Wooden houses are one of the most original building styles still in vogue. Log cabins are wildly popular in Europe, North America and in parts of Asia. Places close to nature are particularly favoured for building a wooden house. This type of buildings is a rarity in Singapore. Be assured that if you do go ahead with your plan of building a wooden dwelling in the concrete jungle, you will arouse considerable interest in your project.
Types of timber house
While building a timber house for yourself and your family, you can select from wide variety of wooden structures. The commonest ones among them include:
Chalet – Though meant for and built by people living in the rural areas at one point of time, luxurious chalets are the pride of many home owners today. If you are planning to build a home as your holiday hideaway then this could be a perfect choice for you. Swiss chalets are most coveted among this type of architectural style. This type of chalets are built wholly from timber, are two to three stories high and are fitted with modern amenities.
Tree houses – Tree houses are another fun type of wooden dwelling that you can consider building along with your main house.
Log cabins – A log cabin can act as your hobby room, studio, home office, garden shed or children’s play area. Decorate it according to your requirements and enjoy a peaceful time in your own log house. You can also check out wooden prefab homes and choose one that answers your needs.
Wooden house as your permanent home vs. wooden house as your weekend home
As indicated already, a wooden dwelling need not always be your primary abode. You can opt for a designer log dwelling for your holiday home. If it is set in a beautiful location surrounded by nature’s bounty, you will soon find this an irresistible place to unwind and de-stress. This can also act as your holiday home cum farm house.
Are they common in your country?
Log houses or wooden structures are not too common in the city. Except in the island of Pulau Ubin, wooden constructions can hardly be seen anywhere else in the city. In case you are in the mood of building a house with timber, do see some of these images for inspiration. You will, however, need to modify it according to the location of your house.
Building a wooden house
Once you have decided on the site, discuss your requirements with an architect in your area. You will find some of the most reputed architects interested to discuss the needs of your project right here on homify. Check due care to source good quality materials.
High quality timber is not one of the things that could be located in the city easily. But you will be able to source excellent quality timber from the nearby locations. Understand the wood type needed for your building. It must be able to put up with the climate of Singapore. Some of the commonest wood types include larch, spruce and cedar. Plywood is frequently used for the interiors. You can consider using it in the kitchen or dining room area. You can also procure barn wood, boat wood etc and recycle them for your purpose.
Protective measures against possible natural disasters
Take cautionary measures for damages caused by fire. Choose varnish that prevents wood from catching fire. Arrange for fire alarms and insurance against damages of this kind. Choose season wood to prevent damages caused by rainwater.
What models and layouts of wooden houses are the most common?
Wooden villas with a spacious veranda would bring back memories of the past. But this is not the only type of structure for you to choose. Traditional wooden structures seen in Kampongs or the beautifully craved dwellings set on a ramp could be your potent source of inspiration.
Legal issues that may arise when building a wooden house
To build a home in Singapore, you need to show your buyer’s intent by signing an agreement and paying a portion of the total fee. You are also expected to fulfil the legal expenditure and civic duties. The process is reasonably fast and uncomplicated. Foreigners however need to follow a different set of guidelines.
Pros & cons
Your wooden dwelling could be a perfect one that you and your family were looking forward to inhabiting. Due to the high price of the raw materials, expect the cost of construction to exceed SGD 500,000. You can purchase prefabricated wooden structure and cut down on the cost though.
Maintenance & costs
The maintenance cost of this type of house would be higher than normal. Set aside at 4% of the total cost of the house. You will need this for the yearly maintenance of the structure. A new building will naturally cost less in the initial years.
Treating the wood
Repaint the house as soon as the paint starts deteriorating. Use wood protection to prevent damages from UV rays. Address damages or faulty construction as soon as possible. Be assured, due care will make your wooden structure outlast most of the other buildings in the area.
Try to keep the interiors free of moisture. Install dehumidifiers if necessary. The cleaning process is simple. For ugly stains or grease marks seek professional help.
Which professionals are able to help you?
If you are thinking of being a little adventurous, then consider building a DIY log cabin. You will need expert supervision though. Otherwise, it is better to seek help from professional wooden home builders in your area. For custom designed furniture in tune with the ambiance, seek the assistance of a carpenter.