Although simple structures like houses are often based on layouts involving a number of separate rooms, they don’t actually have to be built in this way. The main reason this arrangement is used so widely is because common building methods require the presence of internal walls that actually the weight of the structure.
This is not the case with timber frame buildings. Structures built using timber frame construction have no need of interior weight-bearing walls because of the unique way that the timber frame itself takes the structure’s weight.
This may not immediately seem like a significant advantage, but the possibilities it opens up are really important. Suddenly, free from the burden of these interior walls, you can exercise much greater flexibility in terms of the way you design your building. This is particularly advantageous if you have looked into the possibility of using open plan design in your project.
There are a number of other reasons you might want to have very open areas within your building. Health clubs and swimming pools often use timber frame construction as they need large areas of open space and few other building methods make this possible at the same time as providing an attractive finish.
The attractions of using timber frame construction on your building project are manifold. These important attractions are addressed in brief in this article, simply to give you a bit of insight into how timber frame construction can benefit your project as a whole.
Flexibility in design
Flexibility of design is important both internally and externally to make sure that your project meets your expectations. Internally, timber frame construction allows you to plan your structure’s layout without the constraints of weight-bearing internal walls. Externally, the timber frame can be finished in all sorts of ways – with bricks, rendering or simply left exposed.
Reducing costs on site
On site costs can spiral out of control. However, since timber frame homes are built in a factory before being erected on site, the time spent on site is significantly reduced. This means less money spent on both machinery and workforce during construction.
Producing a more energy-efficient structure
Timber frame houses can be built with energy-saving in mind. The frame itself can be packed with insulation to drive down energy costs once the project is finished and to produce a more environmentally-friendly structure. These structures are renowned for trapping heat in the winter and staying cool during summer.
The problems with the housing market in the UK arguably began as a result of mortgages being dished out too readily by lenders, with borrowers unable to adapt to any changes in the interest rate. The Financial Services Authority is now looking into ways of ensuring that these conditions don’t recur given the fragility of the current market.
A full review is currently under way and it is likely that the FSA will recommend more stringent rules surrounding the amount people are allowed to borrow – especially for those without a foot on the property ladder.
It is thought that lenders are in favour of a new set of guidelines but do not want to see any recommendations enforced as regulations – a view which is shared by industry professional who are critical of any system imposing stricter guidelines. Critics believe that making borrowing more difficult will only serve to prevent more people from entering the housing market at any point in their lives.
Given the state of the economy at present, it is extremely important that growth in the housing market in stimulated in some way. The effect that housing market growth has on the overall recovery of UK economy cannot be understated, so it is little wonder that all avenues are being examined.
Timber frame homes are incredibly versatile. This type of construction has been popular in Scandinavia and in Scotland for a very long time because of how good it is at preserving heat. However, practical concerns are not the only reasons to choose timber frame construction. There are also aesthetic benefits to this type of building.
Exposing or covering the frame
The actual frame of a timber frame house bears the weight of the whole structure and it can be left exposed in places to give a certain effect. The exposed timber gives your home an incredible natural look inside and out which helps to lend it additional character.
However, you don’t have to expose the frame if you don’t want to. It is possible to cover the frame with bricks or rendering according to your own personal tastes. This just increases the flexibility of the method of construction.
Of course, your self-build project might be subject to certain restrictions as per your surroundings. In this event, it is important that you are able to build a house that can be finished in the right way so that you can secure planning permission. Timber frame construction allows for all eventualities in this regard.
If you want to use a building material which is sustainable and energy efficient, and you want to create a stunning new home you should look no further than timber frame.
A beautiful new home
Many people choose to show off the timber frame within the building and with some beautiful architect design tweaks, the elegance of the frame can be shown to its true potential. Not only is the frame doing the job of supporting the house, it is also a stunning feature.
Using wood from managed forests
Using wood from managed forests that is FSC certified is a great way to build your home. And, because wood from forests like these is sustainable and renewable, you won’t be damaging the environment.
Frame construction off site means quick construction on site
Many timber frame manufacturers construct the frame to detailed drawings off site, so when brought to site, the construction time can be minimised, which can cut overheads and the build time considerably.
Energy efficient timer frame homes
If you choose a timber frame home, you are not just doing your bit for the environment by choosing managed wood. The home can be specified to exceed building regulations and can incorporate new technology highly efficient insulation systems.
