Timber Frame Myth Busting!
Many self-builders will contact Vision after deciding upon using timber frame for their project following lots of research and due diligence on suppliers. However, there are still many who can be easily swayed by some of the timber frame myths we have listed below, which we are going to dispel!”
Myth #1 – Timber is unstable and fragile
One misconception is that timber is not as strong as alternative construction methods, including brick, block and steel. Timber comes in all shapes and sizes with lots of different species and is very versatile. Along with its natural strength, timber can be treated in different ways to improve its strength. Timber is used for many different building applications from blocks of flats, to school buildings and other commercial structures. See more here…
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Vision purchase their timber from only registered PEFC certified members meaning there is a chain of custody for the timber we purchase and use for our timber frames, and who are also trusted and reputable industry leaders in timber distribution.
All our timber is treated to BS8417 preservation requirements with a low pressure ‘yellow’ treatment for manufacturing applications. The timber is air dried to a level moisture content of 20% or less, no single piece should exceed 24%. This is crucial to ensure the timbers strength as well as better machining and easier handling and transportation.
Timber responsibly sourced comes hand in hand with quality and if the timber is slow-grown to full maturity, then not only has it fully benefited the environment, but it will be straighter and stronger, less prone to twisting or bowing, and have fewer knots and imperfections.
Myth #2 – Timber Can’t Stand Up to Harsh Weather Conditions
With the excellent natural thermal properties of timber (holding heat in winter and keeping cool during summer) combined with new insulation materials, timber frames offer far greater thermal efficiency than brick/block. With more demanding building regulations for energy efficiency and air tightness, using timber frame will not only achieve the requirements much easier, but much cheaper!
In relation to harsh weather conditions, timber frame benefits from some flexibility, which means it’s particularly suited to exposed locations where extreme wind may result in cracking. 83% of new homes in Scotland are built in timber frame which sees more than its fair share of bad weather conditions!
The timber frame house built in Kent, shown on the right, is standing up to the snow!
Myth #3 – Timber Frame is a Fire Risk
We can’t deny that wood burns well, but we can deny that choosing timber frame for your construction poses a higher risk of fire within your home. The preconception is that because a timber frame home contains more wood, they are at a much higher risk of fire. In most masonry-built homes, the floors, roofs and internal stud partitions are all wood. The main difference are that the external walls are also timber of course in a timber frame home, but these are embedded within a brick external finish and plasterboard finish to the internal face, which is the fire resistant barrier.
On the right is a typical external wall build up for our timber frame systems.
Myth #4 – Timber Frame Homes Aren’t Soundproof
This myth is based on the comparison of masonry and timber frame with timber frame conceived as ‘open’ and masonry ‘solid’. In fact, the timber frame external walls are insulated, floors, ceiling and internal walls all insulated (to standards for Part E of the Building Regulations). This not only improves sound proofing, but the thermal efficiency of the entire structure.
Choosing the right specification of windows and doors will also assist on the overall sound proofing of your timber frame home.
With a variety of insulating materials available, timber frame structures are so versatile that you can achieve extremely good sound proofing (especially if you are located near to an airport or busy motorway!)
On the right is a photo of an internal view of a timber frame extension. The metal web joists are used to create the flat roof and the external walls are insulated with 105mm Hybris insulation. The internal walls have OSB board to one side and will be insulated after the structure is weatherproof.
Myth #5 – Timber Frames are Prone to Rot and Infestations
With all the timbers we purchase being treated in extremely controlled conditions (see Myth #1) this protects the timber against rot and fungal attack whilst ensuring structural stability and durability.
Many believe timber frame to be a ‘new method of construction’ but in fact it is one of the oldest known methods of building with countries across the world with timber framed homes dating back more than 10,000 years ago – we say this certifies timber frame to be a long standing, reputable and tried and tested method for construction.
If you are looking to complete your new home build in a much quicker time span than other methods of construction, whilst keeping expensive labour costs down and saving on heating costs then timber frame is the wise choice!
Get in touch with us today if you wish to discuss any of the above matters, we are here to help with any aspect of the timber frame process and answer any questions.
Why not read the testimonials we have received from previous Clients?