What You Need to Know Before Building a Home

Hamill Creek   |   Aug 12, 2019

Building a home is a significant investment of time and money. It takes a lot of planning and attention to detail. If, after weighing your options, you opt to move forward with a custom timber frame home, many steps need to be taken. Below, we have outlined several considerations to keep in mind as you endeavor to build your home.

The early stages

The first thing to do is to educate yourself. Learn about timber framing, and research various websites, blogs, and magazines to familiarize yourself with exterior styles, room layouts, furniture, and appliances. Create a collection of pictures that appeal to you. Take the time to figure out exactly what you want out of your timber frame home and how you want it to look and feel. Attend home shows and reach out to designers to ask questions. Seek out other homeowners who built their own timber frame homes to get their insight. Consider taking a class on timber frame construction. The more you know, the better prepared you will be when it comes time to build your home.

Financial considerations

Obviously, before heading down any major roads, you also need to have a very clear picture of what your budget looks like for the entirety of the project. Keeping in mind there is more to building a home than the basic cost of construction is absolutely necessary. By taking into account a mortgage, insurance, taxes, and other miscellaneous costs before you even start to bring your project to fruition will allow you to prioritize what’s most important. Be realistic with your expectations and determine up front what can potentially be set aside for a later time if unexpected costs appear.

Along with determining your budget, do your homework on where to obtain the best home loan. Financial institutions offerings vary greatly, and who you work with and what they can provide will make a great bit of difference.  Keep in mind that many lenders aren’t as up to speed on custom timber frame homes in comparison to traditional, more conventional homes. Ask for referrals and find the right company to work with – they will likely have an inside track on builders and producers in the timber frame industry. 

Home design

The next step is to sit down with a designer and figure out exactly what you want. Be specific. Your designer is there to ensure all of your home needs are going to be met and will be able to tell you exactly what size timbers you’ll need for the floor-plan you create. How many bedrooms do you need? Will you factor in space for a personal office or a master bedroom on the first floor? It’s important to make sure your house is accessible and will be functional for the long term. Fortunately, timber frame houses offer a lot of flexibility in build design, which your architect will help you maximize. He or she will be able to determine the proper dimensions for the build area, the ceiling heights, the amount of timber needed, and what joinery will be necessary for the build. Hamill Creek Timber Homes design team offers complete in house  design or we can work with your architect or designer.

Where to build

Once you have an idea of what you want and how much space you’ll need, it’s time to find the land where you’ll build. While this may seem to be a foregone conclusion, many details need to be taken into account. While choosing a timber frame home is definitely a sound financial decision in the long run, purchasing land can also be a significant investment, so keep that in mind. The acreage is important, but so is determining which section of that land you intend to build upon. Will the area be easy to get to from the road? How much time will you need to clear the space? Removing trees and rocks is no small task, so be sure you know what you’re getting into from the start. 

Finding the right people

At this point, it’s time to consider the team you intend to use for building your timber frame home. Fortunately, purchasing a timber frame kit or package can make the build significantly easier and take less time, but knowing what you can do and where you need extra help is important. You want to find the best contractors for your money. This has been mentioned already, but it bears repeating: Seek out opinions. If you know people who have built their own timber frame homes from scratch, ask them who they used and if they were happy with the outcome. You want your team to be efficient and trustworthy. This is a home where your family will live. The right people should be building it. Keep in mind, too, that if you choose to purchase a timber frame package through Hamill Creek, construction teams are available directly through us, as well.

Final steps

You’re almost there! Now, you have the chance to bring everything together. You have your design plans set, you know your budget, you have the land, and your team is ready. Look at your land and the design you’ve created and determine the positioning of your home. Do you want the sunrise to peek through the window above your front door? Which rooms do you want tucked away for more privacy? Communicate exactly how you want your timber frame home situated with your designer, and have them estimate the overall cost based upon the timber itself, building equipment, and any additional materials. This is when you choose what stays and what goes if it doesn’t all fall within your budget and expectations. Once this step is completed, your designer can put together the formal documents required by your lender, producer, and general contractor.


While it may seem daunting, these steps will make your life a lot easier and less stressful. You deserve to have your custom timber frame home come to life just as you imagined it, and by doing this work ahead of time, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you’ve already covered most of your bases. Unexpected surprises will certainly show up, but working with the right people, the right companies, and the right timber frame package, you’ll minimize any challenges that arise. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team when you’re ready to get your project underway. 

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