All sorts of expedients and measures have been introduced by the government in recent months and years to try and address the problems affecting the housing market. These problems stem from the fact that buyers and sellers are exercising extreme caution in the wake of the recession – a situation that is not helped by the difficulties many are finding when approaching banks for mortgage loans.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has its own views on how the situation might be improved. Launching its report on the housing industry this week, the organisation stated that the abolition of stamp duty would greatly improve the fortunes of the housing market.
The OECD accused the current system of blocking too many people from entering the housing market and encouraged the introduction of a new property tax based on the value of the house in each individual case.
It also stipulated that an annual property tax which funded both the council and the treasury would represent the best option moving forward. Furthermore, the OECD suggested that taxing vacant land would give developers incentive to build property to ease current problems affecting much of the UK associated with the supply of affordable housing.
We have been contacted by the television channel UKTV who are looking for self builders to feature in their up coming series, please find below an extract from the Communiqué.
“Last series we featured a range of self build and timber frame factory precision built projects, while working with leading companies in the industry and their clients.
The first series of My Flat-Pack Home was such a big success that UKTV have asked us to make another 40 programmes this year.
The viewing figures far outstripped any other programme on their channel and tripled the usual figures for that time slot. Our accompanying website links to suppliers featured in the show and was one of the most viewed websites for the Channel.
Contributors that have taken part in the show have thoroughly enjoyed the process and have a professional record of the build of their home. It is a very gentle feel good show that offers lots of take home information for people watching the show that may be interested in taking on a similar project.
There are approx 4-5 shooting days for each show. Two of those days will be with our presenter, Amanda Lamb, and two will cover the process of the build without Amanda. Once your clients have shown an interest in taking part, we can chat to them further and fill them in on the finer details.
If you have pre-fabricated home builds coming up (we are filming until September) and clients that could be up for being filmed, please do get in touch”
See our “contact” page if you are interested in appearing on the show.
It is difficult to know what should be your chief priority when you set out on a building project. Obviously you should never compromise the design of your structure regarding and it goes without saying that safety should always be at the forefront of your operations. However, other factors like cost and energy-usage are bound to come into play.
Fortunately, the cost of a project and the energy required to bring it into fruition are usually proportional. The less energy you use, the more money you tend to save. It therefore makes sense to choose a construction method that allows you to cut down your energy usage on site.
Timber frame construction is an incredibly green building method. The frame of each structure is built under factory conditions out of timber from managed forests. The frame is then erected quickly meaning that the amount of time your workforce spends on site is reduced, saving you money. You’ll also save energy by using fewer pieces of machinery for a reduced amount of time.
Using timber also cuts down your energy usage because alternatives like steel take so much energy to produce. Managing your project in this manner is certain to save you money and make your project greener.
January is obviously a time of year when lots of people set themselves new targets and resolutions. The sense of renewal that comes with celebrating the New Year often lasts throughout the month and sees people start to come good on ideas they may have had for some time without acting upon.
This is perhaps the chief motivation behind the recent surge in activity in the housing market here in the UK. Estate agents have recently reported that they have seen a huge spike in enquiries over the past two or three weeks, which is probably down to the fact that people are looking to ring the changes for the 2011.
The surge includes enquiries from buyers and sellers and was noted thanks to a survey conducted by the National Association of Estate Agents. Nearly 700 estate agents took part in the survey.
Although the January effect is not a reflection of trends regarding the whole year, industry professionals are naturally taking heart from the new figures. Mike Jones, president of the NAEA said:
The results of this latest survey would seem to indicate a renewed confidence in the housing market as we begin 2011. It is encouraging to see that the majority of our agents are noting an upturn on both the buyer and seller sides and those that didn’t are still reporting steady figures consistent with January of last year.
The stages involved in timber frame construction are extremely well-defined. When you select a team of timber frame specialists to help your project to materialise, you will be talked though the various procedures that will take place over the course of the build.
The project obviously begins with the consultation and design process. It is likely that you have certain expectations of your project and you should outline these during consultation. Your team of specialists will familiarise themselves with the project and the site and will use your stipulations to produce a set of drawings for approval.
After the drawings meet your approval, all the components of the timber frame structure will be manufactured. This does not take place on site, but in factory conditions to reduce the necessary time spent on site and to maintain high standards of accuracy and precision.
Once all the components have been made, they are transported to the site at which point the frame can be erected. All other aspects of construction pertaining to the outside and inside of the structure take place at this point. Finally, when all the processes are complete and a thorough inspection has been undertaken, the project can be signed off.