Why should you consider building a new home when there are so many reasonably priced existing homes on the market? This is a good question and not as easy to answer as you would think. In prior articles I have written why you might want to live in a timber frame home in comparison to a conventionally framed home. So let’s assume you have already established that you prefer the aesthetic of heavy timbers and mortise and tenon joinery; you like the open, bright and airy feel of a post and beam home; and you recognize the practicality of the long term savings of a high quality home.
Timber frame homes make up less than 1% of the construction market in our country. They tend to be custom built and thoroughly enjoyed by their owners so there is very little turnover and therefore very little inventory of existing timber frame homes on the market. So more than likely, you are faced with choosing a new timber frame versus an older conventionally framed home, which was probably built during the late 1900’s or early 2000’s, a period notorious for shoddy construction and misinterpreted building science.
Five Good Reasons to Build a New Timber Frame Home vs. an Existing Home
Location, location, location: If you are interested in moving to a specific community for its schools, access to work, or other amenities then your choices are limited to whatever is on the market at that time. But as long as there is land available then you could buy a lot and build a home much better suited to your needs than settling for the best fit out of whatever is available. Which segue’s nicely into the next reason:
Custom Design: This is probably the most common reason for building versus buying; having the ability to design your dream home that is custom fit to your lifestyle and taste. You have control over only in square footage, orientation, room sizes and proximity to other spaces in the home, fenestration, architectural features, siding selection, and so on. The thousands of decisions you have to make when building your own home may be less a blessing than a curse, but YOU are the one making the decisions. In an existing home you have very few choices, and typically any you do have involve demolition and reconstruction which only adds to the cost, and delays you the satisfaction of living in your new home as you dreamed it would be.
Low Maintenance: It’s obvious that a new home would require low maintenance but you also are in control of the design features and materials that require the maintenance. If you’re moving into retirement you might not want to spend your time painting and repairing other people’s mistakes or worn down fixtures and appliances. When you build your own home you can select low maintenance finishes and modern fixtures and appliances. Modern materials have many more options and are much easier to maintain for long lasting appearance and value.
Resale value: That’s simple, when its time to move on your new home will still be quite young, an older home won’t be. Seems obvious, but it’s not always a factor that people consider when they’re looking at the beginning of their relationship with their next home.
Energy Efficiency: Whether you are building a conventionally framed home or a Stresskin panel wrapped timber frame, today’s insulation methods have vastly improved. More to the point, the performance of a timber fame home with panels is dramatically higher than a conventionally framed new home. In comparison to an older stick framed home you will save thousands of dollars per year even with today’s relatively low energy costs!
So you see, there are some very good reasons to consider a new home over an existing home, and it’s not just about the money. Although depending on the situation it might also be cheaper to build versus buy due to the reduced maintenance and repair work and the dramatically higher energy performance of a stresskin panel insulated timber frame!
Give us a call for rough pricing on your dream home and then compare it to what is available in the existing market. We think you’ll agree that there is no comparison and you might even find a new timber framed home was the best investment you ever made!