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Timber frame housing has been around for a long, long time as far as in the 1800’s. There are a lot of advantages of using timber framing for your dream home. Apart from practicality, it also adds to the aesthetic value of the property.
Concrete and steel construction is what a lot of people prefer, but timber compares favorably in several areas today.
Wood construction is soothing to the eyes and mind while maintaining a pleasant temperature inside.
Timber frame homes are also electrostatically inert which means even more tangible health benefits when using wood to make a home.
Let’s go ahead and take a closer look at why you should invest in a timber frame home.
While earlier other construction methods were clearly superior to timber framing, advancing tech and knowledge about timber have led to it closing the gap. Timber framing has seen enough improvement to be considered commercially viable instead of just residential buildings. Top timber framing companies have also allayed fears about structural integrity with modern building techniques.
Believe it or not, the tallest timber frame building is the Tall Wood Residence in Canada which is a whopping 18 stories in height. While this is no comparison to heights using other methods, for the average homeowner, this dispels any myths about lack of structural integrity when using timber for construction. Here’s why a timber frame house should be something you should aspire to.
Contrary to popular belief, timber does have a higher structural efficiency than concrete and steel construction. Timber used in construction also has a higher load per unit weight when compared to other forms of construction. A stud made of timber used in construction has equivalent compressive strength to concrete. Moreover, there are treated varieties of timber available that further enhance the natural strength of the material.
Quality Aesthetics and Design
A timber frame house offers more flexibility to the designers than concrete without any compromise on structural integrity. Tall and strong timber pillars take the whole load of the floor, so there is no requirement for load-bearing walls. This opens the door (no pun intended!) to several design possibilities like cathedral ceilings and other unique ideas. Also, wood offers a much more pleasing living environment than concrete – a well-done timber frame house is a sight to behold and wonderful to live in.
Opting for timber as material for construction can save you up to 20% when compared to traditional construction methods depending on the type of building. Timber frame construction offers you the same properties and better aesthetic value for a much lower price.
Better for the environment
Because of the inherent ability of a wooden structure to better regulate temperature, you spend much less on heating/cooling costs. This is especially true when you consider timber frame homes paired with structural insulated panels or SIPs. People living in timber frame homes see marked improvements in their energy and utility bills over time. Most building materials are manufactured with significant duress to the environment, but wood is grown naturally and is a perfect zero carbon footprint product which is renewable.
Other practical reasons
There are several practical reasons to opt for timber frame housing as well. For starters, it maintains the relative humidity a lot better than concrete structures. It offers much better insulation against hot and cold weather. Timber frame homes are also acoustically sound which means that you can eliminate irksome echoes without adding much at all to the décor. It has minimal drying out period when compared to concrete which means less turnaround time. The building process is much more predictable and not affected as badly by inclement weather.
Summing it up
With improved techniques and technology in this area, timber frame homes currently offer a lot more to the homeowner than several years ago. There are several practical reasons to opt for timber home whereas earlier it was only aesthetics. If you want a dependable and aesthetic timber home customized to your liking, getting in touch with professional timber frame brands is the way to go. They have several plans to choose from and you can customize them to your liking as well.
Energy gathered from naturally-replenished sources like waves, tides, rain, wind and sunlight has become an important factor in the modern world. While many companies are looking for new ways of implementing green energy to power their businesses, renewable technology has found its way into our homes as well. While for most homeowners the main reason remains the economic benefit of reduced monthly energy bills, other, not less important benefits are slowly but surely becoming recognized as well.
Although electricity prices in the U.S. have held steady for more than two decades, mainly due to industrial deregulation and the abundance of natural gas, financial and economic forecasters today agree that higher electricity price for consumers is the only viable solution. On the other side of the world, The Grattan Institute says that the latest high wholesale electricity prices are the “new normal” that Australian politicians need to be honest about with voters. Adding to that the federal and state governments’ decision to keep aging legacy assets – old coal-fired plants – in working condition is far from a long-term solution for a problem that only a strong bipartisan energy and climate change policy can solve.
Before you decide to commit to solar panels, you need to make sure your home’s electrical installations are in order. Keep in mind that many countries enforce stringent regulations concerning DIY electrical work. In order to avoid legal problems, and potential insurance revocations, you should hire an expert electrician to inspect, update or remodel your electrical system for higher energy efficiency, recommend LED lighting options, as well as suggest home automation solutions that save power on their own.
