Timber Framed Homes

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FAQ

  1. What are the benefits of timber frame?
  2. What wood is used for the frame?
  3. How long will a timber frame last?
  4. Is timber frame energy efficient?
  5. What are your U values?
  6. Can I use underfloor heating to all floors?
  7. When does the plasterboard arrive?
  8. Do all the components arrive at once?
  9. Does the house come with a guarantee/warranty?
  10. Do you put the frame up?
  11. Will you check the base before delivery ?
  12. Can I get a mortgage on a timber frame?
  13. What are our payment terms?
  14. Will I pay VAT on the frame package? 
  15. Is the insurance different on a timber frame?
  16. How much will the build cost?
  17. Do you do the full build?
  18. How long will my build take?
  19. Do I have to build the house myself? 
  20. Is timber frame cheaper than using block?
  21. What happens after the frame is erected?
  22. What happens if it rains when my frame is on site?

 

 

 

What are the benefits of timber frame?

PERFORMANCE

  • Timber-frame buildings from Irish Eco Homes are typically more energy efficient than those constructed using other methods of construction. They;
  1. are highly insulated – reducing heat loss through external walls and roofs
  2. airtight – which reduces uncontrolled heat loss through unpleasant draughts
  3. benefit from minimal cold bridging – which eliminates uncomfortable cold spots
  • Easy to control, energy efficient, thermally responsive internal environments reduce the risk of over-heating
  • Structural timber solutions available for almost every type of building
  • Factory based manufacturing improves quality and dimensional accuracy

SUSTAINABILITY

  • A renewable material from sustainable forests with independent chain of custody certification to prove this
  • A natural product that removes carbon dioxide from the environment as it grows (sequesters carbon as it grows) and stores it for the lifetime of the building
  • A material with lower embodied energy than all other mainstream construction materials
  • Products that are re-used, re-cycled and then recovered to produce energy
  • Making zero waste on site a reality

FLEXIBILITY

  • An unrivalled range of structural timber solutions with unbeatable versatility and flexibility
  • Materials that are easy to work with in the factory and on-site offering limitless easy to customise design options
  • A wide range of specifications and solutions available for almost every application

AFFORDABILITY

  • The low cost route to energy efficient buildings that reduce the need for renewable technologies
  • Fabric first, energy efficiency reduces running costs for life
  • Faster build times reduces site preliminary and labour costs
  • Timber frame is tried, tested and widely used
  • More price certainty
  • Fewer build delays caused by bad weather, meaning a more predictable build programme

 

What wood is used for the frame?

The structural timber used in the wall panels is generally European whitewood which is strength graded and kiln dried so that it is appropriate for construction purposes.

 Almost all of the timber we use is independently certified by the FSC or PEFC to be from sources with genuine sustainability credentials.

How long will a timber frame last?

The short answer is that buildings constructed using timber frame construction will last as long as those constructed from any other mainstream construction method.

The products, systems and methods used today are underpinned by a rigorous  regulations, standards and third party certification systems all designed to ensure that when adequately maintained all buildings perform to expected and accepted levels.

Will a timber frame house look different?

Your house will look exactly as you want it to. Some of our customers choose to make it obvious that they live in a timber frame house others don’t. It’s entirely up to you. For example, if you fully block and plaster your home no one would know it was timber frame.

Are timber frames more prone to fires?

No, all buildings constructed in the Ireland, no matter what method is used, must adhere to the same set of Building Regulations. Statistics on fires in buildings demonstrate that the number of fires in timber frame buildings correlates very closely with the number of fires in buildings constructed in other ways.

Is timber frame energy efficient?

In short, timber frame is one of the most energy efficient methods of construction available today. Modern Building Regulations require all new houses to achieve a proscribed minimum level of energy efficiency and these days the regulations really are quite stringent.

However, many Irish Eco Homes customers want to improve further the energy efficiency of their properties, and our timber frame system is the best method of construction to be using if this is what you want to do. We adopt a fabric first approach to energy efficiency where the insulation is installed into the structure of the building on a fit and forget basis.

What are your U values?

U values provide a measure of heat loss for building elements (eg. complete wall, floor and roof constructions) and are expressed in W/m2K. They show the amount of heat lost in watts (W) per square meter of building element when the temperature (K) outside is at least one degree lower than that inside the building.

The lower the U value, the better the insulation provided by the element. It is important to remember that individual materials do not have U-values, only complete elements, and that all of the materials used in the construction of the element will contribute something to its performance.

Typically the external walls we provide will have a U-value better than 0.17 W/m2K although we frequently provide walls with much lower U-values down to 0.10

It’s also equally important to note that U-values are only one small part of what determines building envelope energy efficiency; providing an airtight structure and minimising thermal bridging are equally important.

