Timber frame construction is preferable to many forms of construction for a number of different reasons. There are design reasons, environmental reasons and cost reasons that are generally behind the rising popularity of this form of building.
Timber frame homes are extremely versatile. They can be finished in whichever way suits your personal tastes or matches the aesthetic of the locale. You can also exercise flexibility in design when planning the interior layout of your house because timber frame homes do not rely on the presence of interior weight-bearing walls, which sometimes hinder your creative inclinations.
First of all, the components of a timber frame house use up less energy than the metal components of a house built using another method. Building with timber also reduces construction time which reduces the need for machinery that uses up lots of energy. After construction, the house will also be very energy-efficient.
The cost of building a timber frame house is often a good deal less than building in other ways. This is because the method takes less time. This means spending less on your workforce and on heavy machinery required to build the house.
Experts are continuing to give warning s concerning the state of the housing market in Britain. The market is struggling and has been for a number of months and experts in the industry are keen to lend their voices to calls for change in order to stimulate growth and get the economy back on track.
The latest criticism of the industry has been inspired by the fact that those who at one time would have been considered the ‘average’ house buyers are currently finding themselves frozen out of the housing market.
The Land Registry has recorded the average buying price in the UK as around £165,000. However, the property website Rightmove has reported that the average asking price for a house in the UK is £230,000, a figure that far exceeds what the average buyer is capable of forking out.
Of course, it is inertia with the mortgage market that is chiefly to blame for the struggle that many buyers are experiencing in their hunt for the right house. A natural result of this is a large proportion of reluctant landlords unable to find buyers for the houses they are looking to sell. This is all fairly bad news for the average buyer trying to muscle his way into the market.
The housing market is crying out for good news following pretty grim predictions for the coming, straight off the back of a very negative few months. Sometimes the New Year is just the thing that is required to lead to a little bit of activity in the market as homeowners reassess their current circumstances.
According to the National Association of Estate Agents, the UK housing market did experience a bit of an increase in January 2011. Demand from house hunters rose a touch and there was also a bit of an improvement regarding offers from those selling up.
NEAE also claimed that house sales went up in the first month of this year as its members experienced an average of four to six sales per branch. The number of those searching for houses was reported to have grown, although the percentage of first time buyers actually dropped to a paltry 24%.
The report also suggested that estate agents were unhappy with the way the housing market was continually given a negative portrait by the media and many blamed this for the recent lack of activity. For the moment, any reports of a rise in activity in the housing market can be seen as a good thing.
Building with timber frame construction is an incredibly economic way of building. Very few building methods come close to the cost-efficiency of a timber frame project, something which lasts well beyond the structure is complete.
Time and money
In the first instance, timber frame construction can save money because it can save you time. The design stage is seen as the most important stage in production and this is where most problems are overcome. Comprehensive assessments of the plans and the site will that expensive corrections don’t have to applied on site at a later date.
Because the actual construction of the timber frame is manufactured off site, the time spent on site and therefore the money spent of staffing and on equipment is vastly reduced.
Although building a timber frame house can save you money during construction, it is possible for the savings to continue thereafter. A great deal goes into insulating these houses thoroughly which helps to heat in during the colder months of the year. This saves energy and saves you from having to spend on sky high energy bills throughout the year. Many timber frame houses are built in order to free occupants of their reliance on central heating.
Design is obviously the most crucial step when you are trying to build the ideal house for your family. There are a number of things you need to work out during the design stage that your architect will help you to address. If you have chosen to build a timber frame house then specialists can direct you regarding ways your design can turn out a success.
On the interior, you clearly need to think about the best layout possible for your house. You’ll need to decide whether you want some elements of open plan living incorporated into your blueprints or whether you want a more traditional layout from room to room. This is all a question of assessing the needs of your family and consulting your timber frame specialist in order to make an informed decision.
The exterior design of your house is not always just about satisfying your personal preferences. Building projects are frequently bound by constraints regarding planning permission. If you can only get planning permission for your project provided your house fits in with the surrounding area, then you will have to adhere to these rules and incorporate certain external features and styles into your design at the expense of those that aren’t in keeping with the area.
