Designing Your Log or Timber Home to Include a Home Office

Whether you work from home full time, occasionally telecommute, or simply wish to have a quiet room in which to read, a home office can be a great way to carve out a space that is uniquely yours.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning for your home office.

Home Office Access

When designing your office, one of the most important factors to keep in mind is who will need access to it.  Is it just for you?  Is it for you and your family?  Will others need to be able to get to it easily without having to walk through your entire home?  If you are just looking for a secluded area where you can work peacefully without distractions, then a location such as a loft or corner of the basement may be the perfect solution for you.  However, if you plan on customers stopping by for meetings, then perhaps the best solution is to design your floor plan to allow the office to be on the ground floor with easy exterior access.

Home Office Lighting

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Maybe you envision a large window with lots of natural light and beautiful views of your property.  If so, this needs to be taken into consideration when designing your home so that your office can be along an exterior wall.

Or, perhaps you prefer the warmer ambiance of softer lighting and wish to create an atmosphere of rest and solitude rather than work.  Whatever your preference, it may be helpful to speak with your sales representative to see if any special considerations need to be made.

Home Office Helpful Tip:

Ambient lighting can have a big impact on how we view our computer monitors.  If your work relies heavily on accurate interpretation of color or exposure, such as in the design fields, too much or too little light can affect how you interpret what is on your screen.  For this type of work, experts recommend a consistent level of light that is not too far to either extreme.

Home Office Layout

After determining where your office will be located, it is time to plan the layout.  Now, most customers don’t have their entire home office layout solidified during the planning phase, but there are some things to take into consideration.  How many doorways will you have coming into the office, and how will that affect your overall scheme?  Are you planning to have built-in bookshelves to house your personal library?  If so, will these be built over top of a solid log wall, or will they be recessed into the wall of an adjoining room?  What about cabinets and countertops?  If you are looking to incorporate additional seating, it may be that a window bench seat would fit the bill.

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Home Office Helpful Tip

Having your desk positioned facing away from a window can cause a glare on your computer monitor, making it harder to see your screen and putting unnecessary strain on your eyes.  Additionally, having a desk positioned facing directly out of a window can be blinding, depending on the position of the sun.  If you are concerned about how the placement of a window might affect your workspace, be sure to check your building plans to see which direction the window is facing.

Home Office Technology

Another item to consider when designing your home office is the technology you will need access to.  Will you be using your home’s WiFi network, or will you need ethernet cables run for Internet access?  Most home phone systems today are wireless, but maybe you need a second  dedicated phone line run to your office.  Will the room need TV hookups?  All of this is possible and should be discussed with your sales representative during the planning phase.

In the end, your home office is exactly that:  YOUR home office.  Work with your Timberhaven representative to tailor its design to meet your specific needs and tastes, and we’re certain you will be happy when it’s time to get to work!
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Alternative Energy Options for Your Timberhaven Log or Timber Home

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With ongoing advancements in technology, alternative forms of energy, such as wind, solar, and hydro-powered generators are not only becoming more common but more affordable as well.  But, which options are best for you?

Alternative Energy: Talk to the Pros

All of the possible options may seem daunting from the beginning, so there is no shame in turning to others for input and advice.  If your home is still in the planning phase, be sure to discuss your goals and ideas with all of the individuals involved.  Even if your home is already built, these knowledgeable professionals can help provide the answers you need to move forward.

Alternative Energy: The Numbers

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The Land

A real estate agent can help you select the right plot of land.  Will the land have ample sunlight, good wind currents, or perhaps a stream with a sufficient flow rate to help you accomplish your goals?  Some of this may be determined by geographic location.  For instance, if you are looking at going solar, how many sunny days does your intended building site experience per year?  If you are thinking of wind generation, what are average local wind speeds?  Does you intended site receive enough rain annually to keep small streams flowing at a steady rate?  All of these can be factors in determining which is best for you.

HELPFUL TIP:

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Alternative Energy: The House

You will also want to speak with your Timberhaven Log & Timber Homes’ sales representative and your builder.  If your goal is, for example, to have a roof-mounted solar array, these individuals can help to provide the necessary details for exactly how that can be accomplished.  What additional structural considerations need to be taken into account?  Do you need to call in an additional professional, or is your builder already an alternative energy-certified specialist?  Making sure all parties involved are on the same page is important.  And, chances are, they already know a qualified professional who can help get the job done.

Alternative Energy: The Legal

Another group of people you will want to talk with is the local planning commission or governing body in charge of issuing the permits necessary to implement your source of alternative energy.  Different jurisdictions and councils have different rules and regulations, and you would hate to move forward in making plans only to find out that you couldn’t get the permits to finish them.  Can you get a permit to install solar panels on your roof but not in your yard?  Are there height restrictions on wind turbines?  What are the laws concerning tapping into local streams and waterways for electricity generation?  All of these aspects need to be taken into consideration before too much time and money is invested.

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A Word of Caution

While you may have the confidence to do all the work yourself or know someone who can get you “hooked up” for less than a qualified professional, please proceed with caution.  We are talking about high amounts of electricity, battery banks for energy storage, distribution boards, charge regulators, etc.  Not knowing what one is doing can lead to disastrous results.  What we’re talking about is not just the physical harm that can come from improperly wiring a home but the structural and financial damage that can take place as well.  Some homeowner insurance policies can be nullified by not having the proper professionals install and hook up electrical wiring and power sources.  And, as heartbreaking as it would be to lose a home to an electrical fire, having your insurance claim denied because you tried to save a few bucks would be devastating.

So, talk to the pros.  Learn what type of alternative energy is best for you.  And, most of all, power on.

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