Speedy Construction – timber frame houses can be erected on site faster than any other method of construction. A typical home takes 3-4 weeks to manufacture and can be erected within 1 week, ready for your finishing trades to follow. Speed ensures that less capital is tied up in the build meaning lower interest rates. It also minimises disruption to local neighbours which is of interest to planners. Most importantly, your life as the new occupant is less disturbed as the wait to move into your new home will be significantly less – reducing any associated costs such as rent.
Lower Build Cost – Aside from the build cost itself being cheaper – timber frame also offers savings in many other areas. The speed of construction means for savings on scaffolding rental and other hire. Hold backs are eliminated as timber frame can be erected regardless of the weather conditions. Timber frame is quicker and therefore cheaper to insulate and make airtight. The labour cost to electricians and plumbers is significantly reduced as they can all work within the framing and joists. Your MHRV system can be run through for example – no need to chase or drill through block work. Plastering is also quicker and cheaper. The list goes on and on!
Be sure to specify that your home will be timber frame when quoting other trades – they almost always add a significant reduction. All of these factors must be taken into account when comparing like-for-like, and that’s not even taking into account energy efficiency!
Highly Efficient – a timber frame home is typically much more energy efficient than other methods of construction.
Well Insulated – reducing heat loss through the external walls and roof.
Airtight – reduced uncontrolled loss of heat resulting in lower heating bills. The process of making a timber frame home airtight is significantly quicker and than block construction.
Minimal Cold Bridging – eliminates heat loss and uncomfortable cold spots. This is supported by a 62.5mm PIR insulated backed plasterboard.
Thermally Responsive – reduced the risk of over-heating. A timber frame has the ability to both heat and cool quickly. In comparison, block walls are known to feel cold to the touch and to hold heat for longer periods of time. However this is not something that is now desired in well insulated homes. The potential of over-heating is of greater concern.
Quality Controlled – precision engineered panels which are constructed off site in a dry factory environment.
Environmentally Sustainable – timber removes CO2 from the environment as it grows and stores it for the lifetime of the build. In comparison, the cement used in block work emits carbon dioxide.
Low Embodied Energy – timber takes 25 less times energy to produce than steel.
Zero Waste – the laborious task of site cleaning is reduced through controlled and efficient off-site manufacturing. This also alleviates costs associated with skip hire and debris removal.
Read more on the benefits of timber frame.
Timber Frame Ireland use structurally graded, stress tested and kiln dried CLS (Canadian Lumbar Standard) timber which conforms to best practice building regulations.
Our external walls are 140mm x 38mm as standard and our internal walls are 90mm x 38mm. All timber is VAC pressure treated.
A timber frame house will last as long as those constructed from any other method including standard masonry/block construction.
The materials, systems and methods employed today are underpinned by rigorous regulations and certification. These are all put in place to ensure that buildings conform to excellent best practice standards, including their expected longevity. We can assure you that timber frame not only conforms to, but exceeds these standards.
No – a timber frame house is indistinguishable to a traditional block built home and will look exactly as per your plans. Assuming an external cladding or leaf of blockwork, your home can be plastered and painted as usual.
Timber frame is one of the most energy efficient methods of construction available today. For this reason, it is becoming the most popular method in Ireland following the SEAI’s Part L and Nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB) regulations.The regulations at the moment are quite stringent and have left people increasingly concerned about how they are going to achieve these measures with a traditional block build. A timber frame house is much easier to insulate and make airtight among many other benefits. For these reasons, it is easy to see why timber frame accounts for over 70% of all new builds in the developed world.
U-values provide a measure of heat loss for all elements of the build to include the complete wall, roof and floor construction. These figures are measured in w/m2k which signifies the amount of heat loss in watts (W) per square metre of each element of the build while the outside temperature (K) is at least 1 degree lower than the inside of the building.
The lower the u-value, the better the insulating property of that particular element. However, not each element has its own u-value. It takes a combination of all elements contributing to the structure in order to deliver a combined u-value for your overall build.
iFor example, assuming a 100mm external leaf of blockwork, our insulation package to include the entire build structure, quality insulation, air tightness membrane and tapes achieves a u-value of 0.11 w/m2k which is of Passive standard. It is important to note that u-values are just one component of a build envelope. Air tightness and minimal thermal bridging are equally as important to achieving reduced heating bills and a comfortable home – both of which timber frame quickly and cheaply overcomes.
Timber frame has no bearing on the type of heating system installed in your home. Any form of heating can be installed in a timber frame house to include oil fire heating, back boiler, stoves (real, gas, electric etc.), an air to water heat pump, ground source geothermal heating or any other form.
Yes of course – many of our customers install underfloor heating at both ground floor and first floor level. Underfloor heating is becoming much more common than traditional radiators due to the rising popularity of economical heating systems such as air to water heat pumps and geothermal heating as an alternative to oil.
Our structure allows for underfloor heating pipes to be laid at first floor level. Approx. 75mm of screed which can be laid on top of metal webbed posi joists which we supply and fit.
No – timber frame has come a long way since the old methods of timber joist construction.
