- Why more self builders and contractors are turning to timber frame construction.
It is because advanced timber frame technology is enabling them to build more quickly and efficiently. Faster construction which is not dependent upon weather conditions for trades means lower overheads. At the same time, timber frame construction allows you to achieve higher building standards within your developments.
- How is a timber frame house different from a masonry house?
A modern masonry house is normally made of an inner supporting wall of concrete blocks and an outer supporting wall of brick. A modern timber frame house replaces the inner wall with a timber frame strong enough to carry all the loads of the house. This is usually covered by plasterboard internally and a brick external finish.
- Will a timber frame home last?
Yes. A new timber frame home will last as well as any other type of new home. Softwood timber frame houses have been built in the UK since 19th century and are still going strong. Your timber frame home will be there for your great grand children to enjoy… and beyond.
- Does timber frame mean faster building?
Most builders would report that a timber frame house can be built in about half the time it takes to build a masonry house, because once a frame is erected more trades-people can work on it at the same time and timber frame is not as weather dependent as conventional building. Also, because timber frame uses significantly less water in the construction process, buildings don’t take as long to dry out and are ready for decorating far sooner.
- Is it true that timber frame is a much more expensive building method?
Builders who are using timber frame now say that there is basically no difference in the unit costs of timber frame and masonry buildings. However, timber frame allows them to build up to twice as many houses in a year with the same workforce and with no additional pressure on cash flow.
- Do I have to re-apply for Planning Permission if I decide to change to timber frame?
Because timber frame only affects the internal leaf of the house and has no impact on the visual impact of the building, it does not have any planning implications and therefore would not necessitate a new planning application.
- Can I build a timber frame house if I have a base built for a masonry house?
Because timber frame buildings incorporate all the wall insulation in the wall structure itself, a 50mm cavity is all that is required. Because Masonry houses usually incorporate the insulation in the cavity, it would usually have a 100mm cavity, so some adjustment may be necessary. Consult your local Modern Timber Frame representative to discuss the issues involved.
- Will a timber frame house look different?
No. Typically, timber frame houses are clad in brick and look like any other house. But a range of materials are suitable, eg. Stone, block and render, or timber boarding.
- Can I still do DIY jobs around my timber frame home?
Yes. Many jobs are easier because of the good fixing you can get in the vertical studs. But as always with DIY activities, you need to follow health and safety guidelines and a few simple rules.
- Are timber frame homes quiet?
Yes. Modern timber frame systems enjoy better acoustic insulation qualities than masonry and fully conform to, and exceed Building Regulation requirements.
- Timber Frame houses are warmer. How does that work?
Timber Frames are highly insulated and achieve very low U-Values (measure of thermal performance, lower values are better). Field Studies have shown that Timber Frame insulation correlates with calculated U Values, Partial Fill Cavity insulation (Masonry) can be up to twice the calculated U Value. As timber is a natural insulant Timber Frames also minimises heat loss through thermal bridging, which can be problem in other forms of construction. Timber Frame also have very good airtightness which eliminates drafts and further improves thermal performance Timber frame has a faster thermal response than concrete, this means the house comes up to temperature faster. In a masonry house, it can take quite some time to heat, as block needs to be warm before the house comes up to temperature.
- Do Timber frame houses meet fire regulations?
Timber Frame houses meet all fire standards required under the building regulations. Insurance and financial institutions do not differentiate between timber frame and masonry construction.
- Impacts of Building Energy Rating (BER)?
The motive behind the introduction of the BER, is to stimulate property owners to invest in upgrading the energy performance of their buildings. Part L of the building regulations laid down minimum thermal performance and insulation standards for new buildings and material alterations or extensions to buildings.
- Is any specialist equipment required to build with timber frame technology?
Because timber frame typically consists of prefabricated wall and floor panels, some lifting equipment would be required. Typically, a crane would be hired for the time it takes to get the trusses loaded onto the roof. Alternatively, a builder could use his own teleporter / forklift if available. Some carpenter / erectors find that using nail guns can have a significant effect on the speed of frame erection.
- What does Modern Timber Frame supply?
Modern Timber Frame supply & erect the timber structure, which includes the external wall panels, internal partitions & roof trusses. We can also supply felt & battens, plasterboard & insulation and internal joinery. There is a need to employ other tradesmen to put in the base of the house, build brick/block around the Timber Frame, roof the house, carry out any plumbing or electrical work that needs to be done and fit windows & external doors.
- What is the builder required to do?
Foundations External Finish i.e. Block / Brick work Tiles / slates Plumbing and Electrical Sanitary units i.e. septic tank Client responsible for electric and water Windows / Entrances Fireplace Kitchen / Bedroom units.