Timber Framed Houses – Are they Right for You?

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Around a quarter of buildings in the United Kingdom, including new builds, are thought to use timber frames. Timber framed houses are unique types of structures primarily made from wood.

Typically, a timber framing house is significantly less expensive and time-consuming than doing so with brick or stone. The difference in labour expenses between carpenters and bricklayers makes this especially noticeable.

Due to the effectiveness of timber frames and the United Kingdom’s preference for using stone and brick. There are many unanswered questions regarding timber framed houses. Which we’ll break down in this article:

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Timber frame house construction: The sustainable answer to the housing crisis

The United Kingdom only constructed 216,000 new homes in 2020–2021. They would have to make 124,000 more homes to keep up with the growing housing demand. To help with the housing crisis, timber framed house construction would be far more efficient than brick-and-mortar structures due to prefabricated house frames.

Contrary to its metal competitors, timber framed houses are remarkably sustainable despite being wood. Timber framed houses have a low embodied energy, which means that it takes significantly less energy to create them from a tree to a frame than it does to produce steel or aluminium.

Furthermore, timber-built houses are long-lasting and simple to maintain. Timber is a powerful and versatile building material with excellent structural qualities. Take a glance at any Tudor home to discover stunning timber framing.

Because there is more room with timber frames than in brick buildings, more insulation space is possible. This indicates that it is significantly more economical and energy efficient than conventional build styles.

The timber framed houses uk market is anticipated to grow by £70 million in 2022, according to the most recent MTW research report. The timber framing house market is expected to increase by more than £150 million by 2026.

What are the issues with timber framed houses UK?

Timber frame dwellings built before 1985 are regarded as non-standard constructions. This is because development methods were less regulated back then than now. Many prefabricated timber homes are being constructed using modern development practices and requirements. However, some older timber structures may date back to the 1600s. Back when laws weren’t as stringent as they are now.

Some timber frame houses problems, such as dampness, dry rot, beetle infestations, structural problems, and movement in timber frames, can be resolved. Just make sure you seek out the counsel of a structural engineer or surveyor. If you fear you have problems with dampness then please check out our article

Older timber-built homes are also at a higher risk of more serious timber frame houses problems such as flood and fire, so it is critical that you get the right insurance, which we will speak about later.

Despite being more regulated, modern timber-built homes nevertheless have issues. Even if the wood has been pressure treated, it still faces a risk of deteriorating. Rot is more likely to occur if there is a lot of water vapour or condensation near to the wood.

Another problem, albeit a minor one, is that sound may travel much farther in a house consisting of insulation, plasterboard, and frame than in a brick-built place.

A key timber frame houses problem with modern, contemporary timber frame homes is that if you want to make significant changes down the road, you risk voiding the manufacturer’s warranty because you will be modifying or removing the original timber structure.

What should I take into consideration when building a new timber frame house construction?

Five key elements

If you’re considering doing a self-build or getting someone else to build your new home, there are four elements which are crucial to the success of a modern timber building:

  • Insulate– If you use a lot of insulation in your timber frame house, heat will be retained more efficiently, requiring less energy, less time, and less money to warm up.
  • Orientation – If your new development includes much glass, orienting it toward the sunrise will cause it to warm up in the morning, eliminating the need for early-morning heating!
  • Solar shading – May adjust the internal temperature of your home and dramatically reduce energy usage by regulating the quantity of sunlight and heat from the sun.
  • Sustainability – If you are considering a timber frame from a sustainability point of view, then it is vital to source your wood from responsible sources as there is less material wastage. An example would be using reclaimed lumber or wood from a sustainable forester.
  • Technology – There are many eco-home improvements that could save you money each year. For example; a smart metre could save you up to £100 a year on energy. And, if you added solar panels to your build you could also save up to £530 a year.


Different types of timber framed house construction

Stick-built and prefabricated wood frames are the two different types of timber framed houses. When the frame is constructed plank by plank, it is called a stick-built timber frame. Consequently, they require more time to create than prefabricated timber frames because they are built on-site.

The necessity to install insulation and membranes after the structure is constructed lengthen the development process. Stick-built structures, however, are much more typical of self-builds than prefabrications, which are more frequently used in commercial projects.

Precision off-site engineering and manufactured panels that already have all the insulation and membranes required to attain the appropriate degree of performance are used to create the prefabricated timber frames.

To ensure that the structures will remain stable, the manufactured frames go through rigorous testing for fire and water damage. This assurance may help with your mortgage and insurance policy coverage because the structures have been tested for energy efficiency and risk. You can also purchase prefabricated build homes kits online which can be created to exact measurements.

Can I get a mortgage on a timber framing house?

Yes, a timber framing house is eligible for a mortgage. Despite the likelihood of a number of factors influencing your ability to obtain a mortgage:

  • Your mortgage lender — Since timber homes are a non-standard build, some lenders are more likely to approve you for a mortgage than others. Before applying, we advise conducting research utilising a comparison website.
  • Your credit score – If your credit score is low, getting a mortgage may be considerably more challenging for you than for others. However, this is true for all builds. You can try to find a specialised mortgage lender who will grant a mortgage to someone with less-than-perfect credit.
  • Age & type of property – Timber framed houses exist in all different ages, styles, and sizes. Your property will need to undergo a survey from your lender to determine the calibre and worth of the structure.
  • The materials used – Lenders’ propensity to provide mortgages for timber homes will be influenced by the materials utilised, including the cladding and other exterior elements on the building. Instead of a metal-framed house, most lenders would prefer a structure built of brick or stone.
  • Local demand – depending on where a house is built, demand for timber houses varies. The demand for timber homes may be lower in some places, which will impact the likelihood of obtaining a mortgage.

Getting the right kind of home insurance for timber framed buildings

Because there was a stigma associated with timber houses in the past, some insurance companies refused to cover them, like how wooden houses can be thought of as being weaker than brick-and-mortar structures.

However, obtaining insurance for your timber-framed home is as simple as ever today, thanks to innovative building techniques and build procedures. Make sure you purchase a specialised Timber Framed Houses UK Insurance Coverage. This will guarantee that any issues you may have will be adequately covered by your insurance providers.


So, are timber frame houses right for you?

There is no denying that the demand for timber frame homes is increasing in the United Kingdom. Using timber frames may enable quicker, more cost-effective, and environmentally friendly construction than traditional brick-and-mortar methods. But if you decide to grow in the future, are you prepared to perhaps risk the manufacturer’s warranty?

But if you decide to grow in the future, are you prepared to perhaps risk the manufacturer’s warranty?

The present and future modifications you desire to make to this property and if your insurance lender will permit the coverage to continue must be taken into account, just like with other buildings. When applying for coverage, a mortgage, or non-standard construction, you should always do your research.

This covers the essentials of everything related to timber frame buildings. Please feel free to contact us if you have any inquiries or insights about the topic.

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Tom is a Digital Content Writer passionate about sustainable property & property trends. Regardless of the subject, he will always write blogs of the best calibre. Read more about Tom here.

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About Tom Condon 127 Articles
Tom is a Digital Content Writer passionate about sustainable property & property trends. Regardless of the subject, he will always write blogs of the best calibre. Read more about Tom here.

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