Choosing a Timber Frame Checklist


Checklist provided by



Firstly, understand the benefits of timber frame.
Make sure the timber frame company is a member of UK Timber Frame Association.
If you’re using a mortgage to fund the build, make sure you let your lender know in advance that you’re considering timber frame. Whilst there is no difference in cost, they may need to structure the draw-downs differently.
  Always visit the manufacturers factory so you can be sure they’re not just acting as agents.
  Check out their previous projects – do you think this company is right for you? Will they meet your design aspirations?
  Ask to speak to previous clients (email is usually more appropriate though), or at the very least for testimonials.
  Do your best to understand the differences between each company you’re considering. Are they geared towards self-build, or large developments? Can they provide everything you want themselves or will they outsource certain elements?
Ask companies about modern timber frame construction and how it differs to traditional oak post and beam. If you want to combine the two, can the company offer this?
Weigh up the cost benefits of modern pre-fabricated timber frame systems versus traditional post and beam methods.
Know what is possible to build on the site you have.
Choose your design route: architect, timber frame company or off-the-shelf?
Understand u-values, and try to decide what level of thermal performance you would like. If in doubt, ask!
Understand what type of walls and joists are right for your build.
Work out what type of trusses you want.
Calculate and know the cost of the physical timber frame.
Be clear about what the timber frame includes and additional costs eg walls, windows, roof, floor, stairs etc.
Understand the lead time for delivery of the kit at different times of the year eg March to September may be longer than October to February. 
When asking other trades to quote for works such as foundations, scaffolding and so on, make sure you let them know your project will be timber frame construction. 


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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