Monthly Archives: December 2016

Know More About A Wood Houses

Many potential homeowners have the perception that wood houses are inferior to their concrete and brick competition. It’s true that concrete, brick, and stone have become more popular home building, but this doesn’t mean a wood house has nothing to offer. Wood has several advantages over other building materials. It is a cheaper, easier to work with, and can often reduce the building time of your new home. Plus, better technology is allowing wood homes to become more and more energy-efficient.

Durability and Climate

The biggest concern many potential homeowners have is the durability of a wood house. It’s true that wood won’t hold up the heavy pounding of a hurricane or tornado as well as concrete or brick. Yet, a wood house is less likely to collapse under the stress of an earthquake. It may sound odd, but wood has different properties of structural integrity. Concrete and brick are denser materials that aren’t as easily knocked over by simple brute force, but tremor waves can crack it. Wood has greater structural flexibility, allowing it to absorb the ground tremors.

Naturally, this has led to wood houses remaining popular in California. For other parts of the country, you may have a more ambiguous choice, and you should talk to home builders in your area how each kind of building material holds up under local climate conditions.

Wood-Framed Houses vs. Log Homes

Log homes and wood houses are not the same thing. Sure, both are made from wood, but for cost, performance, and style, these two types of home couldn’t be more different. One of the advantages of wood-framed houses is the cheaper building costs. Log homes can be machined or hand-crafted, but either way, you’ll probably end up paying more. In fact, in many cases, a wood house can be as much 50% less than a comparably sized log home. On the other hand, a log hog is probably going to be more energy-efficient, last longer, and bring a greater level of comfort and magnificence. It may sound counterintuitive, given the idea most people have in their minds of “log cabins,” but log homes are among the more luxurious and expensive homes available today.
Other Wood House Options

Wood-framed houses are sometimes pre-fabricated, meaning they are designed and built in a controlled facility and, then, transported in sections to the building site. Wood house building companies may offer different levels of complete construction. This versatility can be great for DIYers, who need the basic framing erected, but can do much of the subcontracting work themselves. If this doesn’t sound like you, don’t worry other some companies also offer “turn-key” construction, where your home is ready to live in upon the completion of their construction services.

Traditionally, wood houses are stick frame, where the wood timbers act as just another wall stud. Today, more and more wood housing is added with rigid foam and/or oriented strand board. This allows less wood to be used during construction, but will also create a more energy-efficient home.

How To Building a New Home

Prospective homeowners should give careful consideration to their decisions when planning to build a home. A great home is one that you are happy to wake up in every day, which is efficient in its layout and usage, that is interesting yet practical, and that brings joy into the very basics of living. These 8 steps will help to guide you through the process:

1. Home Building: Plan and Design

The design process is the most important part of building your new home. No matter how good your blueprints are, no matter how competent your builder, your plan must be well thought out and logically developed to ensure a well constructed home that meets your needs, your lifestyle and your unique characteristics. A great home is one that you are happy to wake up in every day, which is efficient in its layout and usage, that is interesting yet practical, and that brings joy into the very basics of living.

It involves using creativity and visualization to look at the origin of your likes and dislikes and it involves honest communication with others: your spouse and/or children, your designer and builders, and your banker. Take the time to discuss compromises and different options. Visualize your finished home from the inside out, the feel of each room, corner and hallway-in short, what it will be like to live in.

2. Home Building: Regulation

Often there are many regulatory requirements that affect your project, from zoning to allowable setbacks, buildable area, height restrictions, sewage disposal, water and utilities.

3. Home Building: Budget

Too many people travel far down the road to their dream home only to find out that they can’t afford it, many times after construction is finished. Not only is it important to be perfectly clear about the overall cost of the home you wish to build, but of course, the amount of the monthly mortgage payment (factoring in for times of higher interest rates) and the effect on your overall life cash flow. And it is important not to include construction costs only.

There are additional ‘soft’ costs such as design and engineering fees, surveying, driveway and landscaping, septic fields, and building permit fees or development charges.

4. Home Building: Technical Aspects

Don’t leave out such things as constraints offered by the building site: access, wind and sun exposure, and septic field capacity.

