Timber Frame Cost Influencers

The Influence of Factory Manufacture on Costs

With timber frame the materials / components for the walls probably cost more than masonry. However, this is partially due to them being put together, or manufactured, in a factory.


Building Alexandra Palace Exhibition Lodge in Benfield ATT Factory

Pre-Buildng Exhibition Glulam Post & Beam Lodge in Factory

In contrast, by its very nature’ on-site construction’ means that such ‘assembly’ costs of labour are incurred at the place of construction. On the other hand, the on-site labour costs for timber frame are much less than for masonry.

Influence of Building Programmes on Costs

While the processes and programme for timber frame construction are slightly different between the two methods, in practice the other works required to complete a building are similarly balanced. Higher costs in one compensate for lower costs in another, and vice versa.

Building Programme GANNT Chart - Porject Commander

Project Commander GANTT Chart as used for Timber Frame Projects

Architects Say Timber Frame Costs Less

Although in the past the Benfield ATT Group have been advised by design and supervising Architects that their timber frame projects had worked out at slightly lower costs(circa 3%-5%) than similar masonry projects, our inclination has always been to say that actual on-site costs were about the same.

Other Building Programme Costs

However, when the time savings available from the use of timber frame are taken into account, then considerable savings can be achieved on items classed as ‘Preliminaries’.

The Building Regulations 2010

Since October 2010 the way the UK addresses it’s Building Regulations has changed in at least two significant respects. Whereas sections of the previous ‘rules’ were fairly prescriptive, effectively stating what was acceptable practice, the new 2010 Regs. let designers and specifiers suggest and invent ways in which to meet performance criteria.

Building Regulations 2010

Flexibility to Meet Performance Criteria

The big difference is that the performance criteria are pre-determined, not the way in which a building must be constructed in order to meet these. In particular the emphasis is upon environmental sustainability.

Key Changes

As against the previous 2006 building regulations , a 25% improvement is required in both energy efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions. Buildings are also subject to various testing regimes generally requiring approval, or ‘pass’ certificates before they can be occupied.

(A more detailed summary of Key Changes is available in the Benfield ATT Group web site’s Technical Section)

As Local Authority Building Control (LABC) partners we are well placed to help your meet these.

LABC Local Authority Building Control Partners


If you have a particular question or problem we’ll be happy to answer it for you.
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