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Can I Build A Timber Frame Extension UK

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  • Timber frame extensions, Timber frame, Timber frame cost, Timber frame planning
  • Posted date:
  • 27-04-2021
Can I Build A Timber Frame Extension UK

Benefits of timber frame extensions.

One of the primary benefits of timber frame extensions is their versatility. You can add a timber frame extension to any home in the UK. Their prefabricated nature means that they are as well suited to wraparound extensions as they are to first-floor extensions, two-storey extensions and ground floor extensions. Timber frame extensions can be implemented into nearly any house in any way. 

In conjunction with their versatility, the timber frame extension cost of the construction materials is practically negligible compared with traditional bricks and mortar elements. When considering which materials you would like to use in your extension work, then the added versatility of timber frame extension clearly gives them a cost-effective edge here. Therefore, you do not need to worry about any additional budget costs or potentially more expensive materials when considering a timber frame extension.

The nature of timber frame extensions also means that extensions created with them are far quicker to construct when compared with traditional methods. Given that the timber frame is built off-site, the construction method will not depend on the weather conditions, unlike brick and mortar construction. The speed with which the timber frame extension can be installed means that rain does not need to be considered. The speed of installing the timber frame extensions also means that they are watertight quicker. Therefore, you can start your secondary extension work, such as electrics, plumbing, or plastering, far sooner with timber frames.

Additionally, there's far less risk of shrinkage regarding your plastering if you use timber frame structures, meaning you can get started on your internal decoration, design and insulation almost immediately. So, with the negligible price difference, greater versatility and faster construction, it is of obvious benefit for you to choose a timber frame extension for your existing home. Timber frame extensions are also hassle-free for you as a homeowner, meaning that costs, construction time and mess are all mitigated.

Is a Timber Frame Extension Cheaper than Other Systems?

As a general rule, timber frame extensions are cheaper than other, more traditional extension methods. The main contributing factor to the cheaper price included with timber frame extensions is the reduced labour time required to construct them compared to brick and mortar construction. The accuracy with which this lower price can be determined also means that the shorter construction times involved with timber frame extensions means they are also more predictable. As previously mentioned, the timber frame construction is not reliant on the weather, meaning it can be undertaken in any weather, allowing us to predict the timescale of timber frame extension work more accurately. 

If you are considering increasing your current mortgage or even creating a new one, it is best to check with your lender regarding the external finish of the extension. Some lenders may have more conservative parameters that they will accept regarding the exterior finish of your timber frame extensions, limiting the number of mortgage lenders you can do business with. Ultimately, as with any extension or addition to your home, you should make sure that the work being done will ultimately increase the value of your property before you undertake any significant work. 

How Much Does a Timber Frame Extension Cost?

Here in the UK, the average cost of a timber-framed extension you can expect to pay anywhere between £1,400 and £2,400 per square metre. However, this is only an average, and the actual price you will pay for your timber frame extension will depend on various factors. These factors include the finish you want for the timber frame used in the construction, the quality of the materials used to construct your timber frame extension and the size and complexity of the work being carried out.

Several options are open to you regarding the materials you may want to construct your timber frame extension. The most common timber species used when creating these sorts of extensions are red or white oak, pine and cedar. Each of these wood species comes with its own individual benefits and differing prices, so you should consider carefully what kind of timber you want to use to create your extension. It is often best to check first with the contractors you have hired which materials would be the best choice for you. They will be able to lend a professional eye to the situation and suggest the best course. Of course, lower prices mean compromising quality, and cheaper timber will often lose its structural integrity a lot quicker than higher-quality wood. 

You may also want to employ multiple finishes to give your timber frame extension the perfect aesthetic. Common exterior finishes include red brickwork, external cladding or rendered boards. Again, much like the timber that your extension will be constructed from, each different finishing material comes with its benefits and varying price. As an additional feature, finishes will also add to the overall cost of your extension project. You should also consider the final look of the timber frame extension after the finishes have been added before you start spending your cash. Take your time and evaluate your options carefully. 

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Timber Frame Extension?

It is not an essential step of your extension process to apply for planning permission. If your proposed project site falls within specific parameters regarding your timber frame extension's size and position, you are allowed to begin construction without planning permission under Permitted Development Rights. Alternatively, if your proposed extension site falls outside of the remit of these development rights, then you need to apply for planning permission before you begin construction.

It is always best to check with your local authority before beginning any construction. If only to give you the peace of mind knowing that your project is officially viable, your local authority will be able to provide you with any planning permission information you may need for your property. Some instances where timber frame extensions may be a problem is if your house is a listed property or within the site, wall or curtilage of a listed property.  

Which Exterior Finish is Best for a Timber Frame Extension?

As previously mentioned, you may wish to add several kinds of exterior finish to your timber frame extension once it is constructed. It can be difficult choosing from the varying options, but through diligent research and a steady, considered approach, you can be sure of choosing the right finish for your extension. 

Here are a few of the exterior finish options that you may want to consider for your timber frame extension:

  • Facing brick
  • Rendered brickwork/blockwork
  • Natural stone
  • Reconstituted stone
  • Brick slips
  • Timber frame panels
  • Fibre cement cladding
  • Metal cladding
  • Render board system

Again, each of these options offers certain benefits and aesthetics, and you should think carefully about how you want your extension to look and function once the finish has been applied. One crucial function to bear in mind is that if your extension is being constructed on the boundary of your property, then the external finish must be non-combustible. Regarding Building Regulations, any finish to your timber frame extension must allow for a minimum fire resistance time of one hour. This is a vital safety feature to bear in mind when building a timber frame.

Are you looking for a self build consultant to help you with your building project? Our chartered civil engineer specialises in timber frame building, offering project management throughout all stages of the process. Alexander Project Management work with construction companies and individual home builders throughout Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Contact us or call 01525 240679