When you live in California, especially in the wake of the wildfires that recently ravaged the state, there’s a lot to consider. First, you want to protect your most valuable asset — your home — as best you can. Second, energy efficiency is always top of mind for residents of the Left Coast. The design aesthetic of California is often modern, so you want your home to fit in. Finally (and most importantly), you want your home to be comfortable and personal. This 4,588-square-foot timber-and-steel hybrid home accomplishes all of these objectives with ease.
The success of this home can be attributed to the vision of its owners and their collaboration with design/build team of Mike Bouchard, owner of MJB Homes in Rocklin, California, and his cross-country partner, New Hampshire-based Timberpeg.
In true California fashion, the home was designed around outdoor living — specifically the above-ground pool and deck. “The siting of the house was based on where the pool could go. In fact, we built the pool before the house. It’s integrated into the home’s design and construction,” Mike says.
Inside, the spacious floor plan is an easy place to throw a party, which the owners do frequently. But they also like to maintain their own space. “Not only do they have his-and-her closets, they each have their own office and their own garage,” Mike laughs. Even the kitchen, with its dual-island composition, offers a his-and-her vibe.
This home was part of our "Best of the Best" contest for 2019.
Voting for this home has officially closed. Winners for the Log & Timber Home Show and University Package will be announced August 5th. Thank you for voting!
From the great room, you may wonder if the beautiful overhead trusses are structural or decorative, since there are no visible posts. In fact, they support the house totally. The owners chose to hide the posts behind the drywall to create a more modern vibe. Steel cross ties mimic the look outside and provide the tension necessary for the modified hammerbeam.
The kitchen’s dual, side-by-side island arrangement is unique and purposeful, providing a spacious place for guests to gather as well as plenty of room to prepare a meal. Each island boasts a sink and a dishwasher, but they help define the work zones by creating separation between the range and the ovens. Hand-scraped hardwoods give the flooring a reclaimed look.
Steel I-beams were employed alongside the structural Douglas fir timber frame. If you look closely you can see how the exposed steel joins the wood at the juncture of the posts and beams and in the truss’s cross-tie. This choice provides the owners with peace of mind that the home’s framework is extra strong while creating a modern twist to traditional timber construction.
The challenging site, coupled with California’s strict building codes, required some creative solutions from builder Mike Bouchard. Layers of reinforced concrete and steel combine to give the house a rock-solid footings and foundation into the ground’s steep slope laden with tons of granite (excavated rocks were repurposed for the retaining wall). To help fireproof the roof, concrete tiles were employed. The chiseled edge and offset stacking give it a slate look. A 45-panel solar array provides all the home’s electrical needs.