“Where and How Do I Get Started?”

“Where and how do I get started?” Most of our clients ask that question soon after walking through our door. And it’s a good question. Getting started is usually the hardest part of a major project; whether a custom timber frame home, a rustic horse barn or a heavy-timbered pavilion. Design, contractors, finances, and schedules—there’s a lot of preparation involved! Our Homestead Timber Frames team will strive to make this process easier to understand and the journey a pleasant one.

Note:  If your Project requires a licensed Architect or you would prefer to work with one in our geographic area (Nashville to Chattanooga to Knoxville to Asheville, NC), due to size or other needs, we have a fine list to choose from. All the firms or individuals on our list are familiar with designing with heavy timbers in mind and HTF is also familiar with working with them. Please contact our office for a referral.  

Frequently we find that you have a mental picture in mind—an idea that came from a magazine or Houzz or Pinterest photo. You know what you desire, so we begin by listening and asking questions. Gathered with our required information, we will craft your idea into something much like you envisioned.

The more common steps involved in Getting Started with your timber frame project here at HTF are as follows:

Preliminary Design – This is when we discuss your ideas, the style, your actual needs vs. your wants and your overall budget for the project. There are several ways we charge for our Design Services–please check with our office or Client Representative. Once we’re underway, we will produce a set of Preliminary Drawings based on the information we have and present them for approval along with our price. These plans can then be shared with your bank and your Contractor for further cost estimates.

If a Construction Loan is involved, check out our eBook ‘Financing Your Timber Frame Home’ by clicking here.

Finding a Contractor during this design phase will be your task. We encourage you to ‘shop around.’ Ask your neighbors who they recommend and after your interview, go look at their work. The best scenario is for your contractor, our HTF team and you to become of one mind with the goal of designing and building for you the best structure possible.

Once the Contract with Homestead Timber Frames is signed, your deposit holds your place in our shop schedule to build your timber frame. This ‘Production Agreement’ phase will also provide the Construction Drawings your contractor will need to begin construction. We try to work with your target date for having your home or pavilion completed as well as your Contractor’s schedule. As you can imagine, this requires a lot of important communication on the front end.

The raising of your timber frame will be a big day. Our crew will arrive at your building site and assemble the bents prior to calling in the crane to help raise the timber frame in place. Time on your site varies depending on the size, but most of our projects are raised in three to five days. Your Contractor will be taking over at that time to finish it out.

Obviously the above is a simplified version of a lot of work by all of us. It’s a very exciting time from your first visit to our shop to the completion of your project. Doing your homework, keeping the communication lines open and staying involved helps keep things running smoothly.

For further reading on building and design, check out our Blog. We’ve written a wide variety of articles covering everything from timber frame porches to different surface treatments for the timbers.  (Click here to learn more on our Blog.)

Remember—’getting started’ is the hardest part, but hopefully you’ll have an experienced Team behind you the rest of the way.

“The exterior thus becomes the outward expression of the inner purpose.”

– Gustav Stickley