TIMBER FRAME HOUSES
What is a timber frame house ?
If you are currently thinking about building a private house for your family, a construction of a timber frame private house is a worthwhile solution. Such a house has excellent thermal insulation, it is a natural and therefore the most healthy home. As well as the construction of a timber frame private house is relatively fast and such a house has low construction and maintenance costs.
Wood is one of the natural materials that man has always used in housing construction. Timber frame houses have long been built in the Scandinavian countries, Japan, the United States and Canada. The oldest timber frame houses in Germany are about 800 years old. And it proves that with the right construction technology, a timber frame house is extremely durable. Frame technology has been used in building construction for a long time. However, relatively recently (in recent decades) this technology has become popular in the construction of private houses, because it has special advantages.
The most practical, fastest and most convenient solution is a timber frame building, which is built from prefabricated timber frame systems, which is why such a house is also called a modular house, prefabricated house or panel house. This technology allows the building to be built very quickly (in about three months) and the construction to proceed quickly and accurately, as much less human labor is used.
A timber frame house is energy efficient because the walls have high thermal insulation performance and low thermal conductivity of the enclosing structures, and the use of modern, efficient thermal insulation materials reduces heating costs. In a wooden frame house, it is pleasantly cool in the heat of summer, while in winter the wooden walls radiate warmth, creating a feeling of comfort.Such a house also has good sound insulation, as well as low construction costs, because the frame technology has affordable prices and a simple assembly process.
As the structure consists of prefabricated sections, a design must be given to the manufacturer. Many companies have a range of predesigned structures and also offer bespoke services. This does away with the need for an architect as their own staff can aid with the initial design. They can also ensure planning regulations and fire regulations are met before frame construction begins. If a stick build is planned they can provide the basic timber and advice on construction.
This method involves constructing the building from the basic timber without prefabrication. However, this requires the use of highly skilled staff to ensure the structure is erected correctly. It also leads to a longer build time and a greater risk of mistakes during construction. While avoiding prefabrication reduces the initial cost of building materials, this is beyond the skill level of many self builders. The need for specialised staff can also drive up build costs.
The frames themselves consist of hardwood studs and braces nailed with simple butt joints to top and base plates. The outer wall surface usually consists of cladding with sheet material, usually plywood, nailed or screwed to the studwork. These two elements are responsible for transferring horizontal and vertical loads to the foundations. The boards forming the outer wall are also covered with a breathable, water resistant membrane. This protects the outer layer during building and provides another line of defence if the external cladding is penetrated by moisture. For an open frame construction these are the only frame elements. In a closed frame an inner layer of boards is also attached and a layer of insulation is inserted between the boards. Doors and windows may also be fitted and even electrics and plumbing installed within the wall sections.
The most common method of construction is known as a platform frame. The floor is built first and then the frames erected on top, using the floor as a building platform. Using this method, each storey is built as a separate operation. Another method is balloon frame, where two storey wall sections are erected on the floor and the first storey floor fitted afterwards. This method is not used for three storey buildings. The size of the frames will dictate whether they can be manually erected or if a crane will be necessary to lift them into place.
Once the frame of the building is complete and roof trusses attached the final layer of external cladding can be attached. This can be made from a variety of materials depending on the desired finish. This could be a layer of brickwork or masonry attached to the external surface of the frame by wall ties across an inner cavity. Wooden cladding or shingles attached to treated wooden batons can also be used for a more natural look. The wooden layer covering the rafters will also need to be clad with roof tiles, felt or a similar roofing material. This not only improves the overall appearance but also adds another layer of weatherproofing. This stage completes the basic construction.
Charecteristics of timber frame house
- It is light, and allows quick construction with no heavy tools or equipment. Every component can easily be carried by hand – a house essentially becomes a large carpentry job. The main tool is a handheld nail gun.
- It is able to adapt itself to any geometric shape, and can be clad with a variety of materials.
- There are a huge variety of products and systems tailored to this type of construction.