4 keys to smart great room design
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.