Our timber is certified, graded and kiln dried. We lay either solid floor joists or open webbed metal joists (posi joists). We also lay 18mm WPB external grade ply rather than the OSB laid by most companies. This ensures strength and durability underfoot of the passing trades during construction.
In order to further eliminate any chance of the floors creaking, we both glue and nail our quality WPB external grade ply to your floor joists.
More and more of our clients are opting for the metal webbed joists rather than the traditional solid timber alternative. Although slightly more expensive, these significantly reduce the labour cost to your electrician and plumber as they can both work within the joists rather than cutting and drilling through solid joists or block as the case would be with a block built home.
Timber frame is typically 50% faster and 30% cheaper block over the duration of the build. It’s also much cheaper than ICF and offers less complications with a quicker build speed. Timber frame is also double skinned in comparison!
Although some block homes for example may be quoted at a similar price, it is important to compare like for like. The client should take into consideration the performance levels and timescales involved which may impact cost overtime such as interest rates and the cost to hire items such as scaffolding.
Timber frame is credited as being one of the fastest and most reliable build methods, benefiting from off-site construction in a dry, controlled environment with precision engineered production. Faster build times reduce site labour costs on site and as there is less chance of delays due to errors or weather, the price of a timber frame build is much more certain. This certainty is comforting to the self-builder and often one of the key choices for timber frame.
The biggest cost saving with timber frame is really made
throughout the duration of the build through other trades. If you quote in
advance saying your house is block and then quote saying its timber frame,
you’ll find that nearly every trade price will have a reduction for timber
frame as its much easier to work with.
Labour costs to electricians and plumbers is significantly reduced as they can work within the framing and first floor joists – no need to chase and drill blockwork. For example, if you’re going with a heat recovery system, that can all be piped in the framing, and because it’s easier for the company to fit, it works out cheaper.
It’s also easier and cheaper to insulate and make a timber frame home airtight. Plastering is also much quicker and therefore cheaper.
We work out at approx €25-€30 per sq foot to include the timber frame, internal walls, first floor joists (solid or metal webbed joists), roof structure, roof covering (felt, counter battens, slate etc), breathable membrane, vapour control barrier, 140mm of Xtratherm PIR foil backed insulation, airtightness membrane and tapes, followed by an additional 50mm Xtratherm PIR insulation, 50 x 35mm battens to form a service cavity and then 12.5mm of plasterboard. This achieves a passive standard u-value of 0.11 W/m2k with a 100mm external leaf of block which far exceeds the requirements set out in Part L/nZEB.
Note: This is an example only and the specification can be changed to suit each client.
Yes – all materials are tested and certified in accordance with appropriate European standards, including our timber. Our insulation and plaster board is also A1 rated for fire resistance. In fact, a large number of homes in Ireland are constructed using a timber frame structure on the upper floor. Every roof is also timber so there is most certainly no cause for concern.
In fact – when timber burns, the outer parts char and become charcoal. Charcoal insulates against heat and does not burn which means that the structural centre of the timber is protected from damage. Fire break sleeves are also added to the cavity of each intersection which prevents spread through in the event of a fire.
Yes, of course – timber frame is the most widely used method of construction, accounting for over 70% of all new builds in the developed world. You will have no difficulty whatsoever getting a mortgage for a timber frame house versus any other method.
As Patrick Sawdon, former Head of Halifax Valuation and Surveying, pointed out; “Timber frame housing is equally as good as housing constructed from brick or block. We make no differentiation on the lending terms offered on either form of construction.”
Similarly, Steve Birt of Zurich has said that “Insurance companies draw no distinction between modern timber frame and brick or block construction.”
Of course – timber frame houses comply with all building regulations and fire safety standards. You will experience no issues insuring your timber frame house and the cost should not be any different to that of a traditional block built home. In fact, lenders and insurance providers consider timber frame of less risk as the duration of the build is drastically reduced and therefore minimises exposure to risk.
Our timber is VAC pressure treated and kiln dried to low moisture levels. We install a membrane barrier and also use 18mm WPB (Water and Boil Proof) external grade ply on the flooring panels in comparison to the OSB sheeting used by most timber frame manufacturers.
Exposure to rain during erection will not have any impact on the structure. The timber will dry out quickly once the roof has been felted and battened with no adverse effects.
Yes of course – as long as you have drawings and planning permission (if required), we can provide a quotation for a timber frame extension to your existing block built home.
No problem – timber frame is both energy efficient and thermally responsive, while simplifying the air tightness process. We can insulate to suit your requirements. For example, one of our standard insulation packages achieves a Passive Standard u-value of just 0.11.
In order for our team to provide you with a free, detailed quotation of your timber frame home, we will need you to forward your house plans (elevations and sections if available) and the U value required for your external walls (if known). If you are unsure of your desired u-value, we will provide sample insulation packages achieving current Building Regulations up to as high as Passive Standard. Simply email email@example.com and one of our team will get back to you shortly.
We aim to have a detailed quotation returned to you within 48 hours, however this may vary during busier periods. All quotations will be returned no later than 3-4 working days from their request. Should you not receive your quotation within this time frame, please let us know and we will ensure that it is sent to you asap!