When it comes to the budgets of timber frame homes, learn why bigger does not always mean more expensive.
Building a timber frame home is an exciting venture fueled by big dreams and creative solutions. It also includes some serious decision-making and budget-planning. This is a necessary part of the timber frame process. It’s also a common source of confusion. Many future timber frame homeowners believe that a smaller house equates to a less expensive cost in terms of price per square foot. But this is not always the case.
Read on to learn more about the relationship between the scale of your home and its cost as well as what you really need to know to get the home of your dreams from Woodhouse.
The Grocery Analogy
How much does a bag of groceries cost? It depends. Given two identical bags, the one filled with flour and apples is going to cost much less than the bag filled with wild-caught Alaskan salmon and artisan bread.
Of course, a house is far more complex than a bag of groceries. The cost to build a timber frame home depends on many intricacies and variables. Size is not always the most reliable indicator.
Because of scale, a smaller house will always cost more per square foot than a larger home. Every home, regardless of size, has certain fixed necessities such as appliances, doors, counters, electrical and plumbing systems, sinks, permits, and so on. In a larger home, these costs are spread out over a larger number of square feet.
Timber homes in general add another dimension to consider. Walk into most timber frame homes, and you’ll likely see an open floor plan with vaulted or cathedral ceilings. Builders of conventional stick homes typically fill this space with another floor, which adds more square footage to the footprint. In contrast, timber frame homeowners like to keep that space open to retain their home’s character and enjoy the strength and beauty the timbers impart. Then there is the longevity, energy efficiency, and resale value timber homes provide over time.
“Price per square foot is a convenient way to provide an initial direction,” says Woodhouse Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Craig Johnson. “But once you get past that general description you really need to focus on total cost rather than fixate on price per square foot.”
The Total Home
People are individuals and have different tastes. One person may want a grand chef’s kitchen with exotic woods and high-end countertops, while another is perfectly content with stock cabinets and simple appliances. A home with wall-to-wall panoramic windows will cost more than one with picture windows. Accordion-style glass doors that open to the outside will be more expensive than a conventional door. It’s these variables — finishes, flooring, siding, roofing, countertops, appliances, fixtures, lighting, and a myriad more — that can quickly escalate the cost of a home.
“Things can add up quickly if your standards are high,” Johnson says. “You should get what you want, but there are financial implications.”
There are other considerations, such as the style of the home, the floorplan, and how the home will sit on your property. For instance, is the property sloped to easily accommodate a walkout basement? Is the design in a straight-forward box shape or filled with bump-outs?
Woodhouse Budgets for Peace of Mind
When building your timber frame home, the last thing you want are financial surprises. Our process respects your budget. Every client gets a personal, online dashboard that communicates their scope, timeline, and budget. We only start drawing once those three criteria match. The more transparent you can be with the design team, the better they can help you achieve the timber frame home that is ideal for you.
Johnson is emphatic. “We will not waste your money,” he states. “Our design team is very attentive to costs and has frank discussions with clients and a client’s regional project manager. They know how to satisfy design and style criteria without blowing a budget.”
If you’re looking for a timber frame company that will be fully transparent about your timber frame home, contact your region’s Woodhouse RPM for a more detailed conversation. Try our Dream Home Budget Calculator, a free resource that can help you determine the cost to build your vision of a perfect timber frame home. You can also visit our gallery page and get excited over what we can do for you.