The Benefits of Timber Frame Extensions
This home extension question was answered by Ian Wilkins of IWA Surveying and Planning in Kent.
Q: I’m saving up for a home extension and am looking into materials and designs. What are the benefits of a timber frame extension?
A: Timber is not a structure I would recommend in the first instance, I prefer traditional building methods. As a major structural element wood tends to come with problems, such as water absorption and cracking. However, if well-maintained, timber frames do have many benefits.
Why Choose a Timber Frame Extension?
Since the housing market is still suffering right now, those craving a bigger home may want to look into extending rather than moving house. As long as you’ve got the space and planning permission, then an extension is a relatively quick, cost-effective way of increasing the size and value of your property. If you do choose to carry out an extension, it’s worth considering using a timber frame.
What are the Benefits of Timber Frame House Extensions?
Wooden frames are:
- Quick to build
- Can come in prefabricated format
- Relatively cheap option in comparison to the alternatives
- Long-lasting and robust when built and maintained properly
- Blend well into rural surroundings
- Easy to heat
What are the Disadvantages of a Timber Frame Extension?
- Wood is a porous material that is susceptible to fire, insects and water unless properly treated
- Wood is a good transmitter of noise, so wood may not be the best option if you live in a noisy area
- If you are designing a long extension then you may want to consider another alternative. Timber is very strong vertically, but not so horizontally.
Eco-friendly Timber Frame Extensions
Despite what some people may think, using a timber frame is actually one of the most eco-friendly methods of building. Many people automatically think of the problems with deforestation, which whilst a very unfortunate problem, is not a consequence of the UK construction industry, which 90% of the time uses European softwood. Timber is a completely renewable and non-toxic building material and best of all its carbon neutral even after factoring in transportation.
How to Build a Wooden Extension
Building a wood frame extension is no mean feat, and unless you’ve had extensive building experience, it’s probably a job best left to the professionals. Contact several local timber frame companies that have the resources and knowledge to build a timber frame extension. First port of call should be your family and friends, recommendations go a long way in the building industry. Gather at least three quotes, this will provide you with an average you can expect to spend on the timber frame extension.
Timber Frame Extension Prices
A wooden extension is likely to cost between £800 and £1,500 per square meter, so ensure that you have worked out your budget accordingly.