 

Can I use underfloor heating to all floors?

Yes you can. Many of our customers install underfloor heating on the ground floor of their properties (usually constructed of concrete) and some install it on the first floor as well, although people often opt for conventional radiators upstairs.

One way to incorporate underfloor heating on the first floor of your home is to use a lightweight screed to cover the heating elements. A number of products are available to screed at first floor level, however you must take this into consideration at the design stage of your house as the floor joists will have to be designed to take into account the additional loadings that this type of floor creates.

 

What heating system can we install ?

All common systems can easily be accommodated.

 

Will the floors squeak?

We provide kiln-dried solid softwood joists as a standard option and use a high quality smartply floor deck which is glued and nailed to the joists to help eliminate any chance of the floor squeaking.

Many of our customers now opt for open metal web floor joists rather than solid timber. This type of floor construction makes it much easier to incorporate services into the floor zone without the risk of follow-on trades damaging the structure of the building. They also make it easier to include longer spans within the design of your new home.

 

When does the plasterboard arrive?

The plasterboard is provided on a client call off basis if it is included with the package and is dropped on site close to an entrance door. It is the clients responsibility to  carry it into the house and protect it from weather and damage.

 

Do all the components arrive at once?

No. We will maximise our deliveries to site with full loads to suit the frame erection schedule i.e. we wouldn’t expect to send the roof trusses out on day one.

Other items such as plasterboard and acoustic insulations are supplied on a call off basis. Please remember they will be subject to supplier lead times which are normally around 1-2 weeks.

 

Do you offer a guarantee/warranty?

As part of the build, a structural certificate is provided. You  can arrange a ten year structural warranty via Homebond.

 

Do you put the frame up?

99% of our frames are provided on a supply and erect basis. This has some advantages with VAT

 

Will you  check the base before delivery?

It is the responsibility of the sub-contractor to verify that the base is built to specification. Our erectors will check the base as they lay the sole plate but expect it to have been constructed accurately.

Can I get a mortgage on a timber frame?

Yes, timber frame is the most widely used structural system in the developed world.

What are our payment terms?

Our standard terms are 5%  non refundable booking deposit on placement of order with a payment 50% of the balance  prior to manufacture . The final 50% of balance is due on the completion of the erection of the structural frame subject to receipt of an appropriate payment guarantee which is required prior to erection.

 

Will I pay VAT on the frame package? 

VAT will be charged at the prevailing rate on all the supply only items in the package. It is a 13.5% rate for the main part of the frame provided this is erected by us.

 

Is insurance different on a timber frame?

No, there is no difference in the buildings insurance required for a timber frame building.

How much will the build cost?

The cost of the build will depend upon many different factors. Architectural style, size of property, ground conditions and level of specification all have a bearing on the build cost as well as your location and the route which you intend to use to undertake the construction work.

Whilst we can provide an indication of your likely build costs, we always recommend that you obtain expert advice from a Quantity Surveyor when establishing your budget. The good news is that self building is without doubt the most affordable and cost effective way of building your dream home and can yield savings of up to 30% when compared to buying a new house from a builder or developer.

 

Do you do the full build?

We are able to offer a turnkey solution on a local basis for those self builders who do not have the time or confidence to manage the project themselves. This service is provided through  recommended  builders.

 

How long will my build take?

Using a detailed build programme, you can expect to complete the construction element of your project in 20 to 25weeks.  Remember that prior to this, you will need to have your planning permission and  approvals in place, which may take up to 12 weeks.

Do I have to build the house myself? 

No, you can appoint a project manager or main contractor to handle  the build. Alternatively, you could  manage the project yourself on a self build basis.

Is timber frame cheaper than block? 

Timber frame and masonry are normally very similar in cost, though much will depend upon the specifics of the design. When comparing different build methods it’s important to ensure that performance levels between different systems are similar and that the timescales involved are understood.

Timber frame is credited as being one of the fastest and most reliable methods of build as much of the work is done off site in factory conditions.  Faster build times reduce site preliminary and labour costs and as there is less chance for things to go wrong or delays to be caused by bad weather, the price of a timber frame build is much more certain, which is a major benefit for the self-builder

 

What happens after the frame is erected?

Following our frame check and handover the follow on trades such as the roofer can commence and the window’s can be installed. No electrical of plumbing first fix should commence before the airtightness measures have been completed.

What happens if it rains on site?

The timber used in our products is kiln dried to low moisture levels. Exposure to rain during erection will not have any adverse effect as the timber will quickly dry out once the roof has been felt and battened. However, to ensure that exposure is kept to a minimum, we recommend that roof coverings are fixed immediately following completion of the timber structure. Damage to membranes should also be repaired as and when necessary.