techniques to use that material and make it into something concrete (no pun intended). Arguably the most beautiful thing you can choose is timber, high quality wood that can be all you need both for the frame and for the actual walls, floors, and ceilings. Wood has been used in construction basically since the dawn of modern human beings. It continues to be popular and widely used because it is in abundance, it is a good material all around, and it is well-known.

However, as with most things, there is one big downside to timber frame houses. The material tends to be expensive and that is practically the only reason why more houses do not use it for the inner structure and support. Frames have to be well-made, precise, strong, and durable. Timber checks all of these boxes but it is also the most expensive thing to get. You could try to save some money along the way but not always. In the article right here and now, we will explore whether it is possible to build a timber frame house cheaper. In case you want to learn more about this, make sure to check out Hamill Creek Timber Homes and browse their offer and services.

Understanding What Frames Are


A lot of people do not really know what the framing actually implies and think that that most of the house is considered a frame. In reality, a frame is only the skeleton of the home. Just like our bones are in charge of keeping us up and running and giving us balance and resistance to survive out there in the world, the timber (and any other) frame of a house serves to hold the home up and allow the rest of the parts to be layered on top of it. The role is of the utmost importance but by no means does it imply building the entire house out of timber.

The only things that actually need to be made out of high quality wood are the beams and posts, or horizontal and vertical pieces that will remain exposed and add beauty and appeal to the interior. Leaving the timber exposed is a common interior design trait and these posts and beams can be used in a variety of ways to make every room look better. They can be used to install furniture more easily and use up the space in a number of ways. Most homeowners pick colors and designs of furniture to complement and bring out the beauty of the wood even more.

To answer the titular question in as little text as possible, we would say “maybe” as it is neither a definitive “yes or a “no”. With this being said, a home can be cheap to make, or rather, cheaper than you expect and still sport a true timber frame. In the following few sections we will discuss how exactly you can do this and what needs to be done for it to happen.

Simplicity is Key


If you want your home to be cheaper in the end but still have a strong timber frame, you should ensure that it is a simple design. Now, simplicity does not have to imply a lack of taste, too little excitement within the rooms, nor the size. It only means that there are no elaborate elements of the frame itself because the more you want it to be extraordinary and special, the more you will have to pay for the material and for the services of highly skilled contractors. Have a simple, common frame and then do more exciting things with the cheaper aspects of the home.

Vaulted Ceilings are an Expense


Similarly to different design traits and ornaments that add to the cost, a vaulted ceiling is beautiful to have and look at but also quite expensive and more costly to plan and achieve. Instead of a vaulted ceiling in your living room, you could opt to have a 10’ or 12’ ceiling above it. You will retain a lot of the volume sense with such space and still have a lot of useful square footage on top of it. Remember, the home should be the optimal place for comfort and usefulness first, and an art piece second. If it has a purpose, it is more necessary than something else that just looks good.

Stairs and Windows


Most timber frame homes also have timber windows and staircases, as these elements are designed to be made in the early stages of the whole process. If this is the case with your future home, make sure to have a straight staircase and usual, wall of glass windows. Both are cheaper than curved or turned flights and more elaborate windows that do not really serve a purpose. If we are talking practicality and cost effectiveness, pick simple windows and stairs that are still made of real timber and you will have it cheaper.

Drywall is Your Friend


The ultimate cheat option when building a timber frame home is to use cheaper materials and solutions elsewhere. Since you will have to pay for the wood anyway, choosing the least expensive solutions with walls and ceilings is a smart move. Therefore, opt for drywall instead of groove wood planks. The same goes for the finishes and fixtures after the most important things are already over. Again, the more details and elaborate elements you want, the more you will pay. Timber frames are a good thing to have but they are only available to those who want to save up if the sacrifice a little bit somewhere else.

Written by Nina Smith

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