What’s the Real Cost of a Timber Frame Home?

Our commitment:

We are committed to working with you to create a fabulous Normerica Timber Frame home design and to assist you in developing a realistic and transparent Estimated Construction Cost Budget, which meets your family’s aesthetic and financial needs.

 

For examples of different building designs and their costs, see the samples further down on this page.

 

The impact your design decisions have on the Estimated Construction Cost:

There are many decisions you will make while designing your timber frame home. It’s important to understand how these choices will impact your Estimated Construction Cost.

 

Auxiliary structures

  • If you have auxiliary structures such as a garage or extensive decks, your cost will be costlier than a building without those amenities.

 

Geographic location

  • Local building costs and availability of reliable trades will cause a variance of cost between two identical buildings in different locations.

 

Design features

  • Sacrificing the usable area of an upstairs bedroom to achieve a soaring cathedral ceiling great room, will reduce your construction cost, but increase the cost per square foot.

For more information on cost per square foot, see further below ‘The real deal about cost per square foot’.

  • Does your dream home have an attached garage, wrap around porch or deck? Is your porch open, screened-in or all-season, maybe with a fireplace? These design choices can beautify your home, but they will also add cost.
  • Complexity of design will add to the cost of your home.

 

Finishes

  • Your choice of the quality of your kitchen cabinets and counter tops, interior doors, trim and floor finishes will affect the cost of your home.
  • Maybe you want a massive stone fireplace, maybe you don’t even need a fireplace. These choices will change the cost between two otherwise identical buildings.

 

Construction choices

  • Such as the type of foundation – poured or insulated concrete form (ICF), choice of roofing type and plumbing fixtures, will all change the cost between two otherwise identical buildings.
  • Will you have a finished basement? Basements are generally less expensive to finish than the upper levels of a house, increasing your living space in a cost-effective way. Many properties will have even a marginal slope to them, allowing the option of full height windows and in some cases, a walkout basement.

 

Size

  • Smaller does not necessarily mean less expensive per square foot than a larger, perhaps more efficient building design. Economies of scale are a reality in construction costs.

 

To get a better understanding of how your design decisions affect the cost of a timber frame home,  download the Residential Construction Guide for Timber Frame Homes now.

Normerica offers several value engineering options to our Shell Package in order to help you meet your target Construction Cost Budget:

Some of these include:

  • Choosing which species of timber for your Timber Frame
  • Choosing a site-built wall system versus a panelized wall system
  • Adjusting R value (level of insulation) in our wall and roof system, or
  • Choosing a line of high-quality vinyl exterior windows instead of aluminum clad exterior windows with pine interior – they both look great!

 

Learn more about these options in our Timber Frame Homes Construction Guide, available for download.

The real deal about cost per square foot:

The Gross Floor Area (GFA) of a home includes: a full height basement + first, second and third floors of the building + any covered porches; but does not include the auxiliary structure areas of garage and decks.

The cost per square foot of the building is calculated by taking the Estimated Construction Cost of the entire building, which must include the cost of all auxiliary structures such as garages and decks and is divided by the Gross Floor Area (GFA).

 

Estimated Construction Cost of the entire building / GFA = Cost Per Square Foot

 

The more costs you have associated with auxiliary structures and design choices, the more cost per square foot your home will be.

 

Examples:

  • If your design doesn’t have a full height basement to include in your GFA (maybe you have a crawl space or slab on grade), your cost per square foot will be higher than if you did have a full height basement; even though your Estimated Construction Cost will be lower than if you had a full height basement!
  • If your perfect design does not include a covered porch for seasonal use to include in your GFA, your cost per square foot will be higher than if you did have a porch; even though your Estimated Construction Cost will be lower!

 

Our recommendation:

So, design the building of your dreams, have fun. For most people, designing and building your own home is a once in a lifetime experience. Use cost per square foot as an initial reference point only. Then focus your time on developing a workable Construction Cost Budget which meets your family’s design, aesthetic and financial needs. You don’t pay in cost per square foot… you pay in real money!

Remember… There are 3 elements which add up to the Total Project Cost of building your home:

1.) Land, Interest carry and Legal costs

 

2.) Site Servicing & other Soft costs – Includes but not limited to surveys, permits, insurance, consulting fees, development fees, connection fees, utilities (i.e. hydro, gas, telecom), sanitary & water systems, site clearing, driveway, landscaping, demolition, blasting, furniture, appliances & special decorating costs

 

3.) Estimated Construction Costs – Includes all the costs from the foundation to the roof, as well as all the costs to finish the inside of your home… ready to move in.

 

THESE 3 ELEMENTS = TOTAL PROJECT COST

Discover the process of building a Normerica timber frame home or cottage

We promise to provide you with a unique custom timber frame home that’s designed to be constructed with a high level of timeline and budget predictability. It’s our goal to not only work with you to create a stunning timber frame home that’s perfect for you and your family, but also to ensure that the entire process from design through construction is as simple as possible for you.

Get the Construction Guide

Recent project budget examples

Understanding that there are many factors that will affect the cost of building a custom home, we know that having a realistic budget in mind is crucial when planning to build your dream home.

 

To give you an idea of real construction costs, below you can have a look at the actual costs of four projects, along with a breakdown of some of the key cost-affecting choices that these Normerica homeowners made when designing their custom timber frame homes

Sample 1

Sample 1

Sample 1

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Sample 2

Sample 2

Sample 2

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Sample 3

Sample 3

Sample 3

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Sample 4

Sample 4

Sample 4

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