Solar photovoltaic panels can be placed either on your roof or on a specially designed array in the backyard. Another solution for going solar is to use solar shingles, which are becoming more and more popular among homeowners who want to preserve the traditional home design or period roof features such as gables, mansards, and towers. These photovoltaic roof tiles are installed in the same way as regular ones. The main disadvantage of solar systems is that they are active only when the sun’s up, so it pays off to invest in a solar battery, as well.
Although much less common in residential areas than solar panels, wind-generated energy is actually a much more stable source than solar energy. With an appropriately sized turbine, an average home can cover all the household’s energy needs. The disadvantages of wind turbines are their high-profile and the noise they make which often limit their use to remote farmsteads and off-grid residential areas. One way or another, before committing to this energy source, make sure you check local regulations on the matter.
The most ‘earthbound’ source of clean, renewable energy, geothermal heating systems can reduce your home’s carbon footprint by eliminating the need for electricity used for heating or cooling your home. The typical home system uses a geothermal heat pump (GHP) that needs 25 to 50% less energy than regular HVAC systems. The equipment included produces virtually no noise and takes much less space, making it suitable for almost any home design. Make sure you check your property’s geological and hydrological characteristics before committing to this source.
Once reserved only for wealthy, tech-savvy innovators and visionaries, renewable energy has always been all around us, now becoming more commons in the suburbs as well. By using renewable energy to power your home you can reduce or even eliminate your utility bills, while government incentives for renewable technology can make the investment even more cost effective.
About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger and DIY enthusiast from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and contributor on several interior design, lifestyle, real estate and eco blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.
Whether you’re going out of town for a week or heading to the grocery store, your home and your belongings are at their most vulnerable when no one is there. Nearly three-quarters of all household burglaries occur while no one is home, and that’s primarily because burglars want to get in and out of the home as quietly as possible. That means protecting your home and your possessions from burglary is a matter of making it as difficult as possible for burglars to ply their trade. Although news reports can focus on sophisticated criminals who research their victims before striking, the vast majority of burglars are amateurs. These criminals act impulsively, burglarizing a home because they see an immediate opportunity for a quick score. There are numerous ways homeowners can protect their homes by making them much less inviting for these criminals. Here are a few examples:
Proper property maintenance is critical in making sure your home lasts your family a very long time. If you do an excellent job of taking care of your property, it will last several lifetimes. There are many things you need to check to ensure your home stays in tip-top shape.
Usually, home inspections are required only when one sells or purchases a home. To be on the safe side, conduct a personal investigation whenever the need arises. It is imperative to inspect your home when a natural disaster such as floods, earthquakes or even fire occurs.
Better yet to always keep an eye out for any telltale signs of structural damage such as small cracks or mould. Here is a complete list of what to keep an eye out for when observing any potential hazards for your home.
This refers to any possible damage caused by excessive moisture and improper drainage. It is possible for water to seep into your home from the smallest crack or tiniest hole in your roof or walls.
Once moisture gets into your home, it will accumulate on the most sensitive parts of the foundation. Prolonged exposure to moisture will cause all sorts of water damage and even mould.
When water damage sets in; it will be expensive to have fixed.
Give all the visible pipes in your plumbing system a good once over every six months. It won’t hurt to double check each section to verify a leak-free plumbing system. To ensure your drains are always clear conduct a cleanse of the pipes maybe once a month.
That includes all the bathroom fixtures, bathtubs, sinks, taps, showers, laundry area and everything in between. Make sure they are all in good working order. Another thing to check on would be the trees around your property.
Some trees that are too close to your underground pipes can cause damage to them due to their roots. Overgrown roots could grow through various pipes, and they are known even to puncture septic tanks. To be safe and for some peace of mind, have your home surveyed by a professional to find out if there is any damage to your pipework.
Be careful where you position the trees around your property and replace the pipes that have been damaged.
The sight of tall, large trees in your property is something to behold, especially if you live in the city or suburbs. They are great to have around the borders of your property lot. However, having them too close to the house itself can be a bad thing as well.
Trees that are positioned too close to your home can end up causing structural damage to your house. A tree’s roots are extremely strong and can even puncture the cement and concrete foundation of your home.
Tree roots have also been known to puncture septic tanks if they are made from thin metal, hard plastic or concrete. A punctured septic tank is not very pleasant to say the least and will cost a substantial amount to fix or replace.
