So it’s time to heat up the oven and crack open the cellar for some memorable times with family and friends? Nothing is more important than the environment when it comes to setting the mood for a fun gathering, and on that front, these floor plans should set you off to the best possible start.

There are a few key ingredients that are key to creating an environment where guests can easily flow between the different functions while continuing the conversation. First and foremost is an open great room design, which allows the kitchen, dining, and living area to all share the same space. Consequentially guests can gather around the kitchen bar to watch the food prep early on in the night, almost like a cooking show. This keeps the host and their sue-chefs in the circle of conversation while they work, instead of squirreled away in a separate kitchen.

Once the food is ready, open designs allow the conversation to naturally and easily move to the main dining area so that everyone can dig in. Another key feature of any good gathering-friendly design is to have easy and quick access to a deck from the great room so that the meal can just as easily be moved outside if the weather is inviting. Once everyone’s bellies are full, an ideal gathering home has multiple small private areas for the group to naturally spread out: This can take the form of libraries, billiard rooms, play areas, or any other fun activity-based space you can think of.

The Dream Home Budget Calculator Questions

Wondering How Much Your Dream Design Will Cost To Build?

The Dream Home Budget Calculator helps homebuyers determine the cost to build their dream timber frame home. Enter your choices among 20 key categories and the calculator will provide you with a cost summary. It’s fast, accurate, and it’s free to use.

How It Works

“It’s a great educational tool to help our clients understand how much it costs to build in a particular region,” Johnson says. “As they go through the 20 questions, they will quickly understand how their decisions influence the numbers in their timber frame home budget. We encourage visitors to our site to use the Dream Home Budget Calculator multiple times, with different selections each time, to see how those decisions affect their budget. We update the data within the calculator quarterly, using regional and national construction averages, so it is remarkably accurate in developing a ballpark budget.”

After you’ve gone through the Dream Home Budget Calculator, you can download your timber frame home budget. When you try different scenarios, download each one to grasp how different levels of finish, size, and amenities can impact your timber frame home budget.

Johnson cautions that the land questions can sometimes increase the budget dramatically. “If you have purchased a 100-acre parcel, for example, it’s likely that you’re not going to be developing all 100 acres. You can reduce costs by simply developing just one acre,” Johnson says.

See how much your dream timber frame would cost.