Build It

In the mix

Timber Home Living - - Contents -

When most peo­ple hear the term “hy­brid,” they think of a tiny, fuel-ef­fi­cient car, cruis­ing down the high­way in the HOV lane. But in the world of home build­ing, a hy­brid refers to some­thing very dif­fer­ent — a house that mixes at least two dif­fer­ent build­ing meth­ods. To­day’s tim­ber-home com­pa­nies are max­i­miz­ing on this trend, of­fer­ing more and more op­tions for com­bin­ing tra­di­tional tim­ber fram­ing with other rus­tic el­e­ments, in­clud­ing stone, shakes, wood sid­ing and, of course, logs.

“A log cabin is a log cabin is a log cabin — in other words, the rus­tic fac­tor is di­aled up to the top,” says Bert Sarkki­nen, owner and chief de­signer at Ar­row Tim­ber Fram­ing in Bat­tle Ground, Wash­ing­ton. “Whether it is tall or wide, big or small, vis­i­tors are left with the im­pres­sion that it’s still a log cabin. For­tu­nately, there are ways to add logs to a tim­ber frame to bring in a lit­tle rus­tic­ity while still en­joy­ing the de­sign flexibility that comes with a tim­ber home.”

Ac­cord­ing to Sar­rki­nen, there are three ba­sic ways with which you can have fun en­hanc­ing your tim­ber frame us­ing log el­e­ments. In­cor­po­rate Over­sized Logs. Over­sized logs are great to use as main beams and sup­port posts in a tim­ber home. “One fas­ci­nat­ing op­tion is us­ing logs that have been cut down at or be­low ground level,” ex­plains Sarkki­nen. “This will al­low your posts to look as if they are grow­ing straight out of your floor, as the base of the roots will ac­tu­ally show.”

Many com­pa­nies fea­ture logs cut this way, mak­ing them a unique op­tion for a tall cen­ter post in an en­try or liv­ing space. An­other eye-catch­ing de­sign idea: Build a spi­ral or switch­back stair­case to wrap around the tree trunk, mak­ing it an in­stant fo­cal point in your home.

Look for Beauty in Na­ture. If you’re a tim­ber-home en­thu­si­ast, chances are you ap­pre­ci­ate the beauty of wood in all forms. If you’re ex­plor­ing your prop­erty and come across a par­tic­u­lar piece of wood or a unique log and find your­self won­der­ing how you could in­cor­po­rate it into your tim­ber home, work with your de­sign team to make it work. Also, many com­pa­nies will ac­tu­ally search for a spe­cific piece of wood to suit your size, shape or style needs.

Sarkki­nen ex­plains that Ar­row Tim­ber Fram­ing has in­cor­po­rated th­ese kinds of spe­cial pieces on many oc­ca­sions. “From wo­ven branches to heavy gnarled trunks, we’ve found unique pieces of wood to use for stair rails,” he says, adding that they’ve also used the

same types of wood pieces as man­tels, shelves and even frames for art. “Th­ese tend to have a slightly muted im­pact and are quite easy to change out as they are smaller ac­cents and not as in­te­grated into the struc­ture of the home.”

Pay At­ten­tion to De­tail. Ac­cord­ing to Sarkki­nen, logs also can be used in sub­tle ways through­out a tim­ber home, re­sult­ing in un­ex­pected de­sign de­tails

that add one-of-a-kind charm and char­ac­ter. “Even though th­ese de­tails are of­ten sub­tle, they don’t have to be small in scale,” he ex­plains. “For ex­am­ple, many have used trees and logs as the ver­ti­cal struc­tural posts be­tween win­dows. The logs can then be cut with a deep groove, or dado, to fit the win­dow glass so no trim around the win­dows is re­quired. This cre­ates an en­chant­ing view sim­i­lar to look­ing be­tween trees in a for­est.”

Unique pieces of found wood, as well as over­sized logs, can be used to add one-of-a-kind char­ac­ter to your tim­ber home.

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