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Design Trends

Windows and doors: When I first started in the Log and Timber industry in the 80’s, there were two clad color options available…white or terratone. Now, we have over (20) color options, with exterior ‘black’ in vinyl or aluminum clad being a popular choice these days.

The ‘walls of glass’ have also come a long way with folding or sliding windows and doors that open up for 20 foot clear spans, allowing for the outdoor entertainment space to blend seasonally with the conditioned Great Room and Dining space. The quality of the hardware to handle the weight and locking mechanism of these units long term while opening with ease, has also come a long way.

Longer spans: Gone are the days with maximum 16’-0” spans between support posts in residential design. Blending steel, glulams and solid timber tastefully allows for engineered clear spans up to 40’-0” with relative ease. Texturing glulams ( and matching exposed steel DTM (direct to metal) paint colors with lighting fixtures makes for a seamless solution.

Residential Style: The ‘modern rustic farmhouse’ with an abundance of white or pickled finished ceilings/walls blended with dark hardwood or tile floors makes for a nice light and bright interior space. The ‘penny gapped’ square edge tongue and groove decking in the roof and 1st floor ceiling adds a nice touch to this style.

The contemporary ‘single sloped’ low pitched roof line look mixed with walls of glass taking in the Mountain View is a western trend that is making its way east. The exposed roof timbers are often thinner in profile, spaced closer together, with larger 36” overhangs included for shade and weather protection.

Stain Colors: With some of the first “kit” homes and barns sold via mail order from Sears and Montgomery Ward in the early 20th century, the colors available were white, black, red and green. Today’s color options including metal roofs, cover the entire spectrum and decisions can be daunting for most. Interior design talent has never been in higher demand.

Darker exterior stains tend to last longer than lighter stains, but the south and west facing walls will absorb more heat from the sun and therefore need more attention. Minimum 24” overhangs, gutters and downspouts, porches for protection on prevailing weather side(s), and finally topcoats all combine to earn their “keep” for long-term maintenance.

The Stone Gray and Classic Brown exterior stains remain the most popular with the square log, chinked and dovetail profile. The Dark Natural exterior color is seen often with the round or d-log profiles. The Ultra-2 water based exterior stain with the Advance satin topcoat is the best three-coat solution I’ve seen to date.

What design trends will we see in another (35) years? If anyone has a crystal ball, I’d love to know.

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