Self Builders Guide to Timber Frame Quotations

Whether you have experience in construction and completed previous self-build projects, or are new to it all, the process is still complex and at times, daunting.

For all our self-build clients we provide as much help, by way of experience and knowledge in the construction industry, at no additional cost.

Take a read of some of our advice articles.

To make choosing the right timber frame supplier simpler, we have detailed below the common questions and our recommendations.

When do I start conversations with timber frame suppliers?

As early as possible is our suggestion. Timber frame suppliers will provide technical details relating to the structure and design requirements for the foundations which are key stages of the project. Speaking with a timber frame specialist at the beginning will ensure no costly alterations later down the line.

What details will the timber frame supplier require from me?

With very varying designs and objectives for a new self-build house or extension, the timber frame supplier will require as much detail as you can provide. If your project is at the planning stage and you have drawings of the elevations and floor plans. These will be sufficient to receive a preliminary quotation.

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From the outset, be clear about your budget. Cost is a major factor in planning a self-build project and to better understand the likely costs, you can use our handy self-build calculator.

When speaking with suppliers, ensure you convey the important factors for your new build or extension, e.g. U-Values you need to achieve for your SAP report, specific insulating materials that you wish to be included, desired timber frame wall system i.e. closed panel or open panel.

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What will the timber frame supplier provide back to me?

Following the submission of your drawings and details of the specification discussed the supplier will prepare a quotation. Quotations will vary with each supplier; some will provide a guide cost whereas others will give a more detailed breakdown and a fixed cost for the timber frame works.

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How will I know if the price is right?

It would be prudent to obtain comparative quotations and understand what your money is buying.

Be conscious that each supplier will offer varying timber frame solutions. This may be a different external timber frame wall build-up with alternative insulating materials that may affect your SAP report so be careful to review in detail each suppliers’ offerings and ensure they are ‘like for like’.

*Do not compromise on the quality for the lowest cost*

How should I do my due diligence on a company?

Normal steps for customers to undertake when buying any goods will be to investigate the history of a company which can be done online using the Companies House website.

When choosing your timber frame supplier, we have listed the below points to consider…

  • Are the supplier’s members of a leading body in timber/timber frame? E.g. Trada
  • Has their business been audited by an independent accreditor in quality management standards? E.g. ISO 9001:2015
  • Is there indication that the supplier’s have credentials in promoting the use of only sustainably sourced timber? E.g. PEFC
  • Do they have readily available customer reviews online that you can read?
  • Can you visit their factory to see the making of timber frame structures in practice?
  • Visiting their premises to discuss your project will give you a better understanding of the business set-up and their ethos to ensure you are happy not only with the people you are working with, but the product they are supplying.

Tips for when you receive your quotation

  • If you have comparative quotes, make a tick list to ensure that all are catering for your individual requirements.
  • Read through each quote carefully and make notes with questions for the suppliers.
  • Request timescales to understand how these would work with your project programme.
  • Every quote will have varying offerings, so do not assume they are quoting for everything that you need to pay for. Some suppliers will assume your site has access for a 40ft articulated lorry and 30tonne crane. Often, the self-build sites will be restricted to smaller lorries, so additional fees may then be incurred.
  • All structural elements have been included as these are a crucial element of your new timber frame home.
  • Why not ask one of the suppliers to help with comparing the quotes? If you are happy to share the information, they are best placed to give advice on whether you have everything included for your new home.

I’ve chosen my timber frame supplier – what happens next?

Following discussions and meetings, you’ve chosen your timber frame supplier and are now ready to push the button on the design of your new home. The design will be frozen and the first stage of drawings can commence.

Be aware to wait for the sole plate or setting out drawings for the timber frame before commencing your groundworks. Any errors at this stage of the build could be very costly. After preliminary drawings for your timber frame house are approved, the manufacture can begin. Tie in the manufacture of your home whilst the groundworks are undertaken on site so you have no downtimes.

Lead times are generally 10-12 weeks.

Vision pride themselves on offering a dedicated service to each self-builder that we work with. As a family run business, we understand the importance of treating each project individually and as such, offer a more personalised service.

If you wish to speak with us about your requirements for e timber frame new build or extension, please get in touch with us on 0118 971 2181 or email your plans to us on info@vision-dsl.com.

We have a number of different options for our timber frame solutions to suit most budgets with alternative insulations on offer to compliment a range of Client specific requirements.

Abbey View - New Build Timber Frame Home in Chapel Row, BerkshireFront of Transformed Home after conversion