How to Get an Accurate Timber Frame Quote

Simon Orrells, managing director of Frame Technologies, tackles your FAQs on getting a reliable price for your timber frame project
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by Frame Technologies
1st July 2021

Embarking on a self build is a big job for those who have experience in construction or renovation so for those who are new to it, every step can feel like a monumental task.

To make things clearer and less intimidating here are some common questions about how to seek out accurate quotes for your timber frame project.

Q: When should I start speaking to timber frame suppliers?

You should involve a timber frame company as early in your project as possible. Suppliers can assist with design, building regulations and planning challenges, so it’s most cost-effective to take your questions to the specialist from the outset.

Q: What information will they need from me?

Each project is unique, so suppliers require as much information about your objectives as you can provide. In the planning stages of your project, they will need early planning drawings, elevation drawings and floor plans to get a budget cost.

If you’re further along with your scheme when you send your enquiry; say you’ve already received planning approval and the project is at Building Regulation stage, suppliers will require dimensional drawings, section elevations and site plans.

Learn more: Choosing the Right Timber Frame System

Cost is of course a major factor, so be clear about your budget. It’s also helpful to understand your motivations. Is sustainability important to you, or do you have particular specifications to incorporate into your build?

And finally, be honest about how much involvement you want from the company. You might decide on a supply-only package, and erect the frame yourself, or you may require more support and work closely with the supplier at every stage. This will have an impact on the price you pay.


Q: What will I get back from the timber frame supplier?

Following discussions about your brief and specifications, you’ll be offered different products to suit your individual requirements. The quote you receive will vary from each company, as some will simply provide an overall cost, whereas others will contribute a more detailed document to show exactly what you are paying for.

Q: How do I know if the price and company is right?

It’s sensible to get quotes from at least three timber frame suppliers to compare costs and understand what your money buys.

You should always ensure suppliers are members of the Structural Timber Association (STA). Look for the STA Assure logo; this means the business has been independently audited against quality standards.

Asking to see the factory is worthwhile, and make sure you read reviews online. You should also consider that value is not just cost effectiveness; you are paying for confidence in who you will work with. Make sure you feel comfortable with the people that you’re dealing with, as well as the product they’re supplying.

Timber frame top tips

  • Read your quotes carefully and question anything you don’t understand
  • Get an idea of time scales early on
  • Don’t assume each quote will include everything you need to pay for. Some companies don’t include mechanical handling fees (cranes and forklifts) in the price so check whether this has been factored in; if it has, ensure it covers offloading as well as installation
  • Check whether anything structural for your timber frame has been accounted for, such as steelwork. The structural steelwork cannot exist without the timber frame and vice versa
  • Find a company who supports your vision for your dream home and matches your passion.

Q: I’ve got my quote. What happens next?

When you’ve agreed a fixed quote with your timber frame supplier and negotiated the specification, the design will be frozen, and you’ll be ready to go. They will start work on Building Regs drawings, if still outstanding, and you typically wait between four to six weeks for them.

Don’t get started on site and never start digging foundations until you have the soleplate or setting out drawings. Once these are approved, the supplier will first run up prelim drawings, followed by manufacturing sketches while the foundations are constructed. The average turnaround from order placement to delivery is 10-12 weeks.

Simon Orrells is the managing director of Frame Technologies and has over two decades’ experience in self build timber frame construction. Frame Technologies offers a flexible range of timber services to cover full supply and erect or supply only packages. Call 01544 267124 for more information.

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