Wooden houses: design ideas, inspiration and pictures

What is a wooden house?

Among all the architectural styles of residential buildings, wooden houses are one of the oldest. As the name suggests they are almost entirely built of wood or a combination of timber and bamboo. They are seen all over the world. Wooden dwellings also happen to be one of the most coveted options for a prospective homeowner in Canada. The different types of wooden houses a prospective Canadian home buyer may opt for include the following:

Log cabins – They tend to be rather small in size and are often built as an adjunct to the main house. Log cabins can double up as a recreational space, home office or children’s play area.

Tree houses – Tree houses are often built as a fun feature to the main house. Like log cabins, they can be used for recreational purposes. Instead of tree tops, sometimes they are also hoisted on poles.

Chalets – This is by far the commonest type of residential wooden structure in Canada. Chalets are generally two to three stories high. They are sometimes built as luxury holiday getaways.

Wooden houses as homes: permanent home or summer home?

Wooden structures are aesthetically pleasing, durable, easy to build and renovate. It is most likely that you would love to have a wooden house as your primary dwelling. But those of you living in the middle of a city or are willing to do so may opt for wooden homes as their summer houses. The concrete jungle of the city may not provide the best setting for your timber dwelling. Alternatively, you can build a log cabin alongside your main dwelling.

Are wooden houses common in Canada?

Wooden dwellings are extremely common in Canada. The easy availability of the raw materials is one of the prime reasons for that. The northern part of the country as well as British Columbia has the highest concentration of wooden dwellings.

Building a wooden house in Canada

To build a timber home, you will need to follow the construction guidelines of the Canadian Wood Council. However, you need not worry. Your home builder will take care of this. To buy a small log home, you will have to pay around CAD 40,000. The luxury wooden homes will cost you above CAD 1 million. Wooden structures built of Douglas fir will cost less than those built of red cedar. You may also buy wood framed prefab homes that adhere to these principles. They are typically priced between CAD 35,000 and 75,000.

How to protect your wooden house against possible natural disasters?

To protect wood framed houses from fire hazards, gypsum boards are used as a protective layer. Buy automatic sprinklers and smoke alarms and install them on every floor. Exercise caution with electrical appliances. To prevent moisture related damages, treat wood with copper based preservatives.

What models and layouts of wooden houses are the most common in Canada?

The contemporary wood buildings of Canada pose a wide range of styles and layouts. Most of the houses, including the chalets are built with sloping roofs. Typical mountain huts, also known as mazots, are built on stone columns or wooden piers. Some of the modern wooden houses are also built as villas.

What legal issues may arise when building a wooden?

If you are building a single family dwelling up to three stories high you will not have to follow any specific set of guidelines. Be prepared to adhere to the Wood Council’s guidelines though. For multi-family dwellings, specifications vary from one province to another. Get in touch with the local building authorities to find out the details of the regulations. You will also need a clearance to build a wood-framed multifamily house.   

Pros and cons of owning a wooden house

Wood framed houses are often considered one of the most affordable housing solutions in the country. It is also one of the most comfortable types of a residential dwelling. They last generations. They can be easily customised according to a range of tastes and styles.

When not treated properly, wood may be prone to decay. Attacks of termites, beetles, or fungi can cause damages to the wooden structure.

Maintenance & costs

Set aside CAD 3000 to 5000 for periodic application of preservatives and repairing the damages. Follow a schedule for minor maintenance work every spring and fall.

Treating the wood and cleaning a wooden house

To avoid moisture related problems and attack of pests, buy seasoned and high quality wood only. Use polyurethane or polycrylic to seal the surface of the hardwood floor. Apply preservatives at regular intervals to avoid these risks.

To keep the interiors clean, vacuum clean the flooring. Many people avoid wet mopping the floor. Buy cleaning products meant for hardwood or laminated floors. Keep the rooms well ventilated. This would dry up the floor area quickly and help maintain the health of the wood floor.

Which professionals are able to help you

Get in touch with an architect to plan your wooden dwelling. Consult your requirements with the local home builders and request a quote from them. Do some research on the quality of their delivery. Study the feedbacks about their past work. Choose an interior designer to stylishly decorate the home.

Things to remember while building a DIY wooden house

If you boast of reasonable woodworking skills, you may attempt to build your own log house. If this is your first attempt, it might be helpful to have an expert on site. Don’t ignore the safety measures. Wear gloves and safety helmet. While applying the preservatives or painting the wood, use nasal masks to avoid any allergic reactions.