The Benefits of Timber Frame Extensions

This home extension question was answered by Ian Wilkins of IWA Surveying and Planning in Kent.

Benefits of a timber frame extensionQ: 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
  • Eco-friendly
  • 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.

Antony Braithwaite says:

Hello we are looking to build a timber frame extentsion and would really appriciate any help and advice that you can provide.
Look forward to your reply.


Mr A Braithwaite

ablyth says:

Hi Anthony, you can contact Ian Wilkins for further advice on by emailing him at You can also get free advice and up to four free quotes from extension specialists in your local area by filling in this form.

Penny Blake-Tinley says:

We need to create more space asap. We are a family of 6 living in a 1930s brick built, block lined and rendered bungalow-the main part of the building forms a square with a steeply pitched roof meeting in the middle, internal space approx 22’6″ x 22’6″and the living room is built forward at the front of the square, internal size approx 13’6″ x 14’6″ with a low fairly steep roof offering no internal space for conversion. We had an architect look at the building last year and he said we may get one good sized room over the main building as aloft conversion. We have considered a two story rear extension but this is costly. The architect suggested a better alternative may be to extend upwards by putting on a wood framed second floor.

We are on a tight budget (aren’t we all) and would be grateful for an opinion and rough estimate.

samrat says:

Hi Penny,
Loft conversion is always a viable option for homeowners with small budget. To get a rough estimate of the cost, you can refer to our article of loft conversion cost here and also get a no-obligation free quote for UP TO 4 loft conversion companies by filling out this form. Hope this helps.

Jannine burgess says:

We are purchasing our new home & first on the list is a new extension, the house was built in 1794 so not sure about the foundations it currently has a single storey/brick garage attached which is where we want a 2 storey extension. I understand this will have to be demolished but wondered about a timber extension & what type of footing it requires?

mjackson says:

Hi Jannine,

Thanks for your post. Should you need quotes as well as advice, we would be more than happy to process a request form and try and put you in touch with up to 4 local companies who will be able to provide you with free quotes on anything you need doing.
Should you only be seeking advice at this stage, we recommend contacting contractors directly from your local telephone directory.

We hope that this helps and wish you all the best with the purchase.

Mark @ ServiceMagic

Pam Mundy says:

I need to create a single storey dwelling for my Mum who is disabled. I will be using the double brick built garage for the main part of this project and need to create a bedroom/ sitting area of 12ft x 16ft to attach to the garage. It can be either a flat roof or slightly pitched roof with one narrow end having either patio doors or French windows. Please can you tell me if this is doable and roughly the cost for pre-fabrication and erection on a concrete base, which is already in place?

Many thanks


mjackson says:

Hi Pam,

We would suggest contacting a local builder or architect who can advise on the feasibility of the project.
As we aren’t professionals, it would be hard for us to advise.

Annika says:

Hello. My manor house in Sweden was built in 1882.

Like 99 % of houses in Scandinavia, it is timber framed.
360 m2 on 2 floors plus cellars.
No cracks.
No damp.
No problems when it’s -30 C.

Just saying…..

mjackson says:

Hi Annika,

Thanks for your post and information.


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