Another danger of having trees too close to your house are overhanging branches. Branches that are looming over your home’s roof pose a great danger to the integrity of your rooftop. A strong wind or thunderstorm holds the possibility of the branch crashing down into your home.
Pruning your trees with a loper or a saw to keep wayward branches from your rooftop is a must. Correct pruning will prevent any disastrous scenarios of falling branches and damaged rooftops. Be careful with over pruning as that can also lead to the death of your beloved tree.
Making sure you have a smooth running HVAC(Heating Ventilation & Air conditioning) system is also essential. There are six ways you can to keep your HVAC system running like brand new and free from any significant headaches.
Check on your HVAC system yourself. Usually the outside unit is left alone and sometimes forgotten until the day that the air conditioning stops working. Cleaning the outside unit is part of basic maintenance and it won’t take long to do. If you don’t want to do it yourself, schedule a service call.
When a HVAC system fails, more often than not it is due to a problem with the electrical system. The capacitor, contactor or condenser fan motor are the three parts most likely to give out due to lack of maintenance or overuse. Check on these to keep your system running well.
Change your HVAC air filter once every three months. Doing this simple task can save you up to fifteen percent on your electric bill. Regularly replacing your air filter will also keep your indoor air cleaner and will allow your HVAC system to work smoothly.
Keeping your indoor temperature at a comfortable level is also a good way to make sure your HVAC systems lasts a long time. If the temperature in your home is set to freezing during the summer and you never turn it off then that will put a lot of stress on the systems many parts.
Overloading may cause one of those pieces to break down which will merit an expensive service call to repair or replace the broken part.
Go around the empty room in your home and make sure the air vents to those rooms are closed. There really is no point in cooling or heating an empty room, you are just throwing money out the window.
The foundation of the house is one of the most Important focal points on the structural integrity of a home. If there is a lot of moisture getting into the foundation that can be one of the main reasons for a crack in the foundation.
It is best to always check the foundation for any horizontal, vertical and particularly stairway cracks on the foundation of your home. During a natural disaster such as an earthquake, it is vital to double check if your foundation was damaged in any way.
If your windows or doors are not closing as they should anymore, one possible reason could be a shifting foundation.
An excellent way to quickly scan your ceiling, walls and flooring is to use a flashlight or torch. Using the powerful light beam of a flashlight will allow you to view the imperfections on these surfaces commonly not seen with the naked eye.
If there are unusual depressions on the surface, then that would indicate that there is something wrong which would prompt you to investigate further.
The driveway is a vital part of your house; this is where your expensive cars pass every single day. Even though it is finished in cement or concrete, it is still prone to wear and tear and can get damaged just like anything else.
If there are large trees near your driveway, then the roots of those trees can burrow under your driveway which may cause some damage. Fortunately fixing a driveway is fairly straightforward and can be quickly resolved.
Check with the neighbours or local community about any ongoing pest infestation and check to see if you are affected by the outbreak. An easy method to check if you have pests in your home is to test any exposed wood and try to observe for any hollow sounds.
Check if the piece of wood is soft or even spongy that is a good indication that you have a pest problem, which in this case would be termites. Check if the pieces of wood in your home are falling apart or if small holes are popping up that is another sure sign of a pest infestation. You can also check on
Go up to the attic to check on your insulation. If your roof incurred damage over the past several months without you noticing, then your insulation could be one of the first things affected. Replace any insulation that has been damaged to keep your home energy efficient.
This is the central shield of your home; the roof protects your house from all the elements. The blazing heat of the sun, tumultuous rains, heavy snow and maybe even hailstorms. Your roof takes a lot of beatings, and you need to make sure that it can handle what nature dishes out.
When you check and see there are damaged areas in your roof then go ahead and make the appropriate repairs as soon as you can. Your roof needs to always be in the best shape possible. The smallest crevice or hole can lead to a series of other structural problems.
Having a well-maintained roof will prevent any significant headaches like moisture or pests from getting inside your roof and rotting the wood.
Schedule a specific period for you to go around your home and conduct a personal inspection of all the vital parts of your house. It is essential to make sure that each separate system is in good working order.
Doing this task of personally inspecting everything once or twice a year will be all that is needed to keep your home maintained. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, in the case of home maintenance, these words have never been more accurate.
Guy is a home improvements and gardening blogger. When he purchased his first home – a fixer-upper – he had to learn a lot about doing renovations and various jobs around the home and garden himself. Now he passes his knowledge on via his blog Guy About Home.