4 keys to smart great room de­sign

Timber Home Living - - Inside Style -

1. DES­IG­NAT­ING TRAF­FIC PAT­TERNS. Plan the lo­ca­tion for ac­tiv­i­ties that can take place at the same time — a read­ing nook be­hind a set of posts sup­port­ing the sec­ond floor, for in­stance, or an area for the kids to do puz­zles or play board games. This ap­proach can help you build in traf­fic pat­terns that elim­i­nate bot­tle­necks when you’re en­ter­tain­ing a group.

2. FLEX­I­BIL­ITY MAT­TERS. Be flex­i­ble on great-room size. The great room typ­i­cally isn’t the most ex­pen­sive room in a tim­ber home, un­less you plan on a mas­sive nat­u­ral-stone fire­place. If you need to add space to a kitchen or bonus room, re­duc­ing the size of the great room is an easy op­tion. To make a mod­est great room feel big­ger, plan for plenty of stan­dard-sized win­dows — stan­dard win­dows will save money over large ex­panses of cus­tom glass.

3. KNOW WHERE TO SAVE AND WHERE TO SPLURGE. You have cost­sav­ing op­tions. Other bud­get-friendly de­sign tips in­clude plan­ning for a gas fire­place rather than a full-height cus­tom ma­sonry job, and de­sign­ing your home’s roof struc­ture to re­quire fewer large-span trusses or in­cor­po­rate milled rafters or lam­i­nated beams rather than hand-carved ones.

4. CON­STRUC­TION MOD­I­FI­CA­TIONS. Be ready to mod­ify dur­ing con­struc­tion. Be­cause great rooms tend to fea­ture ma­jor spans of tim­ber, heavy ceil­ing beams and large ex­panses of glass, you may end up with some mi­nor sur­prises like an added post for sup­port or larger tim­bers.

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