Photo: James Ray Spahn (See more of this home here.)
Q: Is it possible to design too many windows into a home, from a structural point of view?
A: Thanks to a timber frame’s point-load system, which distributes and channels the weight of the home’s structure through the posts and into the foundation, load-bearing walls are largely unnecessary in timber homes. This not only creates opportunity for a wide-open floor plan, it also allows you to usher in natural light through walls of glass, if you so choose. Just remember that a timber home is often enclosed with structural insulated panels (SIPs) which are super-insulators, and that glass, by its nature, is less so. If you’re going to fill your home with windows, be sure to choose ones that are highly insulated with multiple panes, gas fills and reflective coatings to make up for the R-value lost by having openings in your SIPs.