Timber frames are as popular as ever in building construction, particularly with self builds. They are fast and relatively easy ways to build, so it is no surprise that their popularity remains strong.
In this post, we will look at the different ways to construct timber wall frames. Remember that oak is generally regarded to be the best material as it is particularly strong and durable compared to other hardwoods.
This is when you choose to build using the original timber without any prefabrication of the frames. You will need someone with a high level of skill to make sure it is structurally sound as it is erected. The build time will be longer and there will be a risk of errors creeping in. Avoiding prefabrication may seem attractive as the upfront cost of materials for building is less, but most self-builders will not have the necessary skills to do this.
The frames are made up of hardwood studs nailed with butt joints to base and top plates. The external wall is usually made up of cladding over a sheet material like plywood. This, plus the stud work, makes up the vertical and horizontal loads applied upon the foundations.
There will also be a porous, water-resistant layer on the external wall to protect during the building process and defend the base material in the event that moisture penetrates the cladding. If you choose a closed frame, as opposed to an open one, you will also get inner boards attached to an insulating layer. They can even be provided with windows and doors fitted, and/or plumbing and electrics inside the wall sections.
The most popular construction method is referred to as a platform frame. It starts with building the floor, after which the frames are fitted on top. The floor makes up a building platform, and this is repeated for each storey as individual operations.
An alternative approach is balloon frame, wherein two-storey wall sections are put up atop the ground floor and the floor for the first storey is fitted later. This approach is not applicable for buildings with three storeys. The frame size will determine whether or not they can be erected without the need for a crane.
After the timber wall frames and roof trusses have all been assembled, the finishing layer is the exterior cladding. This comes in various materials, dependent on what sort of finish you want. You could choose a layer of masonry or brickwork fixed to the frame’s outer surface using wall ties. You can also have wooden cladding or shingles, fixed onto treated wooden batons to achieve a more organic look.
The wood that covers the rafters must be clad with tiles or another roofing material. It will improve the general aesthetic and also weatherproof the building more effectively. After this, the basic construction is complete.
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