When it comes to building a new home, or even an home extension, there are lots of decisions to make and lots of conflicting information out there. One of the most common questions that we, as trusted Bolton builders, get asked is ‘should I build using a timber frame or masonry?’ Although house building with timber frames is actually the more traditional method over the last couple of centuries the predominant method of housebuilding in the UK has been using bricks (and/or blockwork) and mortar. But considering modern building methods, which should you choose? Have a look at our thoughts on some of the main points of contention between the two building methods below.
Many people assume that as timber is a natural substance then it is the more environmentally friendly build choice. However first of all you need to assure that your timber is from a sustainable source and secondly what you really need to be thinking about is insulation. Timber is naturally a thermally insulating material, more so than masonry; however a traditional brick and blockwork wall that has an increased cavity size that has been filled with top quality insulation can now match the thermal properties of timber.
It is often assumed that timber framed houses will cost more to build than those constructed from masonry, however this need not always be the case. Timber frames are usually made off site and then just erected and fitted together on site in between one and two weeks. This can mean that the extra cost of the frame itself may be offset by the savings in labour on site. Also you have to remember that the frame of the house is only part of the overall cost. Money can either be saved or spent on all of the other parts of the house which can in some cases make the cost difference negligible in the long term.
It is often claimed that building a timber framed home can be as much as 30% quicker than building using masonry. This is mainly because so much of the work can be done off site. This means that from the time that the frame arrives on site to being a watertight structure can be up to 4 weeks earlier than the initial building stages of a brick ad blockwork house. However it is important to remember that the lead in times for timber frame manufacturers are much longer than the time it takes to simply get a load of bricks and blocks to site.
To find out more about the building choices that you have for your dream home project, whether that be an entirely new build, smart extension, new kitchen, bathroom, loft conversion or even just getting all of those niggly little jobs seen to, then contact the friendly chaps at for a free, no obligation chat.
Many people love the idea of transforming their home with a loft conversion, extension or even basement room, but are put off by the perceived cost. However there are a number of simple design choices that you can make which can significantly reduce the overall cost of your building project. Have a look at some of our top tips below.
Keep your loft conversion simple
Although it may be tempting to plan your loft conversion to include mansard roofs or a dormer conversion, bear in mind that these will cost significantly more than if you plan to just include a number of simple roof lights. Of course you will get less headroom and possibly limit your useable floor space, but if you can live with that then it will save you money. Other money-saving tips for loft extension include positioning any bathrooms directly above those on the floor below so that installing water and soil pipes is much simpler.
Consider sharing your side return
If you are going to extend out into the side return to increase the side of your kitchen then it might be worth seeing if your neighbour is also having the same thoughts. Being able to share a builder will save you money and also make any party wall issues much simpler and cheaper to resolve.
Think about drainage
If at all possible it is worth planning any project to keep draining as simple as possible. For example if your plan includes building over a manhole cover which will then need moving, this could add up to £2,000 to the cost of your build. Also, as with loft conversions, try and keep all water and drainage as close to existing supplies as possible, as having to extend or create new pipelines will add to your costs.
Buy off the peg
When designing your project it is worth trying to include as many simple shapes as possible which will mean that you will be able to take advantage of standard materials and off-the-shelf windows and doors.
Think second hand
Not only might you be able to save money by looking to eBay and other such avenues to source second hand (think ‘vintage’ or ‘retro’!) materials and items such as radiators, doors, sinks etc, but you can even make some money by selling the things that you will have to get rid of as part of your project. You can even sell your old kitchen units or even your old conservatory!
For more information about how you can achieve the home of your dreams on a budget, contact the friendly builders at Wisecraft Ltd for a no obligation chat.