Despite being an older method, there was a time when building a timber frame home in the UK and Ireland was considered a non-traditional choice. Securing a loan or mortgage was more difficult as lenders believed timber-framed buildings were a less secure investment than brick-and-mortar structures.
However, as technologies advance, demand grows and concerns over sustainability increase, the house-building industry looks ready to embrace timber frame construction once more.
When time is of the essence
Demand for new homes is currently so strong that house builders are unable to keep up with it. Moreover, the duration of a build on a brick home is so protracted that acceleration in supply is impossible. With this in mind, the UK housing secretary championed the notion that off-site construction was a key element in meeting demand and freed up 3bn in loans designed to support families and their timber frame construction company of choice.
Off-Site Market Leader
While traditional “pre-fab” housing tended to be of a concrete construction, around 90 per cent of all of today’s pre-fabricated homes are the more attractive, timber frame option. With better, more defined and speedier finishing times, timber frame buildings from suppliers such as QTF Homes now make up more than 27 per cent of new-build UK homes.
When we think of environmental concerns and sustainability, building a house that will last three centuries seems like the most economical action, and wood homes have long raised eyebrows in the sustainability market. However, new masonry homes are being increasingly built and planned for a shorter lifecycle – one that a timber home can easily meet.
This makes timber the better option. Timber frame materials are usually cheaper, more sustainable and more energy-efficient than masonry. During production, the materials don’t require too much energy to produce and generate fewer emissions. Wood also benefits from greater thermal efficiency as it is a natural insulator that both retains heat and is quick to warm.
With great design, off-site manufacturing and a build time of around eight weeks, its easy to see the attraction of timber frame homes. For many people, however, the price is the deciding point. At a fraction of the cost of a masonry house, timber frame houses mean more and more families will have somewhere to call home.