Whether you’re extending your property, or braving an ambitious self-build project, the choices can seem baffling. Many in this position assume timber frame is less expensive than traditional brick and block construction, because they think it’s less hardwearing. This oversimplifies the picture, and in fact timber frame can be cost-effective, as well as standing strong for centuries.
Maintenance and planning are the keys to success
As with anything else, if looked after well, a timber product can last and last, but it will need to be kept dry, so research the best weather-proof cladding materials for your build. But the weather is one key area in which a timber frame can save you money compared to traditional masonry.
Because the frame components are manufactured in an off-site factory, the process is unaffected by bad weather, which can play havoc with progress on site, as tools often need to be downed when it gets wet and windy.
This factory manufacturing process though, requires careful planning and precise design to make it as economical as it can be. This way, you get the strongest frame for your needs, without wasting construction materials. Less waste is more energy-efficient and more environmentally friendly.
Time is money
This carefully planned and quality controlled manufacturing process has other benefits too. It’s less unpredictable than an on-site build, so levels of quality and accuracy can be preserved, so much so that a timber frame can easily exceed Building Standards. Better control during manufacture also has positive implications for Health & Safety.
With less time required for putting the frame in place on site, this can be another cost saving over brick and block construction in terms of labour. A timber frame generally requires about 10 per cent less build time than other methods of construction. In many cases, this means you can use the property sooner, and potentially generate an income from its use, or move on to the next property development project.
There may also be less outlay for things like the hire of scaffolding and skips. And items such as double glazing units or unique pieces of joinery can be more easily ordered to fit in with your build schedule, which is less likely to encounter any delays. This could not only save you time, but also minimise any potential storage costs.
Experienced self-builders may even choose to position a timber frame themselves, as this can often be carried out by semi-skilled tradespeople, as opposed to qualified builders and bricklayers, who may have limited availability.
Safe as houses
Not only is the hands-on design process flexible, and the choice of products wide, a modern timber frame offers structural protection against flood or the heat of a fire, both of which can cause metal to buckle; and because of timber’s naturally insulating qualities, having a timber frame can contribute towards a reduction in household heating bills.
Send us a query to find out more about how we may be able to help create the right timber frame for your project.