BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

Timber Home Living - - Build It -

Davis Frame Co. co-founder and pres­i­dent Jeff Davis an­swers ques­tions of­ten asked about build­ing a hy­brid home.

QWhen does it make the most sense to build a hy­brid? Is it a great way to save money?

AThe de­ci­sion to build a hy­brid home is based on aes­thetic and/or cost con­sid­er­a­tions. Most peo­ple don›t want ev­ery room in the house to have cathe­dral ceil­ings, which tim­ber fram­ing usu­ally cre­ates. By us­ing con­ven­tional roof trusses and an in­su­lated flat ceil­ing, you can save money and still achieve a won­der­ful look. Con­ven­tional stick fram­ing is gen­er­ally less ex­pen­sive than tim­ber-frame con­struc­tion.

QIt prob­a­bly makes sense to use tim­ber fram­ing in the great room and kitchen, but are there other ar­eas where it makes sense — and why?

AWhen de­cid­ing which ar­eas of your home to tim­ber frame, it’s im­por­tant to think about how the roof of the home will be de­signed. Then de­cide which roofs — if there are mul­ti­ple roofs — will be tim­ber framed and which roofs will use SIPs or con­ven­tional con­struc­tion. You need to es­tab­lish pri­or­i­ties for the en­tire house and then for each wing, sec­tion and room. This will make it eas­ier to work within your bud­get.

QEven if my builder is con­ven­tion­ally fram­ing the rest of the house, is it a good idea to find some­one who’s dealt with tim­ber frame or post-and-beam struc­tures be­fore?

AWhile ex­pe­ri­ence with tim­ber frame homes is help­ful, it›s not ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary. What›s im­por­tant is that the de­signer and/or the tim­ber home com­pany are able to com­mu­ni­cate to the con­trac­tor the con­struc­tion de­tails unique to tim­ber fram­ing. Many com­pa­nies can ar­range to have one tech­ni­cal as­sis­tant or a whole crew go to the site to co­or­di­nate the tim­ber frame rais­ing and panel in­stal­la­tion. Af­ter the tim­ber frame and pan­els are fin­ished, the house is com­pleted the same way as a con­ven­tional home.

Q ADo you still reap the same en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient ben­e­fits with a hy­brid? The en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency in a tim­ber home — whether a full tim­ber frame or a hy­brid — comes from struc­tural in­su­lated pan­els (SIPs). Pan­els have a sig­nif­i­cantly higher R-value than a con­ven­tion­ally framed home, and they also help re­duce heatin­gand-cool­ing equip­ment costs. Ac­cord­ing to the Struc­tural In­su­lated Panel As­so­ci­a­tion, home­own­ers can cut en­ergy costs by up to 50 per­cent by us­ing SIPs.

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