• Benfield ATT Group
  • Fast Frame
  • Simply Self Build
  • Simply Build Extensions
  • TimberTecs
  • Beamlock
  • Home & Garden
  • Woodhouse
  • SolidLox

Possible Timber Frame Savings

Potential for Saving on Foundations

An often overlooked factor when considering comparative build costs is the costs of foundations. While these vary considerably depending on ground conditions and types of foundations designed and specified, the average cost of fairly standard ‘strip’ foundations for a ‘conventional’ masonry house would be around 20% of the total build cost. So, for a detached 4 bedroomed house of, say, 170m2 costing around £180,000 in total (depending on specification), one might expect the foundations to cost some £36,000.

Savings via Lightweight Structures

Because timber frame structures are much lighter than ‘conventional’ masonry buildings, particularly if the are designed to eliminate costly and unnecessary external brick ‘skins’ around the external walls, then the potential exists to reduce foundations costs considerably. In some cases it is suggested that a 35% to 40% reduction could be possible – say £12,000 for the example house given above.

Savings in ‘Bad Ground’

This issue of building weight on foundations and ultimately the underlying ground can sometimes also make a difference where poor loadbearing ground conditions are encountered. This may enable deep piling, for example, to be avoided, or simple rafts used instead of deep ‘trench fill’ excavations and massive amounts of concrete to put in these.

Lightweight Timber Frame Strucutre for Health Centre Complex
saved costs of difficult ground conditions


Savings by Minimising Tree Problems

The ability afforded by the use of (relatively) ‘lightweight’ timber frame structures to take a different approach to the consideration of soil conditions and foundation design provides another benefit. If potentially long (and deep) foundation trenches, for example, are not necessary, then cutting through tree roots can be avoided.

And if ways can be found to ensure that trees will not be damaged, then it can ease the path to obtaining planning permissions for otherwise very difficult to develop sites.

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