John and Christine weren’t looking for an extravagant waterfront property to build their forever home. Rather, the couple wanted a quality timber frame home built on a private lot, surrounded by forest and rolling hills.
They found the perfect location. And a year later, thanks to Normerica Timber Homes, they had the home they desired as well.
“Forest and privacy. Those were our must-haves,” recalls John. “What would go better with that than a timber frame home?”
The timber frame home adds a feeling of completion to the beautiful natural surroundings, a sense that it is sitting exactly where it belongs. For John and Christine, though, there is another element to the scene: their new home evokes warm memories of Christine’s parents’ log home.
The couple spent a lot of time there early in their relationship, and learned to really appreciate the feeling one gets from a wood home.
When the time came to build their own home, they wanted to evoke the memories and appeal of wood without some of the limitations that can come with a classic log home.
A timber frame home would allow them to enjoy the combination of durability and charm that structural wood elements provide, while also enjoying oversized windows, white walls, and stone features throughout.
“When it came time for us to do our own thing, we decided we liked the log home, but we really wanted it a little bit more refined than a log home,” says Christine.
Their search for a supplier quickly brought them to Normerica Timber Homes. As they explored the company’s offerings, John says they loved the products and the broad range of choices. And because Normerica has designed and built over 2,000 timber frame buildings over the past 40-plus years, there was confidence the job would be done well.
“They really stood out,” says Christine. Further confirmation came from the fact that a friend had built with Normerica previously and had good things to say about the home and the experience.
John and Christine’s home consists of slightly over 4,000 square feet of living area, with five bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. While the number of rooms was negotiable, what was a must-have from a design perspective was their great room with a high, steeply pitched ceiling.
“I like that and that’s mostly Normerica’s style,” says John. “I like that tall ceiling, great room style.” In fact, the entire exterior profile of the building is defined by the large great room with its 12:12 pitch ceiling.
Christine says the process started with an in-depth conversation with a Normerica designer. They discussed features the couple was looking for, as well as elements of personality and style.
The couple also referred to Normerica’s existing range of plans and layouts to help shape the features and look they wanted.
“They have an extensive library of designs,” she says. “It gave us a good idea of the features and size we wanted. Then it was a matter of the details and finishing touches to really make it our own.”
The Normerica design team also presented suggestions and advice, pointing out visual ideas or making suggestions about the floor plan and layout to enhance the look and feel of the home.
There were functional details, such as a radiant in-floor heating system, as well as decorative accents. Some interior walls are clad with tongue-and-groove MDF, while accent walls are covered with rough-sawn barnboard. Stone features in select areas complement the wood found throughout the home.
“Once we got into the adjustments, we made it the way we wanted it,” says John. “Normerica was easy to work with and get our design figured out.”
“They were super-professional and great to work with. They took care of any minor challenges – there weren’t any major ones – in a timely and professional manner.”
Normerica has been providing exceptional customer service and craftsmanship since 1979, when David McFarlane founded the company as Upper Canada Post & Beam. David’s son, Chris McFarlane, leads the Normerica team today, with a continued vision to showcase the beauty and versatility of timber frame structures, while maintaining focus on service as customers’ needs evolve.
David’s philosophy from the beginning stays true to this day: to marry traditional timber frame craftsmanship with the latest in engineering and building science, delivering nothing less than a customer’s ultimate dream home.
And that’s exactly what John and Christine have now.
Adds Christine: “We love our home and are extremely happy we chose Normerica to bring our dream to life.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI