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Design ideas for a house on a wooded lot

Armadillo's picture

My wife and I are going to be building on a 4.5 acre wooded lot with tall deciduous trees. We want to build a "green" timber frame house, but I'm having trouble finding house plans or books on house design that take these aspects into account. I'm particularly concerned with making sure that enough light gets into the house when the leaves are on the trees. This house will be completely surrounded by deciduous trees.

Any ideas on resources for getting such design ideas?


Arm...... (post #208050, reply #1 of 4)

A Pattern Language might be something to look at.  24 yrs ago when we built-I perused through it.

Siting a house is important.  We are on a hill in the woods.  Chose the southern exposure for passive solar reasons.  So leaving the leafed trees all around was a no brainer.  Summer cooling-winter sun let in.  These are primarily old locust and walnut-small leaves and gutters-we put our gutter and spouting money in the waterproofing, swale and drainage into/onto the ground.

Large overhangs to futher shade the glass-even on the second story a worthwhile undertaking.

Masonry heater for economical wood use heats late fall and early spring-Winter  the main heat is in floor H2O radiant.

Too Dark?

Light colors inside with plenty of smart placed glass will brighten the home-and frame the picture of the outside.  North side glass will provide some light-but not near as much as the south (east and west)  Plan room location accordingly.  Early risers?  kitchen/eating on the south east will give you a bright start.  Living area-aftn/early evening-SW or West side.   Bedrooms-unless you like to get up with the sun-north and NW side.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


check this out (post #208050, reply #2 of 4)

they make great plans may have what your looking for 

An Architect is a good resource (post #208050, reply #3 of 4)

Hey Armadillo,


I hate to state the obvious, but have you considered hiring a good architect yet? Where are you building? I might have some recommendations for folks in your area or might be able to pull some relevant articles that might be helpful.




Rob Y.

Design Editor

"Green" timber framing.  I (post #208050, reply #4 of 4)

"Green" timber framing.  I don't see timber framing as very green myself.  Well, it does cost a lot of green.  Wastes a lot of lumber.  if it's properly insulated, the insulation needs to be outside the frame, unless you want to bury the framing, so that's a choice of looks or function.  I just don't get this fascinatination over new timber frame houses.   Old timber frame houses are another thing.  Hand worked old growth lumber from a pre industrial time is a thing of beauty.