tim: House Specifications > Home > tim's Home page > Building a Timber Frame Home > House Specifications > 
When we started working on the design of a new house I built a simple set of web pages to help communicate ideas and information with the architect that we employed to get us started. Instead of a hastily scribbled or even formally written design brief I used a collection of pictures, SketchUp files, links to examples etc. In general this worked very well and since it gathered all the persistent information together and it acted as a good place to see where we were and what was still undecided. John Gower & I sent each other SketchUp files as each of us tried out ideas and it was easy to add little annotations to show where I agreed or disagreed. I think that with a little development it could work at least as we ll as the commenting/annotating system in Microsoft Word.

This page is a trimmed snapshot of the set of pages that resulted and lists the requirements and wishes we settled on.

The Lot
  • North facing slope with views across Georgia Strait to coast mountains
  • 2.5 Acres approx 270ft wide by 450ft deep
  • steep slope up for about 1/3rd of depth, then gentler slope for 1/3rd then steep wooded for remainder
  • slopes down also on east side
  • rough driveway already cut
  • power already provided
  • water from well across road, piping/pump/storage to be installed

The House
Guiding design idea is a timberframe, SIP walled, metal roofed lodge.
Design Influences
See also

Things we’d like if possible.
  • Heating by hydronic underfloor if possible, maybe geothermal if we’re really lucky
  • propane stove/fireplace in living room.
  • HRV system
  • cavity ceiling between floors to provide space for ducting, piping, wiring
  • central vac
  • electrical system designed for
    • backup generator installation
    • lighting control via X-10 or similar remote control technology

All living accommodation on main floor
  • entry (entrance will very likely need to be at end of building due to the slope)
  • living room(s)
  • kitchen
  • eating
  • master suite
  • garage (at least garage access)
Secondary rooms most likely below in walk-out basement area due to the terrain
  • one or preferably two guest bedrooms
  • storage room
  • bathroom
  • possible lower guest lounge
  • place for gym (likely in one of the spare bedrooms?)
Entrance
  • clearly defined entrance lobby
  • large door
  • mudroom with light and space, bench for booting up, 'wet closet' for drying coats
  • washroom with space to handle laundry and plant watering duties
  • should connect main entry area to garage
  • stone/ceramic tile/concrete flooring
Kitchen
  • size around 15 x 10
  • open living space
  • plenty of windows
  • minimal upper cabinets
  • large pantry 8’ by 8’ ish, room for fridge, microwave, etc, to allow for loss of upper cabinets
  • island
  • double oven, electric convection
  • gas cooktop
  • double sink
  • bookshelf space for cookbooks
  • seating area (windowseat for example)
  • stone/ceramic tile/ concrete flooring
Living room
  • size around 13 by 17
  • low, deep sill wndows
  • french windows to rear (south) garden
  • possible secondary seating area for TV viewing
  • gas fire or stove
  • wood flooring
Eating space
  • size around 15 by 15 - to fit 6 seater table
  • wood floor
Master suite
  • bedroom size around 13 by 17
    • large windows
    • interesting roofline - no rectilinear boxes need apply
  • bathroom
    • good size; this is an important room
    • ideally wetroom with stepless shower
    • soaker tub
    • walk-in shower
    • dual sinks, or at least space similar to that
    • toilet
  • walk-in closet
  • wood flooring
Secondary rooms downstairs
  • all windows would be to north due to slope of lot
  • one or two guest rooms
  • space for gym equipment
  • bathroom
  • mechanicals room
  • storage
Office
  • Need a substantial space since I work at home; currently the space above a double garage serves very well and a similar space is needed.
  • Good light and ventilation are important.
  • Bookshelves & storage.
  • Space for several computer workstations.
Garage
  • single would be acceptable since workshop would provide more space for any subsequent owner
  • should connect to mudroom for access to house
Workshop
  • Need substantial workshop space; double garage is not enough. Need not be attached to house
  • wood (ply) over insulation flooring
  • heated
  • plumbed for half-bath
Landscaping
  • stone patio to south/rear
  • restraining wall after patio with upslope garden leading into forest
  • maintain as many trees as practical whilst clearing enough for ocean views to north/east
  • maintain screening to neighbour at west