Timber Frame FAQ's
Common Questions on Timber Frame Houses
What Wood is used for the Timber Frame House?
Redwood Timber Frame use structurally graded, stress tested and kiln dried CLS (Canadian Lumbar Standard) timber which conforms to best practice building regulations. Our external walls are 140mm x 38mm as standard and our internal walls are 90mm x 38mm. All timber is VAC pressure treated.
How Long Will a Timber Frame House Last?
A timber frame house will last as long as those constructed from any other method including standard masonry/block construction. The materials, systems and methods employed today are underpinned by rigorous regulations and certification. These are all put in place to ensure that buildings conform to excellent best practice standards, including their expected longevity. We can assure you that timber frame not only conforms to, but exceeds these standards.
Does a Timber Frame House Look Different?
No – a timber frame house is indistinguishable to a traditional block built home and will look exactly as per your plans. Assuming an external cladding or leaf of blockwork, your home can be plastered and painted as usual.
Is a Timber Frame House More Energy Efficient?
Timber frame is one of the most energy efficient methods of construction available today. For this reason, it is becoming the most popular method in Ireland following the SEAI’s Part L and Nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB) regulations.The regulations at the moment are quite stringent and have left people increasingly concerned about how they are going to achieve these measures with a traditional block build. A timber frame house is much easier to insulate and make airtight among many other benefits. For these reasons, it is easy to see why timber frame accounts for over 70% of all new builds in the developed world.
What U-Value Does a Timber Frame House Achieve?
U-values provide a measure of heat loss for all elements of the build to include the complete wall, roof and floor construction. These figures are measured in w/m2k which signifies the amount of heat loss in watts (W) per square metre of each element of the build while the outside temperature (K) is at least 1 degree lower than the inside of the building.
The lower the u-value, the better the insulating property of that particular element. However, not each element has its own u-value. It takes a combination of all elements contributing to the structure in order to deliver a combined u-value for your overall build.
iFor example, assuming a 100mm external leaf of blockwork, our insulation package to include the entire build structure, quality insulation, air tightness membrane and tapes achieves a u-value of 0.11 w/m2k which is of Passive standard. It is important to note that u-values are just one component of a build envelope. Air tightness and minimal thermal bridging are equally as important to achieving reduced heating bills and a comfortable home – both of which timber frame quickly and cheaply overcomes.
What Heating System Can Be Installed?
Timber frame has no bearing on the type of heating system installed in your home. Any form of heating can be installed in a timber frame house to include oil fire heating, back boiler, stoves (real, gas, electric etc.), an air to water heat pump, ground source geothermal heating or any other form.
Can I Lay Underfloor Heating Pipes?
Yes – many of our customers install underfloor heating at both ground floor and first floor level. Underfloor heating is becoming much more common than traditional radiators due to the rising popularity of economical heating systems such as air to water heat pumps and geothermal heating as an alternative to oil.
Do Timber Floors Creak?
No – timber frame houses have come a long way since the old methods of timber joist construction.
Our timber is certified, graded and kiln dried. We lay either solid floor joists or open webbed metal joists (posi joists) This ensures strength and durability underfoot of the passing trades during construction.
More and more of our clients are opting for the metal webbed joists rather than the traditional solid timber alternative. Although slightly more expensive, these significantly reduce the labour cost to your electrician and plumber as they can both work within the joists rather than cutting and drilling through solid joists or block as the case would be with a block built home.
Is a Timber Frame House Cheaper?
Timber frame homes are typically 50% faster and 30% cheaper block over the duration of the build. It’s also much cheaper than ICF and offers less complications with a quicker build speed. Timber frame is also double skinned in comparison!
Although some block homes for example may be quoted at a similar price, it is important to compare like for like. The client should take into consideration the performance levels and timescales involved which may impact cost overtime such as interest rates and the cost to hire items such as scaffolding.
Timber frame is credited as being one of the fastest and most reliable build methods, benefiting from off-site construction in a dry, controlled environment with precision engineered production. Faster build times reduce site labour costs on site and as there is less chance of delays due to errors or weather, the price of a timber frame build is much more certain. This certainty is comforting to the self-builder and often one of the key choices for timber frame.
The biggest cost saving with timber frame is really made throughout the duration of the build through other trades. If you quote in advance saying your house is block and then quote saying its timber frame, you’ll find that nearly every trade price will have a reduction for timber frame as its much easier to work with.
Labour costs to electricians and plumbers is significantly reduced as they can work within the framing and first floor joists – no need to chase and drill blockwork. For example, if you’re going with a heat recovery system, that can all be piped in the framing, and because it’s easier for the company to fit, it works out cheaper.
It’s also easier and cheaper to insulate and make a timber frame home airtight. Plastering is also much quicker and therefore cheaper.
Does a Timber Frame House Comply with Fire Regulations?
Yes – all materials are tested and certified in accordance with appropriate European standards, including our timber. Our insulation and plaster board is also A1 rated for fire resistance. In fact, a large number of homes in Ireland are constructed using a timber frame structure on the upper floor. Every roof is also timber so there is most certainly no cause for concern.
In fact – when timber burns, the outer parts char and become charcoal. Charcoal insulates against heat and does not burn which means that the structural centre of the timber is protected from damage. Fire break sleeves are also added to the cavity of each intersection which prevents spread through in the event of a fire.
Can I get a Mortgage on a Timber Frame House?
Yes – timber frame is the most widely used method of construction, accounting for over 70% of all new builds in the developed world. You will have no difficulty whatsoever getting a mortgage for a timber frame house versus any other method.
As Patrick Sawdon, former Head of Halifax Valuation and Surveying, pointed out; “Timber frame housing is equally as good as housing constructed from brick or block. We make no differentiation on the lending terms offered on either form of construction.”
Similarly, Steve Birt of Zurich has said that “Insurance companies draw no distinction between modern timber frame and brick or block construction.”
Can a Timber Frame House Be Insured?
Of course – timber frame houses comply with all building regulations and fire safety standards. You will experience no issues insuring your timber frame house and the cost should not be any different to that of a traditional block built home. In fact, lenders and insurance providers consider timber frame of less risk as the duration of the build is drastically reduced and therefore minimises exposure to risk.
What If It Rains On Site?
Our timber is VAC pressure treated and kiln dried to low moisture levels. We install a membrane barrier and also use Caberdek 22mm chipboard flooring panel offering increased protection from the elements, Caberdek combines the UK’s market leading particleboard flooring with a tough, waterproof and slip-resistant film. Do a quality job with quality products.
Exposure to rain during erection will not have any impact on the structure. The timber will dry out quickly once the roof has been felted and battened with no adverse effects.
Can I Extend onto a Block House?
Yes – as long as you have drawings and planning permission (if required), we can provide a quotation for a timber frame extension to your existing block built home.
I Want to Build an Airtight, Passive Home – Can This Be Done?
No problem – timber frame is both energy efficient and thermally responsive, while simplifying the air tightness process. We can insulate to suit your requirements. For example, one of our standard insulation packages achieves a Passive Standard u-value of just 0.11.
Can I Visit a Site at Timber Framing Stage?
Certainly – get in touch with our team at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to arrange this for you. We’re more than happy to showcase the quality of our work and to discuss the benefits of timber frame with you.
Garden Room Prices Starting From £10,450
*Price includes vat and delivery. Installation costs vary depending on location, access etc and will be reviewed on an individual basis