5 Timber Frame Benefits for Self Builders

Timber frame construction continues to be a great choice for self builders, explains Sarah Mathieson from timber home specialist Fleming Homes
Fleming Homes
by Fleming Homes
18th June 2022

There are a host of benefits to choosing timber frame for your self build project, from speed of erection to the quality associated with a product prefabricated within a factory environment.

Speed, ease, flexibility, sustainability, thermal efficiency and quality – timber frame is a build system that continues to deliver on overall value; and here’s why:

1 Efficient Self Build Schedule

A typical four-bedroom timber frame family home can be erected to weathertight stage in around two weeks. This will subsequently deliver more control over your entire build schedule.

As soon as the kit is assembled, getting roof cladding set over the structural timber frame is the top priority. With a clearly defined timber frame erection schedule, this becomes easier to coordinate.

For instance, where a masonry outer leaf features in the design, work can start on this as soon as the roof is fully loaded with your chosen cladding (tiles, slates etc).

Coordinating your roofer effectively means you could potentially start on external blockwork just four weeks after the delivery of your kit. These impressive timescales demonstrate how efficient timber frame builds can be.

2 Bespoke Specification for Your Timber Home

Many timber frame package providers offer a completely bespoke and flexible service, meaning your home’s material specification will be different from the next person’s.

Your project will typically then be allocated to a construction design technician to organise the engineering calculations used to complete the structural design of the timber frame superstructure.

Once the engineering is complete, the construction design phase can begin. This includes the structural detailing for the external walls, roof, dividing floors, and internal partitions.

The external envelope (walls and roof) will be developed according to your specified insulating materials and preferred U-values. The internal partitions and dividing floors will be designed for acoustic performance.

3 Factory-Guaranteed Quality

A huge benefit of the offsite manufacture of timber frame is quality. Prefabrication within a factory environment allows for controlled, precision engineering and enables fast erection of the house shell. The consistency of process achieved within a factory inevitably results in a more predictable product.

Choose a timber frame supplier who operates in line with a quality assurance system, and you will also have the added reassurance that the company manufacturing your home has been subject to rigorous independent audits.

Fleming Homes completed self build

Specialist timber frame package providers, such as Fleming Homes, offer bespoke, one-off houses that are tailored to the individual needs of a household

Some timber frame package providers will also enable you to access a wide range of high quality, proven products from trusted suppliers, allowing you to buy more from a single source. From external and internal joinery items (windows, skirting, architraves, internal cills and staircases etc) to additional layers of insulation and plasterboard.

There are a range of upsides to using your timber frame company to source these items beyond simply their enhanced buying power and the savings you will make. You’ll also have a single point of contact who will remove the headache of quantifying materials and provide support and aftercare should any snagging issues arise.

4 Timber Frame Offers Value for money

The rising cost of building materials, including timber, has been widely reported. Choosing timber frame can still offer overall value when you consider the range of services on offer, however, including design, planning and Building Regulations services.

Quick, clear build schedules can positively impact budget and the opportunity to purchase multiple products from a single supplier also delivers value.

There is cost certainty with a timber package because the price is agreed upfront, which compares favourably to, say, a masonry project. Of course, any project is subject to material cost increases over time, but if a project runs within the quotation validity period, then the timber frame package costs are certain.

5 Gain the Benefit of Early Decisions on Your Build

There is enormous benefit in choosing your build method early. By doing so your team can design with timber frame in mind and include value engineering in their approach. They’ll consider your design decisions in relation to your chosen build method, materials required and the desired outcome.

By introducing value engineering at the early design stage, you can work towards achieving optimum functionality within your home for the lowest possible cost.

Sarah Mathieson is managing director of Fleming Homes – experts in the design and manufacture of timber frame homes. Sarah is also a self builder in her own right.

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