Post and Beam homes are typically expected to cost more than a 2×4 “stick built” home. The reasons for this are many and varied, with the main ones being the cost of the high quality wood timber frame versus inexpensive wood studs, superior insulation, and the typical use of large glass areas. That being said, there are many ways you can keep the cost of a post and beam home down while maintaining the feel of a timber frame home. Before starting the design process you need to know your budget and keep it in mind as you navigate the course of the building process.
5 Tips to Keep Costs Down:
1) Keep it simple! The least expensive home, per square foot, to build is a basic 2 story rectangle. Single story structures, ells, dormers, or any type of bump-out are going to add to the cost per square foot.
2) Forget the cathedral ceiling. They may add character to your home, but you are using (and paying for) large volumes of space. Instead of a cathedral ceiling great room, try putting a 10’ or 12’ ceiling over this space. You will still have a feeling of volume in the great room, but the space above is additional usable square footage.
3) Build a “hybrid”. A hybrid design may use a true post and beam frame for the main living areas (great room, kitchen, dining room), while using partial or no timber frame in the rest of the structure. You may find you don’t need the posts showing in bedrooms which will save money.
4) Choose drywall for ceilings and walls instead of the more expensive tongue and groove wood planks. Or use the wood planks on select main areas of your home.
5) Make informed decisions on interior finishes. The important goal to remember is you want to build a quality post and beam home with “good bones.” You don’t have to complete everything at once. Prioritize your list of “must haves” and decide what should be installed as you build and what can be done or upgraded at a later date.