5. Home Building: Evaluation

Assign areas where rooms will be, look at access and circulation, and begin assigning a budget. Undertake the difficult but extremely important step of matching your dream with the reality of your financial situation. It is important to build with unforeseen costs and extra spending for special features in mind. It may be necessary at this stage, to modify. Double up the function of a couple of rooms, eliminate some rooms entirely, finish the basement at a later date, tighten up the entire floor plan. The importance of this step cannot be over-emphasized. These are the critical decisions that still allow you to have the well designed and beautiful home you want at a price you can afford. At this point you may not have even looked at floor plans nor put pencil to paper. But you are well on the road to having an exceptional home.

6. Home Building: Drawing Process

This phase is best left up to a professional architect or building designer. It is helpful to both you and your service professional for you to right down some of your thoughts on paper and have a rough idea of what you want.

The professional you work with will help you establish relationships between the various rooms, help choose the primary orientation and the general feel of the home. This is the initial step to creating blueprints and should be reviewed many times by both the architect/building designer and yourself, the client. This is the time to make changes and add detail, because once the schematic drawings are finalized, it becomes much more costly to make changes so it is wise to spend extra time getting it right at the beginning.

7. Home Building: Design Development

Next comes the technical side of design; attaching exact dimensions to each room, calculating wall heights, roof pitches and stair details, construction methods, etc. Your home is definitely beginning to take shape.

8. Home Building: Working Drawings

There is little opportunity to make plan changes at this point, which become more expensive, but of course, less expensive than changes during construction. These drawings may include detailed specifications for materials and construction and schedules for doors, windows, and finishes.

Should You Know About Log Homes

Log homes have come a long way since the days of Abe Lincoln. They now come in three basic styles and include as many modern-life luxuries as your budget will allow.
Like all kit or system-built homes, log homes are also usually less expensive per square foot to construct than traditional homes. Some log home owners build their own, but most work with manufacturers and/or general contractors to construct the home.

Types of Log Homes

Log homes come in three basic types: milled log homes, handcrafted log homes, and timber-framed homes. While none of these is inherently better than another, each has qualities that will make them more or less appealing to certain homeowners; each will also be better suited to particular situations.

Milled Log Homes

Milled log homes are manufactured by machines such as planers, lathes, and profilers. They come in kits that can include either just the wall logs or everything to ensure a weather-tight shell. Milled logs are uniform and smooth and are assembled on-site, unlike handcrafted homes, which are pre-built at the log yard. Kit homes typically have many vertical butt joints because most kit makers have a limit to the length of log they can mill. Ten- to twelve-foot logs are roughly the industry standard for maximum length.

Some milled log home kit manufacturers can produce hundreds of kits a year because the work is performed by machines. The majority of the kits they manufacture are for their standard plans or slight deviations of them. It should be noted that some kit makers do not use real logs as their raw material.

Handcrafted Log Homes

In contrast, handcrafted log homes are authentic and traditional. They are created by experienced log smiths using techniques that are centuries old. Many of these log home building methods have been around since the first century. The primary tools used in the trade are hand-axes, wood chisels, log scribes, drawknives, and chainsaws.

Handcrafters generally do not produce as many homes a year as milled kit companies due to the time and labor demands of the trade. Handcrafted log homes are typically custom designed, allowing the homeowner to create a floor plan that suits their individual needs and taste.

Handcrafted log homes are built with full-length logs with no vertical butt joints and much larger diameter logs than milled homes. Architecturally, handcrafted log homes seem to offer more latitude than milled homes. Design elements such as scalloped corners, chamfered window and door openings, and interior log walls with decorative archways add to the overall appeal of handcrafted log homes. This type of log home allows each log to exhibit its own personality, rather than making them conform to exact specifications.
Timber-Framed Homes

Built using a post and beam construction, timber frame or large-sized square timber homes use a dimension-shaped wood source creating flat interiors and exteriors. Because the frame carries all the structural weight of the house, the beams enable the structure to have large open spaces, often two stories high, vaulted ceilings, and large expanses of window and open interiors that flow from one room into the next.

Log Accents

It’s also possible to use log accents on conventionally framed homes. These would be in the form of trusses, mantels, staircases and railings, posts, entry gates, porches, and various specialty designs to get the look of the log home within traditional framed construction.

Log Home Energy Efficiency

Log homes are quite energy efficient. In most cases, a log wall will outperform a conventional wall frame for R-value (used in calculating energy efficiency). Each wall contains millions of tiny air pockets that store heat in the winter time and cool air in the summer, each radiating back into the room, resulting in greater energy efficiency for the same square footage as a conventionally-built home.