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Ultimate flexibility, unmatched beauty

The cottage of your timber frame dreams could be closer than you think.

While many cottage builds can come with time-consuming preparation and lengthy building schedules, Chris McFarlane, President of Normerica Timber Homes, says that doesn’t need to be the case. There are simple and effective ways to design and build your ideal timber frame retreat without adding months to the project clock.

Start with a plan
A cottage should feel custom made, but a great way to streamline your building project is to start with an existing design and modify it to suit your needs. Chris says clients are often amazed at just how versatile this approach is.

He points to Normerica’s Redstone house plan by way of example. It is one of their most popular plans, with a flexible design that lends itself well to traditional and modern aesthetics. “We’ve done over 20 iterations of this plan,” he says. Floor plans can be changed, garages added, entrances and windows relocated, and more. Then, of course, the finishes are chosen – roofing, siding, paint colours, flooring and more will all be unique, resulting in a truly one-of-a-kind home. “While we start with the same Redstone house plan, each cottage is unique.”

Normerica’s design team can modify any plan to your aesthetic and your budget, or design something completely from scratch. With a huge selection of plans and over 2,500 completed projects, there are certainly lots of options.

Some design aspects, like open concept gathering rooms, cathedral ceilings, and rugged wooden trusses and beams, are signature features of most Normerica timber frame designs. They aren’t mandated, of course, but these are often the elements that draw people to timber frame in the first place.

“The cool thing about timber frame is the structural elements are also design elements,” says Chris. “The timbers that allow large, open spaces and cathedral ceilings are gorgeous, so people want to show them off.”

These elements give timber frame homes a distinct look and feel. At the same time, flexible designs allow homeowners to make their plans as traditional or modern as they like.

For example, over the last few years, Chris notes that more and more clients have opted for a more modern look with laminated timbers, mono-pitched roofs and large architectural windows.

“Whatever your taste, you can have it with timber frame.”

Select a builder
Once the design is complete, it’s time to select a builder to make your plan a reality. Normerica’s material packages make construction a straightforward affair.

Normerica drafts their plans in 3D architectural software and supplies some of the most detailed engineered construction drawings in the industry. “With our products, any experienced custom home builder can complete the construction of your timber frame home,” says Chris. “We can build your home for you, refer you to a skilled builder in your area, or work with your contractor to ensure they have the materials and support they need to build your home quickly and efficiently.”

Normerica is a registered Tarion builder with an in-house Construction Management Services (CMS) team that works across Ontario. “While we design, engineer and supply all of our projects, we only build a fraction of them. The majority are sent as prefabricated material packages to builders.”

Regardless of whether Normerica is building your project or not, the company always sends an experienced technical representative to your site to oversee and organize the installation of the materials package. “Each material package goes together kind of like a Lego kit,” says Chris. “It’s an extremely efficient system.” If you or your builder have any questions at any stage of the build – or once the building is complete – Normerica prides itself on offering the best service in the industry.

This approach allows their designs to be built anywhere, whether locally or internationally: Normerica homes have been built in 20 countries and counting.

“Because of the nature of the product, it lends itself well to remote locations. Regardless of where you are, you can have a Normerica timber frame home built in a very reasonable time frame.”

Choose efficiency
The beauty of Normerica’s building system is the precise design of each piece, which is premanufactured in a factory according to spec using a CNC machine.

“It allows us to ensure each and every timber has the precise cuts it needs to go together quickly and provide the tightest fit. In a timber frame building, the structural framing is visible. We take great pride in our craft.”

Prefabricated or site-built wall panels then surround the timber frame structure, which is in turn wrapped with a continuous layer of insulation.

This precision not only makes it efficient from a buildability standpoint; it also gives each home and cottage unbeatable energy efficiency.

“We have refined our product and process over 42 years in business and through the feedback we receive from our own construction team and the many builders we work with,” says Chris. “We are always working with contractors across Canada to continuously improve our product.”

All of which makes building fast and efficient. A recent project (pictured) started as a Redstone model and was enlarged and modified to include an attached two-car garage, six bedrooms and bathrooms and over 6,250 square feet. The Normerica team delivered the project turn-key to the clients in just under a year.

“At Normerica, we’re passionate about what we do,” says Chris. “Our enthusiasm is infectious and we really try to make the whole process an enjoyable and memorable one for our clients.”

“We’re committed to delivering you your dream home or cottage, within your budget and timeframe. It’s what we’ve been doing since 1979.”



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