FAQ

FAQs

1.What are the benefits of timber frame houses?

Timber frame construction allows a very high level of internal design flexibility as internal walls need not be structural load-bearing walls, and the roof space is often useable too. Our typical traditional system of timber frame comprises of a prefabricated panel made up of 140mm timber studs at 600mm centres with OSB sheathing and a reflective breather membrane. Also, the inherent dimensional accuracy of our timber frame kits means that walls are vertical and flat and rooms are square, making decorating and the installation of carpets and fitted furniture less demanding and improving the quality of your finished home.

As the bulk of the construction process is carried out under factory conditions, including assembly of external panels, and internal partitions trimming to length of joists and rafters, etc, there are fewer margins of error. A timber frame house is a long lasting modern construction, comparable with all other standard forms of house construction. It will easily last 80 years, plus the industry requirement of institutions such as insurers and building societies is 60 years.

2.Are we limited to the size of the house?

Our timber frame houses are precision engineered structures that are remarkably strong and durable. Each project we manage is purely bespoke and ‘one-off’, therefore the design can be adapted to suit your requirements, making it truly your own design.

Most people think timber frame is only right for small builds like low rise construction such as bungalows.

While timber frame is highly successful in all types of building, it can be used for any type of house design - from Mansions, Country Cottages right through to multi storey flats and hotels going right up to six floors.

Timber frame is a highly respected and a tried and tested method of construction. Timber frames have dated back over a thousand years in the UK and it is the most popular form of house construction in Scandinavia, North America and New Zealand. Contemporary timber frame is a method which has gained rapid popularity in the UK as an excellent basis for house building. Timber framed houses frequently look like more traditionally built houses, because the outer skin on your build can be encased in any material, including stone, bricks, tiles, rendered blockwork or wood. The difference lies with the structural and internal walls, where an engineered wooden frame filled with insulation material replaces concrete blocks.

Timber frame construction does account for over 70% of all new housing in advanced countries throughout the world.

3.What are your U values?

U values provide a measure of heat loss for building elements (eg. complete wall, floor and roof constructions) and are expressed in W/m2K. They show the amount of heat lost in watts (W) per square metre of building element when the temperature (K) outside is at least one degree lower than that inside the building. The lower the U value, the better the insulation provided by the element. It is important to remember that individual materials do not have U-values, only complete elements, and that all of the materials used in the construction of the element will contribute something to its performance.

Our highly insulated closed panel system achieves a U-value as low as 0.11W/m²K with an aged value of 0.14 W/m2K over 25 years. This achievement is far greater and considerably more energy efficient than current Building Regulations demand. This means that our timber frame homes are economical to run, heating up quickly and retain their heat for longer.

4.Is timber frame cheaper than using masonry construction?

Timber frame is usually cheaper than masonry, although much will depend upon the specifics of the design. When comparing different build types it’s important to ensure that performance levels between different systems are similar and that the timescales involved are understood.

Timber frame is credited as being one of the fastest and most reliable methods of build as much of the work is done off site in factory conditions.  Faster build times reduce site preliminary and labour costs and as there is less chance for things to go wrong or delays to be caused by bad weather, the price of a timber frame build is much more certain, which is a major benefit for the self-builder.

5.Are timber frames sustainable?

Timber is a renewable material from sustainable forests with independent chain of custody certification. We conform to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) who are world governing bodies on forestry. Timber is a natural product that removes carbon dioxide from the environment as it grows it sequesters carbon and stores it for the lifetime of the building. Timber material has a lower embodied energy than all other mainstream construction materials.  Timber products are re-used, re-cycled and then recovered to produce energy.   

6. What is the timescale for erection and at what stage do your erectors leave?

The speed of construction in ideal conditions, our timber frame houses can be erected in anything from 5 days to 15 days depending on size. When the erectors leave site you will be left with a complete structure including wall panels, floor and roof trusses that are in position and braced.

The first job that you will need to do is felt and batten to make your roof watertight and put a loading on the frame. Then you can start your first fix with other trades. In very little time this will speed your build process up as the trades can carry on regardless of the weather conditions. This advantage is a bonus considering the inclement weather that we get in the UK avoiding costly delays. Thereafter internal and external finish can proceed simultaneously, resulting in a quick and efficient build.

7.How do you transport our timber frame houses?

While timber frame components are strong, they are relatively lightweight and easy to transport. This makes timber frame particularly suitable for remote sites and also for sites where ground conditions would not permit a heavier form of construction.

8.Is timber frame is straightforward to finance?

Timber frame construction is recognised by building societies, banks and insurance companies for lending purposes. Indeed, many lenders offer stage payment schemes specially designed for self-builders.

9.Will my timber frame house look different?

Your house will look exactly as you want it to. Some of our customers choose to make it obvious that they live in a timber frame house with exposed beams or exposed portal frames and others don’t. It’s completely up to you. The finish of your house is entirely your choice. You can choose any of the traditional finishes or go for something funky, glass or marble finish.

10. Does your Injectawall system cut down noise reduction?

It is a common misconception that timber frame buildings transmit sound more readily than masonry construction. With accurate detailing, we ensure an acoustic performance is notably better than is required by regulations.

11. Are there options on Joists?

Many of our customers now opt for open metal web floor joists rather than solid timber floor joists. This type of joist construction makes it much easier for other tradesmen to incorporate services in the floor zone. This cuts down the risk of follow-on trades damaging the structure and the integrity of the house. They also make it easier to include longer spans within the design of your new house.

12. What is an air tightness test?

The big bonus of our timber frame houses is the airtightness – which reduces uncontrolled heat loss through unpleasant draughts and is eliminated in our houses as all the panels are accurately engineered in our purpose built factory in controlled conditions. This simplifies the erection process on site, with accurate components fitting together exactly as they were designed and specified..

13. Are timber frames more prone to fires?

No, this is a question that gets asked quite a lot. All buildings constructed in the UK, no matter what method is used, must adhere to the same set of Building Regulations. The UK government collects statistics on fires in buildings and these demonstrate that the number of fires in timber frame buildings correlates very closely with the number of fires in buildings constructed in other ways.

Statement of Facts

Environmentally Friendly

Timber is the ultimate green construction material. During a tree's lifetime, it removes tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Using timber from sustainably managed forests and adding CFC-free insulation, timber frame construction is the right choice if you care about the planet.

The world around us.

Self Builders, Builders, Architects, and Project Managers now have an increasing awareness of the potential environmental impact of their projects along with government initiatives and ever-changing building regulations aimed at achieving Zero Carbon buildings. We believe that the timber frame industry can make a significant contribution to sustainable construction for sustainable communities.

We maximise the benefits of timber frame design by reducing raw material waste during manufacture and construction, to help the planet.

Locate Us

St. Michaels
Preston
United Kingdom
PR3 0SZ
Tel: 01995 679444
Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm

Join Our Newsletter