If you’ve been keeping an eye on our latest construction projects, you would have noticed that we’ve been making use of timber frame construction on most (if not all) of our work recently. Why is that, do you ask? We’ve been getting the same question from new clients so we thought we should shed some light on the matter.
As with any technique, there are pros and cons, which should be considered for each individual project. However, generally speaking, timber frame construction has the below advantages over other methods, such as ‘traditional’ brick and block construction:
Let’s go into a bit more detail on each point.
Whether or not they are advocates of timber frame construction, most construction professionals will agree that the method allows for a shorter construction timeframe than traditional brick and block constructions. We’ve found that we are able to save up to four whole weeks on a project by using timber frame construction.
The main reason for this is that a number of jobs required in the construction process can be under way at the same time. As the timber frame construction is manufactured in a factory, this can start as soon as the design is signed off, even while foundations etc are started on site, allowing the construction to progress between phases more quickly as the process does not need to wait for each previous phase to be completed prior to the next one starting.
What’s more, timber frame construction projects are less affected by adverse weather conditions. Brick and block construction, for example, will need to be paused if temperatures drop below two degrees centigrade. Timber frame, on the other hand, can be erected even in very low temperatures.
As we are dealing with wood, timber frame constructions can be shaped to almost any shape required, which is one of the main reasons they are the method of choice for non-traditional designs. The beams can even be left exposed to lend the final construction a more classic touch. Brick, on the other hand, is relatively limited due to their unchanged square shape.
Quality and Ease of Construction
Because timber frames are manufactured in factories and to specific design plans, they are erected very easily. The process also allows for a greater degree of control over the finished product, before it even gets to site. In saying that, a high level of supervision will be required to ensure that the precise standard of construction necessary is achieved on each particular project – this is why it often pays to have a single point of contact throughout your construction project, so that the process can be overseen by the same person / team at all stages, therefore decreasing any chance for issues creeping in through insufficient handovers between individual teams.
One of the clearest advantages of a timber frame construction is that insulation is contained within the depth of the structure, allowing for the individual walls to be thinner than traditional brick walls.
Additionally, timber frame constructions don’t soak up heat in the same way that masonry constructions do and so rooms enclosed within timber frame will heat up and cool down quicker than their brick counterparts. Say goodbye to putting on the central heating well in advance of getting up on a cold winter’s morning!
Provided that trees are planted where they are cut down, timber can be a ‘green resource’. There are many conservation projects, dedicated to this cause, making timber frame houses particularly eco-friendly. Read more on this particular subject here.
To most pros, there are of course also cons – here is a quick overview of the (arguably) most important:
But, with a supplier who is skilled in the construction method, you will be able to minimise the risks associated with timber frame constructions in order to make the most of its benefits.
If you’re interested in a bit more detail on the differences between modular and traditional construction in a broader sense, why not check out last month’s blog entry on the topic here?