Timber Frame House Plans – Pre-Designed or Custom?

May 14, 2021 12:34:07 PM / by Normerica Timber Homes

Timber Frame House Plans – Pre-Designed or Custom?

Starting with a Pre-Designed House Plan to Achieve Your Unique Custom Home Vision

You’ve found your perfect piece of land and are now planning for your dream home or cottage. You probably have an idea of the feel you want to convey in your new home, the specific views you want to capture, and all the requirements you have for sleeping and hosting your family and friends. You want to make sure your home is a unique reflection of your family and the special place you’ve chosen to set down roots and make new memories.

Making that vision into a reality all starts with deciding on a house plan: the architectural and engineering concept for your new home. You may feel that the only way to capture your unique vision is to design a custom house plan from scratch. Although many of our clients’ dream homes do begin as a blank piece of paper, not all do. You can choose to start with one of our many pre-designed house plans. Choosing to work with one of the pre-designed timber frame house plans allows for countless opportunities to customize your home, while also offering additional benefits.

When working with Normerica, you have two great options in developing your house plan:

  1. Pre-Designed House Plan: You can choose from our vast selection of pre-designed timber frame house plans. Then, you decide how much (or how little) you want to customize it. With our vast selection of timber frame house plans, we surely have a design that's perfect for you!
  2. Custom House Plan: If you don’t see what you are looking for in our existing house plans, you can work with our in-house design team to create an entirely custom house plan from scratch. Browse our portfolio of completed timber frame homes projects, some of which originated as one of our existing designs, and others that were custom designed for our clients.

Let’s explore the advantages of what it means to choose a pre-designed house plan.

Advantages of Pre-Designed Timber Frame House Plans in Today’s Challenging Environment

In the current building climate, working with our pre-designed house plans are becoming increasingly appealing. More people are looking to build and they want to break ground on their projects as soon as possible. All the while, lumber and other building materials are continuing to see unprecedented price increases which are not expected to slow down any time soon.

Pre-designed timber frame house plans are a great solution to help you save time and money and offer some predictability in this volatile materials market, while still providing you with options to customize in order to create your unique timber frame home.

1. Faster Delivery of Your Timber Frame Home

Perhaps with the lack of travel, the cooped up feeling of lockdowns, or an empty social calendar, you find yourself wanting to start on your timber frame project as soon as possible. Though it can vary greatly, to have a custom house plan designed and engineered from scratch takes an average of three months. Builders are also busier than ever, and to secure a builder and their pricing, you’ll need a set of house plans. If timeline is a top priority, working with one of our existing timber frame house plans is a great solution.

2. Your Timber Frame Home at a Reduced Cost

Anyone who has been looking at building a home has noted the unprecedented increase in building material costs since 2020. Perhaps you’ve been playing around with your budget and are now finding things tight. Instead of waiting longer to build a custom house plan, you might want to have a look at our existing house plans, to save yourself thousands in design costs. While you are considering your budget, you may want to check out our blog on the real cost of a timber frame home, and note how a Normerica timber frame home will save you in construction costs, energy bills, and long term durability.

3. Pricing Predictability When Building Your Timber Frame Home

With such a volatile materials market, perhaps you are nervous about where prices will be in a few months while you work on designing a custom house plan. In the current market, it is tough for anyone to predict where material pricing will be in couple weeks, let alone a few months. Our existing house plans provide you with up front predictability in terms of pricing and an ability to lock into that pricing sooner.

4. A Completely Custom Timber Frame House Plan Isn’t A Priority

Building your timber frame home is often a once in a lifetime experience, something you’ve perhaps been dreaming about for years. You deserve to enjoy the entire process from design through to build. If you feel excited about working with our team to develop a plan from scratch, that’s wonderful! It will be a fun process. However, you might not feel strongly about spending the time and money to do this, or perhaps you’ve fallen in love with one of our pre-designed timber frame house plans. We can assure you that customizing your pre-designed timber frame house plan to make it uniquely yours will be an exciting and memorable experience.

Pre-Designed Timber Frame House Plans – Selecting Unique Options and Customizing

Selecting a pre-designed timber frame house plan provides ample opportunity to customize your home. You are choosing an existing architectural and engineering concept and layout; then, you are completely customizing it. 

Specific to your timber frame house plan:

  • The selected house plan will be engineered to your site.
  • You choose the type of basement such as a full walkout or a crawl space.
  • On the exterior, you will pick the style, materials and colour for: roofing, siding, masonry, railings, windows and doors.
  • On the interior, many partition walls can be adjusted, and you will choose the type of wood for your timbers.

For the finishes, what you choose will greatly influence the overall look and feel of your home:

  • Flooring
  • Kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and fixtures
  • Counter materials
  • Lighting plans and fixtures
  • How you choose to finish (or not) your timbers
  • Paint colours

Paired with your unique style of décor and furnishings, two houses originating from the same timber frame house plan can look completely different after customization.

To see for yourself, check out two projects featuring The Lanark 3522 timber frame house plan. Both are beautiful timber frame cottages that suit their setting perfectly. The choices and customizations, give each completed pre-designed timber frame home a unique look and feeling.

The Lanark 3522 - Project A The Lanark 3522 - Project B
Timber Frame House with Deck The Lanark 3522 Project A Exterior Front Timber Frame House with Deck The Lanark 3522 Project B Exterior Front
Timber Frame House with Deck The Lanark 3522 Project A Exterior Rear Timber Frame House with Deck The Lanark 3522 Project B Exterior Rear
Timber Frame House with Deck The Lanark 3522 Project A Interior Timber Frame House with Deck The Lanark 3522 Project B Interior

A Pre-Designed Timber Frame House Plan, Customized the Way You Want It Means You Get into Your Home Faster and For a Better, Predictable Cost

Normerica is very selective about our pre-designed timber frame house plans and know that, with customizations, you can have your unique, custom timber frame home sooner than a completely custom timber frame house plan. Choosing a pre-designed house plan also means significant cost savings which can be rolled into some incredible décor choices or diverted to elsewhere (new boat?). So, while considering your building options, don’t overlook the advantages of a pre-designed house plan. You can start browsing our timber frame house plans today.

View All House Plans


About Normerica

Since 1979, Normerica has created the highest quality timber frame homes and buildings across North America and around the world. Our decades of timber frame experience and expert in-house design capabilities have given us the ability to offer a high level of customization and design flexibility – a key advantage of timber frame homes and post and beam construction.