One of the most significant outlays you will face in a self-build project relates to manpower. You are likely to need a skilled workforce on site to build your house and this can turn out to be quite expensive. Whilst you cannot cut corners and still expect to achieve the house of your dreams, you can choose a building method that reduces your reliance on a full workforce and limits the time it takes to erect your structure.
One of the quickest and most efficient building methods you can choose for your project is timber frame construction. Building with a timber frame involves working in stages that actually cut down the amount of time your workforce needs to be on site.
The frame of the house is actually cut to size in a factory environment away from your site by timber frame specialists. This frame is then delivered to the site where it is erected and made water tight very quickly. Then your workforce can begin applying all the internal and external finishing touches.
When you build efficiently in this manner, you spend a great deal less on the manpower it takes to build your house. This drives down the cost of your project.
One of the reasons timber frame homes are so environmentally friendly is because of where the materials that are used to produce them come from. Even though timber frame houses are made to be as green as possible after their manufacture, it is the manufacturing process itself that makes them so ecologically sound.
Obviously one of the main components of a timber frame house is the actual timber frame. The frame is designed to take the weight of the house and is built entirely out of strong, durable and natural timber. This timber is sourced from forests that are maintained and regenerated so as not to have any negative ecological effect.
Using this timber frame actually means that steel components are no longer needed. Other building methods rely heavily on steel and this makes them environmentally harmful. This is because the processes involved in making these steel components use an incredible amount of energy. The energy used to prepare the timber frame constitutes just a fraction of the energy used in steel production.
When you view this sort of arrangement on a large scale, it is easy to see how much of a difference timber frame construction makes when it comes to ethical building.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research has forecasted the stall in the housing market to continue for the rest of 2011. The think tank has researched the current market and its findings have led to predictions suggesting house prices will end the year 1.7% lower than they are at present.
The CEBR noted that although the housing market grew 6.4% in 2010 in terms of year-on-year growth, 2011 is set to be a different story altogether.
This drop in prices may well turn out to be a good thing for those in a position to buy – particularly for first homes – but only if they have the ready capital required in order to afford the sizeable deposits that lenders are demanding. In this sense, the positive effects of greater affordability will only be felt if buyers can take advantage of the economic conditions in the mortgage market.
Douglas McWilliams, chief executive of the CEBR, said of the research:
We expect house prices to grow tentatively over the coming years, given that household incomes are being squeezed and banks are still wary of lending. There is currently significant uncertainty in the market caused by the government’s spending cuts and a choppy recovery, which has greatly impacted transaction levels.
The state of the housing market in the UK has been a hot topic for economists and the general public for a number of years now. The housing market has suffered terribly in the wake of the recession and by the looks of it, we are only now seeing the full effect of the struggle.
The housing market is currently going through a very tight spot as the latest figures demonstrate that the number of people actually moving home and thus inspiring a level of dynamism in the market has slumped to its lowest ever point.
Because the mortgage market is frozen, stamp duty is sky high and lenders are demanding such high deposits, many would-be movers are simply having to stay put. This is preventing first time buyers from getting a foothold on the property ladder because the homes they are in the market for aren’t being sold.
In 2009, 534,000 homeowners upped sticks for pastures new – a figure which represents a dramatic 45% drop in relation to 2008 figures. With the property market stagnating in such a drastic manner, government figures and industry specialists are having to work extra hard to try and devise a plan to inject it with a new sense of life.
The housing sector has endured a torrid time over the course of the last few years as a direct result of the recession which hit the UK and other countries around the world. Buyers have struggled to get mortgages and the market has stagnated as people have been unable or unwilling to change circumstances due to the fragile state of the economy.
However, reports are suggesting that the home building sector is starting to pick up after a period of extreme caution which saw supply struggle to meet demand for new homes. The National House-Building Council has revealed that the number of houses being built in London is actually on the increase.
In the last three months of 2009, the house building sector was at its lowest ebb in the capital, with only 1,523 private homes worked on. Moreover, only 1,740 homes were being built for social housing. However, figures indicate that 2,024 private homes and 2,572 social housing homes were being constructed in the final three months of 2010.
The Chief Executive of the NHBC, Imtiaz Farookhi, said of the figures:
There is a growing belief that the worst is now behind us and we’re on the road to recovery.