Which Build System Will Give us the Thinnest Wall Construction?

7 February 2022
by Jackie Shanley


We are going to be rebuilding the extension on our terraced home. The house is about 150 years old with an existing 2mx6m kitchen-bathroom extension from the 1950s/1960s.

I have some roots in home construction, but am from Florida, USA, so I am lost on some topics. My husband is an engineer and will oversee the project. Home design is an obsessive hobby of mine and I am using Chief Architect software for the application to the local council for planning permission. We live in a middle class area and homes are around £180,000 to £220,000. We plan to retire in seven years and sell so we want something solid, but basic.

Could someone please educate me what the thinnest possible exterior wall size is? I'm trying to understand the difference in solid wall construction, brick & block, and also the basic layers of what materials make up a decent, insulated wall. We have such a small area, we need every inch of interior space we can get. The diagrams online are too general , non-specific or not answering my basic question.

I am asking a lot and so, let me thank anyone who has time to educate me!

One Answer

  1. Anamika Talwaria says:

    Hi Jackie,

    Thanks for your question. This is a tricky one to answer as there’s no right or wrong build system to use – it depends on what will work best for you. I’ve scoured through our website to find a few articles that might provide a good starting point for you.

    Structural options for an extension: https://www.self-build.co.uk/how-to-build-your-extension-structural-options/

    A breakdown of the different construction systems, including pros and cons: https://www.self-build.co.uk/structural-options-your-self-build/

    How brick & block construction works: https://www.self-build.co.uk/cost-guide-walls-and-insulation/

    How timber frame could give you more space: https://www.self-build.co.uk/could-timber-frame-give-you-more-space/

    I hope this helps and gives you a better understanding of the different wall constructions out there. Please do get back in touch if you have a more specific query!

    Best wishes,
    Anamika Talwaria (Build It Features Editor)

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