In the state of Texas, a rich history and rustic culture meet the nuances of modern living. Set against a backdrop of desert and dry land, Texas has so much more to offer as well. The climate here is of the tropical savanna type, being usually hot and humid. The coastal areas, however, do experience spells of heavy rain during monsoons. Even with this mix of climate, Texan weather is generally pleasant, and the beautiful landscapes make up for any shortcomings the weather might offer.
That being said, the reason why we're touching on the lifestyle in Texas is to talk about the homes and style of building here. Whether you prefer the classic ranch style or a more modern, contemporary home, Texas has a beautiful mix of it all. And what better material to choose for such a home than timber?
The Breakdown on Timber Framing
Timber framing has been around for a long time, but advancements in technology have made it a more efficient and preferred method of construction. Timber framing is a highly flexible way of construction, and it indeed gives you the liberty to make the most of the space you own. Texan homes are known to have that raw, countryside appeal, and timber has both the sensibilities and the appearance for it. It's probably why families in Texas and all over the country opt to construct their homes with timber framing.
Why Choose Timber Framing?
1. Ease of construction
Building a timber frame home takes a lot less time than building a stacked log home or even a concrete one. Timber being such a comfortable material to work with is the reason for this. It's also not such a labor-intensive procedure, and hence, it doesn't cost as much as you'd think. There isn't need for a significant amount of manpower or heavy machinery either; just the professional expertise of the right timber framing company would suffice. You'd be surprised to see how quickly the frame of your home's construction is ready and without all the fuss of heavy construction.
2. Flexibility of design
A timber frame home can be designed exactly how the homeowner wants it to look, no questions asked. You can work around how many walls there are, mix and match building materials, have an open floor plan–customize it according to your requirement, and so much more. If you don't want to choose timber as the main material throughout your home, you can also choose a hybrid of timber and another solid material. Timber frame home plans allow you to experiment with your design and make or remove installations wherever it's required. If you are looking to get creative, you can find more design ideas here.
3. Eco-friendly building
Does this count as an important benefit? It does. Timber is a natural building material, and hence its carbon footprint is minimal as well. Timber homes also require lesser wood for construction when compared to regular wood homes, because they're a renewable resource, which also contributes to less waste of wood. Since these are constructed using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), they provide advantages like efficient energy use, improved air quality indoors, less waste of material, and other environmental benefits.
4. Strength and durability
Timber is an extremely strong natural material, one that has been modified to become durable and stand the test of time, all thanks to modern science and technology. Timber frames houses have a high tolerance for heat, can absorb high-shock impact, and would actually do pretty well against natural calamities like hurricanes and tornadoes. Durability isn't an issue either, because timber homes that were constructed decades ago still stand strong and show the same resilience as before.
5. Modern meets heritage
Timber has a distinct look to it, one that fits the modern home's requirements but can still sport that rich, rustic look of a wooden home. In Texas, a state where the rustic culture still thrives in neighborhoods, timber would be a very much proper fit. Timber frame homes look classy and elegant and yet have the weight and sturdiness of a traditional home.
Choosing Doors and Windows For A Timber Frame Home
There are a variety of materials and styles of doors and windows that you can choose from for a timber frame home:
- The most important characteristic for doors would be energy efficiency, and the easiest way to decide this is to check for an Energy Star Label. You can either choose doors that include glass or is fully opaque, based on what look you're going for.
- More massive doors work much better for homes that are more spacious and sprawled out, giving the illusion of more dimension. While smaller doors or more narrow doors work for a more cottage-style home; it really depends on how you want to utilize your space.
- In terms of efficiency of energy the placement, size, and shape of the door matters. The tighter the system, the more efficient the usage of air within the home is going to be. It also has an impact on ventilation and circulation of heating and cooling through your HVAC system installed at home.
- One important rule for exterior door installation is that the door needs to sit square and plumb to prevent water infiltration. Proper installation also ensures a tight seal when the door is closed. A good seal prevents air leaks and adds to the home’s insulating properties. Insulation isn't just important for heat, but for a general balance of temperature in the house throughout the year.
- Now when we talk about windows, fiberglass, metal, and wood are the most commonly used materials for a timber frame home. For homeowners that appreciate the look of solid wood windows, cladded windows are a good low-maintenance option.
- You can choose between single-, double- or even triple-paned glass units, based on how much insulation you're opting for (single pane is highly uncommon, and provides no insulation). Low-E windows are especially good if you're looking for an extra layer of weather and wind protection and internal insulation.
- Double hung units look good but are not as practically sensible as casement windows. Having a Low-E coating helps with radiating heat and keeping it outside while helping with cooling the house internally. In hot and humid climates, this property really comes in handy.
- It's important to note that vinyl or aluminum clad windows are much more durable and easy to maintain when compared to solid wood ones, especially in climates that cause windows to expand and contract more with changes in temperature. More expansion/contraction leads to more wear and tear of the seals around the glass.
- In terms of style and size, windows and doors need to be in sync with each other. Larger windows are great for better lighting and ventilation, but only if that kind of space is available. Technically, smaller windows with good insulation are a better option for timber homes.
Timber frame homes are popular in many parts of Texas, and for all the right reasons. Timber frame homes are not only practical and convenient but are also the more long-standing option. Right from construction to maintenance, timber homes offer a duly noted advantage of concrete homes. So, whatever your design may be, either a classic Texas ranch or a modern lodge, timber is the option you should be looking for!
Tyler is a writer for Hamill Creek, who are timber frame home experts. He is keen about home improvement and increasing the quality of life through small but effective changes to houses. He believes that timber frame houses decrease the carbon footprint of an average house.