Is oak frame expensive?
People who are self-building or looking to have a home built for the first time often shy away from timber frame buildings because they think they might be too expensive. But this isn’t the case and oak frame, in particular, makes an excellent first time self-build option. You can work with a company that creates the oak frame to your specifications or use one that is already planned, and this makes the design process quicker and easier.
Oak frame buildings are also very easy to adjust and to accommodate changes in the design or later to add to the property. And should you come to sell the property at a later time, oak frame buildings have a very good resale value, with resale costs around 20% more than the average market value. This means that not only are oak frame building not expensive to build but you can also make a good profit on them if you decide to sell at a later time.
What is the maximum span for a timber truss?
The size of a timber truss is an important part of designing a building and while there are no set maximum sizes, there are some best practices. For example, an 8-10 metre span for a timber truss is quite a long one and can lead to problems. Ideally, it is better to subdivide this into a main frame of around 5 metres with a 2.5 metre aisle on each side. This is a way to achieve that 10 metre span that can be desired while still making sure that the roof support system is strong and durable.
There are also different styles of timber roof truss that can be used to achieve the look you want. When you work with a timber frame specialist, you can have this custom designed if you have a specific look you want to achieve while still ensuring that the roof is strong and able to support the roofing materials.
Is a timber home more likely to burn down?
There’s a long standing fear that using a timber frame for your home or extension makes it more likely to burn down but like a lot of ideas, this is one that isn’t based in fact. For starters, structural timber is not quick to burn. Firefighters have shown in research that they would prefer to enter a timber frame building that is on fire than other styles for a number of reasons including that the burn and char rate is predictable and that the wood is not explosive.
Added to that, all timber frames that are commercially available have to be manufactured and erected in compliance with certain regulations and warranties. These are designed to protect against things like fire as much as possible. A good way to see it is that lenders and insurance companies make no difference between masonry and timber frame constructions in terms of fire risk or general rating.
How do I incorporate lighting in a vaulted ceiling with exposed timber beams?
Vaulted ceilings are popular exposed timber beam designs but also offer their own challenges. You can approach it in a number of different ways. For example, LED strips around the top of the frame before the roof slopes at a wall plate level can look amazing and offer a surprisingly large amount of illumination to the room. LED strips are readily available in soft and pure white light and you can even get other styles.
Another option is to add a pendant ceiling light as a real feature in the room. If you want to go for this approach, you need to get the hole drilled and first fix in the wiring before the roof is tiled. That makes it easy to just drop the cables through and attach them to the light fixture before attaching its fixtures to the exposed roof beams. This allows you to have a centre feature light and you can still use LED strips if you want to increase lighting levels in larger spaces.
How do I insulate the roof of an oak frame building?
Insulating an oak frame building or extension is something worth considering as it has a big impact on the energy efficiency of the home. There are different approaches you can take too. Let’s say you are creating a vaulted roof on an extension with an 8×2 rafter. Then you can either insulate within the structure or above it. If you go for between the rafters, then 6 inch insulation would work then over board inside with 1 inch board before plaster boarding.
Alternatively, you can go for a warm roof where the insulation is outside the structure. In these designs, you can go as thick as you want but you do want to look at the visual side of things. If it is too thick and very visual, it might spoil the aesthetics of the home. generally, air flow gaps need to be 50mm to ensure they meet building regulations and hit current recommended standards.
How do you create an exposed oak frame?
One of the most common ways to make an oak frame home is to encapsulate the timbers in SIP or other cladding materials including brick and render. But if you want to have exposed wood inside or outside the property, even both, then this can be achieved in a few different ways.
One example is to use half-width timbers that mean the large structural beams and posts can be seen inside and outside but others are hidden beneath the building panels. Secondary timbers are only visible on one side so this allows an uninterrupted layer of insulation on the walls. Known as 3i panel system, this can achieve a U value of 0.25 for the entire wall, not just the central panel of it. this two-layer system means that elements such as barge boards, soffits and fascia’s can also be added after the encapsulation, so they don’t pierce through the panel system.
Is oak suitable for an energy efficient extension?
A big concern for many people is how energy efficient their home is and when you are adding an extension, this can be a big worry. With oak framed extensions, there is a lot you can do to make the structure insulated and energy efficient without spoiling the look of things. For example, insulation is achieved using external insulation panels that are wrapped around the frame to make the space well insulated.
The use of high quality double glazing in any windows and doors also adds to the energy efficiency. You can even consider looking to add a ventilation and heat recovery system that can help save some of the energy used and recycle it back to cut down on energy waste. In fact, there was recently the first official Passivhaus oak framed home constructed in the UK which shows what standards can be reached with this type of structure.
What do I need to consider if building an oak frame bungalow?
When you are considering building an oak frame bungalow, you want to think about the flow and transition of the building in much the same way as with other single storey homes like barns. You want to try and avoid corridors, for example, and looks to get lines of sight from the various areas straight out into the garden. The idea is to connect the different rooms of the house together in a smooth way without putting lots of walls, barriers and other blocks in place.
This is good to do with oak framed bungalows as well as because they are being created from scratch and therefore you can focus the transitions into the very design from the start of the process. You can look at interesting new or traditional elements that will work with your overall design while creating spaces and light in the rooms that you make in the home.