Timber Frame:

Timber framed housing and construction systems

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Timber Frame in General:

There was a period when timber frame was out of fashion in the UK. This is no longer the case with the proportion of timber framed houses expected to reach 25% in 2008, albeit the figure is lifted by Scotland where over 70% of new houses are timber frame.

It is a popular method of construction for self-builders, and a number of package or 'kit' manufacturers to choose from -when selecting one, be sure to check the options available, in particular whether they provide their own designs or work from your architects plans. You may also wish to check whether they are members of the UK Timber Frame Association -look out for this logo.

There are also systems that are based around prefabricated components, such as SIPS (Structural Insulated Panel Systems). These are factory made structural cassettes made from structural timber framing and a sheet material such as plywood, and are fixed together on site. They may be left open on the inside for you to fix insulation and services, or closed, with all services and windows and doors fixed.


Scandia Hus offer free seminars each month to guide you through the various aspects of the self-build process at their show home in East Grinstead, Sussex. Scandia-Hus staff will be on hand to answer any questions and to give advice on aspects relating to your own particular plans, strategy and concerns. More information at www.scandia-hus.co.uk/seminars.html.

General information on Timber Frame

  • Good wood guide -Friends of the Earth guide to choosing renewable timber for DIY, home improvement, self build or construction projects.
  • Ecotimber -hardwood from managed sources.
  • TRADA -Timber Research and Development Association.
  • UK Timber Frame Association -technical information and guidance on timber frame, plus online search for members and free downloadable leaflets.

Self Build Systems

  • Beamlock -modular timber frame assembly system based on traditional oak frame tecniques.
  • Benfield ATT -a very comprehensive site from this leader in the design, engineering and manufacturing of individually-designed Timber Framed structures, based in South Wales.
  • BuildaKit -based in Skipton, Yorkshire, they do all aspects of timber frame from design to interior finished joinery.
  • Design and Materials -self build kit homes using eco friendly timber SIPS system.
  • Form & Space Ltd -a Design & Build turnkey company who use a German off-site manufactured panel system to offer high quality ecological timber frame houses of bespoke design.
  • Fjord Hus -self build Norwegian timber frame houses equipped with a proven quality heat recovery and ventilation system, available in Scotland and the north of England.
  • German Passive Houses -Irish distributors for German timber system houses.
  • Jorntrahus of Sweden -manufacturers of high quality log houses and homes for assembly on site.
  • Huf Haus -post and beam timber frame houses from Germany.
  • Log Home links -US site with links to builders, manufacturers and dealers of log homes and cabins.
  • Lukaslang -timber system Architecture of single components which can be joined and separated. Screw and pin connections ensure the greatest possible flexibility.
  • Potton -one of the UK's longest established timber frame manufacturers and market leaders in self build packaged housing.
  • Scandia Hus -self build low energy timber frame from Sweden.
  • Scotframe -timber frame engineering kits from Scotland.
  • Swedish House Company -tailor made high spec timber houses from Sweden, made using close grain pine from the Dalarna Forests.
  • Walter Segal Self Build Trust -UK charity advising on self build, ecological design, community initiatives & training.

Structural Insulated Panels

  • Build it Green -specialists in the supply and construction of pre-engineered building systems, using the super energy efficient Structural Insulated Panels technology.
  • Enviropanel -family company based in Cheshire that started out building insulated coldrooms for the retail industry.
  • Eurban -design, manufacture and installation of solid wood panel products -based in East London.
  • Panel Agency -specialise in development, marketing and distribution of wood based products with an emphasis on environmental sourcing -hardwoods, softwoods, glulam and panel systems.
  • Riko -houses built from solid laminated spruce with wood fibre insulation, manufactured in Slovenia.
  • Siptec -Bedfordshire based company specialising in the design, manufacture, and application of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs).

Timber Frame Housebuilders

  • Avalon Timber Frame -homes constructed in Devon, using a Swedish close-panel system for self build on site. They can provide design services if required.
  • Baufritz -award winning German house builder offering high quality, tailor made ecological homes. Their system was featured in the 'Grand Designs' house built in Bath by Tiffany and Jonny Wood.
  • Century Homes -say they are the largest timber frame building manufacturer in Britain, with expertise spanning all types of timber frame building projects, from a new custom home to large-scale housing development.
  • Harding Homes -dealer for Lindal Cedar Homes in England, Ireland and Wales -conventional timber framed building system providing a multiple of design choices and cost efficiencies.
  • Maple -excrutiating website -Maple have been designing, manufacturing and erecting Timber Frame structures for over ten years.
  • New World Timber Frame -manufacture timber frame solutions for commercial and residential developments -they aim to provide environmentally sound building solutions for modern building requirements.
  • Platz Haus -German timber frame house manufacturer -unfortunately at the time of review, their website was only in German, but they do have an office in Wantage.
  • Solo Timber Frame -design and erect bespoke timber frame houses throughout the UK -have developed a patented carbon zero construction method.
  • Touchwood Homes -constructors of environmentally friendly timber frame homes using Finnish timber.
See our pages on: Joinery | Green Oak | Log Cabins | | Timber Frame |
Also of interest: Timber Cladding | Timber Shingles | Timber Stairs |

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Featured books:

Timberframe Interiors
by Dick Pirozzolo, Linda Corzine
Gibbs Smith Publisher
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The Timber-frame Home
Tedd Benson
Hardcover - 240 pages (1 May, 1997)
The Taunton Press
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