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Finding the Right Architect for Your Log Home or Timber Frame Home

Finding the right architect for your custom log home project isn’t always an easy task. Even within the log & timber home industry, architects differ from each other – in architectural style preference, work approach, communication style, and in their area and degree of expertise. So, what should you focus on when searching for the right architect for custom log homes?

Designing mountain style homes (specifically log homes and timber homes) requires a different technical perspective than designing traditional stick frame homes. Even hybrid homes incorporating log and timber require special attention. So, in your search, it is critical to find an architect with a specialization in residential mountain architecture; someone with an in-depth understanding of the properties & behaviors of log & timber. This understanding is not only developed through years of education but also requires years of direct experience.

Once you have found an architect experienced in the log & timber home industry, you will want to ensure your architect is licensed. The AIA requires its members to adhere to the industry’s highest ethical standards and practices. Other membership and professional affiliations are also important when searching for a log or timber home architect. A few examples include the Log Homes Council, the Timber Frame Business Council, the Timber Framer’s Guild, the International Log Builders’ Association, and the U.S. Green Building Council.

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Comment by PrecisionCraft on September 15, 2008 at 10:00am
Very true. Find a company that can provide fully engineered construction drawings.
Comment by www.customwoodcraftbuilders.com on September 13, 2008 at 12:06pm
An experienced architect is great. But also one needs to be sure that architect is an engineer or at least understands the engineering of a log home - or timber frame structure. There are really two steps in designing one of these homes - the architecture drawings and the structural engineered drawings. The architects drawings may need lots of changes if they do not have a knowledge of the engineering behind the structure. Nothing like finaling getting that awesome lake view great room done and then finding out there needs to be a purling support right in the middle of it blocking the view of the kitchen. Make sure the architect KNOWS logs home engineering.

Any final construction drawings are going to need to have a local state licensed engineer stamp in the state the home is being built. Most states do not have log or timber frame structures outlined in their building codes so for a building permit, they require a stamp - sign off - from a licensed engineer of that state. Could be another cost.

An architect may be a great desinger but have they ever built anything? Is their background the desk or the job site. Mhy point is, get your builder involved earlier to make sure what you want, what the architect wants, works and is cost efficient. If your architect is not the log manufacturer and you know who you are getting your logs from - get them on board early. Get the key parts of your team in on the early stages of the design to save architect revision time and cost later.

There is more to it than looking pretty on paper. Pick your team, your builder, your manufacuter early and get them involved early.

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