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The most popular question we receive at Davis Timber Frame is, “How much is a timber frame home?” Budgeting timber frame home construction is unique to each client and their design and specifications. We can give you an idea of what our package will cost, but the remaining two thirds are unknown and out of our control. We like to relate cost to the scenario of, what is in a bag of groceries? Does your bag contain ramen noodles or lobster? How much a home will cost is very similar. Everyone has different style, tastes and budgets, which all reflect on what the overall cost to build a timber frame home.

Generally speaking, our weather tight shell packages (timber frame, structural insulated panels (SIPs), windows, doors, siding, roofing and trim) will make up about 1/3 of your building cost (not including land). So how do you begin to come up with a budget for your new timber frame home? Check out below the key costly factors to consider when planning your new home.

Big Ticket Budget Items to Consider:

Land

site work for timber frame

This home site in Connecticut needed major blasting, adding a huge chunk to the overall budget. 

Land is a big ticket item, perhaps one of the biggest items to purchase to build your new home. We’ve had clients buy land from anywhere from $50,000 to several hundred thousand. A person purchasing land in rural Vermont may be able to buy a few acres for $100,000, whereas, a person living in suburban Boston may be paying $500,000 for a small lot. The location of where you are building will be a huge driver on what it will cost you. This is a huge decision and sometimes, even just buying land a town away could save you lots of money. We recommend coming up with a budget before buying land. Think about how much you want to allocate towards the land and how much towards the house.

Also when buying land look at how much site work needs to be done and whether a septic and well need to be put in. One major surprise client’s receive, especially in New England is the level of blasting that is sometimes needed, it can add several thousand dollars +. 

According to research, a homeowner should spend about 15-20% of their construction budget on land. 

Design Complexity

budgeting timber frame home

Complex home design shown in this picture

What size home are you planning to build? Architecturally speaking, is it going to be a simple rectangular shape or are you planning a home with bump outs, dormers and varying roof lines? We ask this because typically a very linear shaped house will cost less to build than a home that features different angles. A person who builds a 2,000 SF colonial home will likely save a sizable chunk in comparison to a person who is building a craftsman style home that features intricate details. Also, one story homes do tend to cost more per SF versus two story home. So if you are looking for a good sized home, it will be less expensive to build up then to go out with your footprint. Footprint, level of stories and complexity of the design can be a huge variable on what it will cost to build. 

Hybrid VS. Full Timber Frame

hybrid-timber-frame

Example of a hybrid timber frame home. Accented timbers in dining room doorway, beyond in the great room is fully timber framed. 

With timber framing, it’s not an all or nothing, which is great for homeowners! You can feature timber framing throughout your entire home and for the structural integrity of the home or you can choose just to accent timbers in just an area of your home. Building a hybrid timber frame home is a great option to get a taste of timber framing and can create a sizable savings! Definitely give us a call at 800.636.0993 and we would be happy to brainstorm hybrid timber frame home options. 

Interior Finishing’s

interiortimberframe

How you plan to finish your new home is perhaps the biggest unknown and variable. When asked how much it will cost to finish a home? You might be asked by us or your builder, questions like: Are you adding a $100,000 kitchen or a $20,000 kitchen? Favor a chandler that costs $2,000 or a ceiling fan that may cost 2/3 less? With fixtures, flooring, cabinetry, appliances, etc., this is where the cost can easily go up or down.

As you can tell, there are a lot of components that go into building a new home and much of the overall cost to build a new home, a timber frame, will rely on your choices in the design of your home and interior finishing’s. 

Call us today at 800.636.0993 to speak to a project manager about your project!

We also are excited to share with you our construction budget worksheet, download today