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22 February 2022

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Is Brick and Block Cheaper than Timber Frame?

The physical operations of building or landscaping, as well as other associated activities such as demolition and site clearance, are all included in the building construction process. Be it timber frame construction or brick and block construction, which are the most popular in this industry, the aforementioned activities are present.

When building a property, it is important to consider its method of construction, as this could affect the overall costs. On this basis, we have put this article together to answer the question on which is more expensive, putting into consideration all they each entail, including their pros and possible cons.

Timber Frame Construction

Timber frame construction through a timber frame construction company makes use of external and internal stud walls, floor joists, and roof trusses. These materials are prefabricated to form the superstructure, which is a full structural frame that carries the vertical and horizontal loads to the foundations. Prior to this, the structural design must be first considered, to ascertain the structure the frame will take for the construction.

Here at Structural Timber Frame, being a timber frame construction company, we pride ourselves on the abilities of our in-house timber frame designers. They are here to collaborate with you to build a timber engineering solution that is both simple to construct and structurally solid. We create clear plans using our 40 years of industry experience and knowledge, as well as the latest design tools, to provide you with a visual depiction of what the structure will look like.

With this structural visualisation, we go on to manufacture the timber frame, regardless of the design’s complexity to an extremely high quality. Our external wall panels are from 89mm to 195mm thick, with a height that is up to 3m high and a length of 4.8m. We also pre-insulate external wall panels with rigid insulation boards to meet the requirements of any specification.

The design and manufacturing processes are both off-site, but the installation process is on-site. Basically, this involves transporting the timber frame to the construction site and erecting the panels. 

In most cases, we create a weather-proof building in a few days, to enable the work to continue in a sheltered setting still within the building. This happens simultaneously with the exterior cladding and roof finishing. The timber frame construction can then be coated in brick, wood, fibre cement board, rendered, or tiled, which will serve as both decor and weather protection for the dwelling.

Pros

  • Durability: Contrary to the general perception, a timber frame can stand the test of time, so far as the material used is of high quality, and the timber frame construction company used is as reliable as ours.
  • Cost-effectiveness: With this construction method, more pricing certainty can be achieved.
  • Easy Maintenance: Timber frame construction is relatively easy and inexpensive to maintain. 
  • Low Carbon Footprint: According to studies, even imported timber has a considerably lower carbon footprint than other common construction methods.
  • Quick build time: Timber materials in construction are easy to work with and relatively quick to install.
  • Excellent thermal insulation: It decreases the capacity to conduct heat since they have natural thermal insulating qualities. As a result, less energy for heating and cooling is required.

Cons

  • Rot and Infestation: If inferior or pressure-treated materials with preservatives are used for its construction, then there will be a rot. This is why Structural Timber frame is the timber frame construction company for you.
  • Risk of Fire: If timber frames are not properly erected and fire protection is not installed during construction, the risk of fire will be on the increase.

Brick and Block Construction

Also known as modern masonry, brick and block construction is the most common building method in the UK. Regardless of the rapid growth and popularity of timber frame construction, brick and block are still very much present in the market.

With an internal and external skin of bricks, brick and block construction use a cavity wall with a gap in between. This gap is more often than not filled with insulation, and is all set on a concrete foundation and held together by wall ties. Simply put, it uses an outer layer of bricks and an inner layer of blocks, with insulation between them.

Pros

  • Durability: Like timber frame construction, brick and block construction are durable and can stand the test of time. 
  • High soundproof: The design of brick and block construction creates an excellent soundproof system.
  • Energy efficiency: Because of how strong the insulation is, energy bills are minimised, especially if there is an extra layer of insulation between the walls.
  • Low maintenance: This construction method is not susceptible to factors like mould, rodents, or pests that can affect its structure.

Cons

  • High Construction Cost: This is due to the materials needed as well as the overall time of construction as it takes a lot of time.
  •  Susceptible to Water Seepage: Its water absorption rate is high, coupled with how liable to cracks they are. This can cause long term damage if not taken care of on time.

Which is more Expensive?

Timber frame construction is often less expensive, and there is greater predictability in your costs, with fewer surprises. This is largely based on the overall cost of materials used, hence its cost-effectiveness.

So, if you are considering adding extensions to or renovating your timber frame properties, or building a new timber frame property, we are just a phone call away. Get in contact with us today, to enjoy the best service there is in timber frame construction from the best timber frame construction company.