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Timber Frame Q & A

DOES HOT OR VERY COLD WEATHER AFFECT TIMBER FRAME HOUSES?
Not at all! The technology we use and the way we build make timber frame the best option in extreme weather conditions. Most defects in property built in Spain and Portugal using traditional methods are caused by the materials used, and the way they are incorporated into the building. Believe it or not Spain suffers very high damp ingress and major condensation problems. The reason for this is because they do not build in a clear cavity, or install damp proof membranes. They do not use insulation or even a damp proof course. ALL these components MUST be incorporated into a building. Timber Frame is used extensively In hot countries and in very cold countries and provided it is built correctly there are rarely any problems. Because we incorporate all the components mentioned, plus heat barriers our houses remain cool in summer and warm in winter and fuel costs are lowered considerably.

HOW LONG WOULD A HOUSE TAKE TO BUILD AND MOVE INTO?
We need 8 weeks to design, manufacture and deliver your kit to site. An average 4 bed house takes us 5-6 days to erect and then its up to you how fast you go, but the average completion time is usually 12-14 weeks including erecting the timber frame.

I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT TERMITES CAN DESTROY TIMBER BUILDINGS – IS IT TRUE?
Yes, this is true - but we do not produce timber buildings. All our timbers are treated with a vacuum impregnated water-borne boron based preservative and to press, no complaints! All the timbers we use are also dried in special kilns to specified moisture content that prevents rot. The external finishes used on timber frame buildings prevent access to structural timbers. There are several ways of preventing Termite attack in any buildings.

I WANT TO EXTEND MY HOME CAN I USE A TIMBER FRAME KIT?
Yes you can. It is very easy and a very clean way of extending living space. We have also converted bungalows into 2 floor houses very economically. If more space is required, you can also use attic trusses and this is a very economical method of utilising wasted roof-space.

I WOULD LOVE TO BUILD MY OWN - BUT I DON’T KNOW IF I AM CAPABLE. WHERE CAN I GET HELP?
This is a common feeling and like anything you try for the first time there is natural apprehension. We can supply several different packages from basic help to full build, so you needn't be worried at the prospect of self - build. As soon as you become a TEE client, we stay with you until your job is done. We are available 7 days a week 9am till 9pm to answer any questions or to advise you during the course of your project, free of charge. If you request site attendance a moderate fee will be charged but any charges will all have been agreed with you prior to placing your order with us.

IS TIMBER FRAME AN ECOLOGICAL METHOD OF BUILDING?
We take our corporate social responsibility very seriously, and this area is of great importance to us. ALL our timbers are purchased from renewable supplies in Northern Europe, Scandinavia and Canada. Everything is certificated on a "chain of custody" and for every two trees harvested, three are replanted and every year an area equivalent to the area of Cyprus is added to forests globally. Besides lowering carbon emissions over the full life of the house, very low carbon emissions (embodied energy) are generated in making the timber frames. Strength for strength concrete requires 5 times more embodied energy than wood and steel 6 times more.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TIMBER FRAME FOR A SELF-BUILD PROJECT?
Certainly, this method of construction is favoured by self-builders because once we have erected the timber frame, including separating walls floors and roof superstructure, finishing it ready for occupation is fairly simple as all the hard work has been done by us. In the UK alone 20,000 self-build projects are undertaken every year, and this accounts for around 13% of all new-build starts each year. Most self-builders consider that they saved between 30% and 40% of the cost of buying a new house on the open market.

CAN I GET A MORTGAGE ON A TIMBER FRAME HOUSE?
Yes, most lenders will lend against the security of a timber frame house. They do not make any special conditions and some even prefer TF to traditional buildings. AS long as the house has been built to the required standard, and is certificated - no problem.

IS INSURANCE MORE EXPENSIVE FOR TIMBER FRAME BUILDINGS?
No, it isn't viewed any differently to other types of construction by insurers.

ARE THEY SAFE IN FIRES?
Timber Frame buildings must meet exactly the same standards laid down by governments as any other type of buildings, so they are no different.

IS THE TIMBER FRAME METHOD CHEAPER THAN MASONRY?
Almost on every occasion, this is why it is so popular worldwide. It is difficult to say what the saving is because each project varies so much. But you will save money on timber frame buildings.

WHEN ARE TIMBER FRAME BUILDINGS MAINLY USED?
Timber frame is accepted globally and is not only used for housing, it is used for all types of buildings up to 7 floors high and these can be Hotels, Offices, Schools, Hospitals and Rest Homes also for wide span leisure buildings. Almost any building, any shape or size and finish can be built in using Timber Frame Technology.

WHAT PERCENTAGE OF NEW BUILDINGS ARE TIMBER FRAME?
The percentage of timber framed buildings erected increases each year as people become aware of the massive benefits of the systems available. Here are some global figures: Ireland 35% United Kingdom 60% Scandinavia 95% Canada 90%+ USA 90%+ Germany 35% Netherlands 28% Australia 85% New Zealand 90% Japan 52%. Overall Timber Frame construction accounts for 70% of all new start (low rise up to 7 floors high) buildings, in developed countries.

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF A BUILDING IS TIMBER FRAME?
The short answer is that you can't. You will have been in several TF buildings and not realized. Most hotels and restaurant chains use this method now, and only the occupants/owners who enjoy the benefits of TF will know.