6 plan­ning tips from the pros

Timber Home Living - - Product Guide -

Cre­at­ing a floor­plan can be one of the big­gest chal­lenges you’ll ever face. That’s why we asked mem­bers of the tim­ber-home in­dus­try to share some of their best ad­vice for build­ing a mas­ter­piece. Here’s what we learned:


Tell the truth.

You’ll bear your soul in the re­la­tion­ship you have with a de­signer, so be ready to be open and hon­est — es­pe­cially when it comes to your bud­get. The ini­tial de­sign prob­a­bly will be over your tar­get bud­get, but that’s okay. Start with the dream and then re­work it as you go.

2 Go with the flow.

Think of the de­sign in terms of move­ment through the plan, and break it into three el­e­ments: path­ways, tran­si­tions and places. Cre­ate in­ter­est­ing walk­ways or hall­ways that lead to grand spa­ces. This al­lows even the sim­plest plan to have rich de­tails.

3 Mind the slope.

Ter­rain — es­pe­cially slopes — can be de­ceiv­ing, be­cause your eye fol­lows the grade. So when you visit your home site, take a car­pen­ter’s level, string line and mea­sur­ing tape. You may find you’ll need a lad­der to en­vi­sion your view from the edge of the great room.

4 Think about pri­vacy.

One of the great­est strengths of a tim­ber home is its open floor­plan. But if your home isn’t de­signed well, this open­ness can lead to a lack of pri­vacy. Work with your de­signer to en­sure that some rooms are tucked away from pub­lic ar­eas.

5 Be­ware of wasted space.

Re­duce hall lengths and large ar­eas that don’t serve any pur­pose. For ev­ery room in a home, avoid long nar­row spa­ces; they’re hard to fur­nish and hin­der traf­fic flow. Also, place doors to­ward the cor­ners of rooms rather than the cen­ter, as this pro­vides more us­able space. When you’re draw­ing your rough de­sign, also imag­ine the di­rec­tion of the door swing, and vi­su­al­ize which way is the most prac­ti­cal.

6 Cre­ate a com­fort­able en­try­way.

The min­i­mum size for a main en­trance is 8 feet by 8 feet. This area should pro­vide enough space for your fam­ily or guests to com­fort­ably en­ter and re­move their coats and shoes. Even though a closet is lo­cated in this area for con­ve­nience, it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that it doesn’t have to be your main coat stor­age.

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