We can all “talk the talk” about energy efficiency and timber frames, but at the end of the day, can we “walk the walk”? I think so. I believe that timber frame homes, wrapped in structural insulated panels, exceed all expectations.
Let’s set aside for a minute that the structure is naturally beautiful..that the massive post and beams bring a sense of stability and permanence to the homes. Let’s forget about all the wonderful windows that bring the outside in and allow us to live comfortably by day without flipping the light switch. Let’s not even think about the sustainability..that this timber frame home will survive for generations and will shelter each one equally well.
Let’s get down to numbers. Our home has almost 1700 square feet of living space. It is considered a “small home”, but there is no wasted space. The one hall is about four feet long and has a storage closet (under the stairs) and a laundry room (with an energy efficient washer dryer combo) off of it. The rest of the home is truly lived in. It lives much, much bigger than a conventionally built home with their necessary bearing walls and hallways.
If the various weather authorities (whoever they are) are to be believed, 2010 was one of the hottest on record and January, February, and December certainly delivered the cold. Taking all that into account, our energy bills should be soaring.
With far more windows than an average home and vaulted ceilings, you would assume that it would be expensive to both heat and cool. We were willing to trade off some of the heating and cooling efficiency in order to have natural daylight and the expansive ceilings keep our home from feeling small.
The Creekside is heated and cooled with an electric heat pump. So, it was with a little trepidation that I sat down to calculate our annual electric costs. I logged in and downloaded all of our electric bills from Duke Energy’s website (you have to love the electronic age). They totaled $1,043.97 for the twelve months of 2010. That averages out at $87.00 per month. In my humble opinion…that ain’t too bad.
So, I’d have to say, “yes”, timber frame homes with SIPs do “walk the walk”, taking energy efficiency and sustainability to the next level.
Plan your next home carefully (and if you’d like some help with that, we’d be pleased to assist) and save money every day. You can check out beautiful, energy efficient timber frame plans for every lifestyle at Goshen Timber Frames and work with us to design and build your home or you can purchase our timber frame and hybrid home plans at TimberStead – Timber Frame Plans .
Just build wisely and build well.