Draw­ing Board

Sim­ple ad­di­tion

Timber Home Living - - Contents -

Do you dream of a spa­cious main-level mas­ter suite or a four-sea­son room? Is a spa­cious rec room rest­ing on your wish list? Are you cur­rently plan­ning a mod­est-sized tim­ber home with the in­tent to en­hance it with a guest wing or larger liv­ing space in the fu­ture? Or maybe you’ve bought an ex­ist­ing home, but just need a lit­tle more space. What­ever the sit­u­a­tion, a tim­ber ad­di­tion may be eas­ier than you think.

Whether you’re hop­ing to en­large your ex­ist­ing house or de­sign­ing a tim­ber home with fu­ture ex­pan­sion in mind, there are a num­ber of im­por­tant de­ci­sions you’ll need to make, in­clud­ing the place­ment of the ex­tra square footage and how the new space will stylis­ti­cally con­nect to the orig­i­nal house. Know­ing your op­tions will al­low you to de­cide what will work best for your fam­ily’s life­style and bud­get.


If you’re plan­ning to add on, check with your town’s build­ing de­part­ment be­fore you meet with an in­de­pen­dent ar­chi­tect or de­signer from a tim­ber home com­pany. Ex­plain what you’re think­ing of do­ing and find out how lo­cal build­ing codes, el­e­va­tion specifications and reg­u­la­tions will af­fect your plans. For ex­am­ple, find out how much space you can add be­fore you’ll need a larger sep­tic field.

From there, your con­trac­tor can de­ter­mine whether the ex­ist­ing elec­tri­cal, plumb­ing and HVAC (the heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and air con­di­tion­ing) sys­tems are sized to han­dle the ex­tra load and whether or not pipes and duct­work can be eas­ily tied in with your ad­di­tion.


When you’re de­sign­ing a mod­est house that you in­tend to en­large at some point down the road, in­cor­po­rat­ing those ad­di­tions on your orig­i­nal con­struc­tion doc­u­ments not only guar­an­tees your home will look great, it will save you money, too. Plan­ning ahead helps you avoid dis­ap­point­ment, be­cause your de­signer can po­si­tion the house within the set­back re­quire­ments for your lot with enough room for your ad­di­tion. To ac­com­mo­date up­com­ing needs, your plan should po­si­tion the parts of your home’s frame in ar­eas that won’t be im­pacted by fu­ture ex­pan­sion. Ask your de­signer about win­dow place­ment, too. A well-placed win­dow usu­ally can be en­larged to cre­ate a door or arch­way open­ing into your new ad­di­tion.


Ide­ally, your new ad­di­tion should flow seam­lessly with the ex­ist­ing home. To ar­chi­tects and re­mod­el­ing con­trac­tors, one of the most sat­is­fy­ing com­ments a client can make is, “I can’t tell where the old house ends and the new ad­di­tion be­gins.” The goal is to pro­vide new ameni­ties while cre­at­ing the il­lu­sion that they’ve al­ways been there. Other con­sid­er­a­tions:

Build out, rather than up. “Pop­ping the top” or adding a sec­ond floor with tim­ber frame join­ery on top of an ex­ist­ing home typ­i­cally isn’t pos­si­ble. For­tu­nately, build­ing out will rarely disturb your fam­ily’s daily rou­tine for more than a few days. Whether you’re sim­ply bump­ing out a wall for a break­fast room or adding a suite com­plete with a bed­room, bath, sit­ting area and kitch­enette, most of the work is done out­side of your cur­rent liv­ing space, which has less im­pact on your daily life.

Lo­cated in ru­ral Vir­ginia, this tim­ber-frame ad­di­tion clev­erly blends two build­ing styles, com­bin­ing a more than 300-year-old farm­house with new con­struc­tion. For more de­tails, turn to page 24.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.