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Outdoor Timber Frame Living Spaces

Posted on Apr 19, 2019

As summer’s heat quickly approaches, the season of neighborhood barbecues, poolside get-togethers, and outdoor family activities will soon be upon us. For those who experienced an especially harsh winter, the summer season brings welcomed outdoor opportunities for relaxing and entertaining. Not yet blessed with the perfect outdoor living space? We hope this article helps you discover which outdoor living space reflects your style.

Explore our timber frame outdoor living photo gallery


Many homeowners think of a patio as the ultimate outdoor living space. We don’t disagree. What’s so ideal about a patio? First, patios accommodate virtually everyone while expanding your living space outdoors. A patio extending from your great room, guest bedroom, or master suite is easily accessed when properly designed. From less-nimble retirees to tottering young children, patios offer inviting, easy-to-navigate spaces. [i] The Riverbend design concepts below are excellent examples.

The Wright

The Moderns™ collection’s increased popularity is due, in part, to the patio spaces included in each architectural design concept within the series. The single-level Wright, for example, boasts a spacious (26’ x 19’) easily accessible outdoor living space that is neatly surrounded by the home. Indeed, the Wright’s patio is one of the largest living spaces in the home. This design concept showcases how patio spaces are not only accommodating to your family and guests. They are also a lovely way in which to invite nature into your interior living spaces.

The Wright’s patio is easily accessed from multiple rooms and offers amazing privacy
The Melody Lane

Riverbend’s Melody Lane home design concept welcomes you with Traditional style architecture and refreshing design. This charming combination subsequently creates a home where the line between indoor and outdoor living beautifully blurs.

Melody Lane timber frame floor plan
The Melody Lane conceptual design provides a perfect example of a covered patio nestled under a deck


Many Riverbend homeowners first dream of a deck when contemplating an outdoor living space. It’s easy to understand why.  After all, decks are a perfect complement to the rich beauty of the home’s timbers. Some clients, however, initially rule-out a deck. There are several reasons why, including concerns about privacy, mobility, and maintenance. However, new approaches to deck design, deck materials, and deck maintenance have changed the way in which you can build and enjoy these endearing outdoor living areas.

Deck Design

Deck design is no longer an afterthought. These days, it’s included in your home from the early design stages. And, it’s easy. Working with your architect, or ours, you will first determine what rooms need access to your deck. For example, most homeowners opt for a deck designed with easy access from the home’s great room. Other Riverbend owners add a smaller, private deck accessible only from the master suite.

As your next step, establish exactly what activities your deck needs to accommodate. Will it mainly serve as an alternative to your dining room or do you wish to prepare complete meals while outside?  

Finally, determine your deck’s layout (the actual size and style of your deck). There are a number of factors to weigh– in addition to the ones mentioned above. These considerations include: lot size, slope, and site orientation.

This deck gets up-close-and-personal with its picturesque British Columbia location
Decking Materials & Maintenance

Concerns about ongoing deck maintenance are easily addressed. Some homeowners select composite decking materials because they require less maintenance. Other homeowners won’t settle for anything less than the rich luster of real wood. If so, they choose to seal, stain, or paint their wood decks using higher quality, longer-lasting, products.

If you want to immediately enjoy the outdoors from a deck, simply incorporate it into your home’s design from the beginning of the process. You can build it along with your new home, or, of course, add it later.

Read more about deck design for your outdoor living spaces here.

Learn the pros and cons of wood decking alternatives here.

Outdoor Kitchens

What was once considered a summer season bonus space or a special feature reserved for those living in warm, dry climates is now a highly sought after outdoor living space. This is because outdoor kitchens simply make sense, and ensuring your outdoor kitchen meets your needs and taste is easily achieved.

A custom outdoor kitchen offers a warm welcome

Outdoor kitchen configurations are almost limitless whether designing from scratch, like the Canadian residence above, or modifying one of Riverbend’s design concepts. A splendid example of the latter is the Bar Harbor.

The Bar Harbor

For those who truly appreciate the outdoors, the Bar Harbor is an ideal home design concept. In addition to its private patios, an outdoor kitchen is an important element of its floor plan. The Bar Harbor’s outdoor kitchen smoothly incorporates room for dining because it is located just off the indoor kitchen. The design of both the indoor and outdoor kitchens allows an easy way for you and your guests to spend time outdoors.

Request a personalized cost to build your Bar Harbor here.

Fire Pits & Outdoor Fireplaces

Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are almost intrinsically linked with timber frame homes. Over the years, however, what constitutes these outdoor features has changed. As a result, nowadays, you are just as likely to build a traditional style fire pit as you are to build a contemporary style outdoor fireplace.  

Why design a fire pit or fireplace into your outdoor living space? To begin with, they are easily incorporated into any home style and home site. Additionally, they frequently serve as multi-season outdoor spaces, presenting a near universal appeal. As an example of the latter, the Alberta fire pit below offers year-round opportunities for a variety of gatherings.  

Fire pits present year-round opportunities for gatherings

Extended Roof Overhangs

Many an outdoor living space is nestled under extended roof overhangs. This is because extended roof overhangs allow homeowners and guests to enjoy outdoor living for many more months of the year. The Colorado residence shown here, for example, uses a well-designed extended roof overhang to create a spacious covered porch. This architectural element provides the home owners with more than summertime use.

In addition to their practicality, extended roof overhangs lend architectural interest to your timber frame home. They also help protect your timbers, windows, and doors. They even contribute to your home’s energy efficiency.  

Screened In Porches

In certain regions of North America, a screened in porch is a necessity. This is because some homeowners feel that a screened in porch is the epitome of outdoor living. Why? Because these spaces bring the outdoors inside– but without debris and pests. Further, if you enjoy the fragrance of flowers or the sound of birds and other wildlife, a screened in porch makes it possible. Additionally, if not included in your home’s original design, screened porch spaces are easily added to your timber frame home

A screened-in porch adds character to this North Carolina home

Whether it is a spacious patio oriented for entertaining, a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen, or a cozy fire pit area, your outdoor living spaces are important because they enhance the charm of your timber frame home– and reflect your style.

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[i] depending on your desired surface

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