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Looking for prefab timber frames for
your next home or project?

Prefab 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.


This post will look at the different ways to construct prefab timber frames. Experts regard oak as the best material as it is particularly strong and durable compared to other hardwoods.

Stick build

A stick build is when you choose to build using timber without prefabrication of the frames. Stick builds require a high skill level to ensure it is structurally sound. The build time will be longer and there will be a risk of errors. Avoiding prefabrication may seem attractive as the upfront cost of materials for the building is less, but most owner-builders will not have the necessary skills to do this.

Prefab timber frame construction

Prefab timber frames consist of hardwood studs nailed with butt joints to the base and top plates. Usually, the external wall consists 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 if moisture penetrates the cladding. If you choose a closed frame, instead of an open one, you will also get inner boards attached to an insulating layer. A closed frame allows for the fitting of windows and doors, and/or plumbing and electrics inside the wall sections.

Erecting prefab timber frames

The most popular construction method is platform framing. It starts with building the floor, with the frames fitted on top. The floor makes up a building platform, and the same process applies to each storey as individual operations.


An alternative approach is balloon framing. Balloon framing consists of erecting two-storey wall sections atop the ground floor. The floor for the first storey is fitted later. This approach is not applicable for buildings with three storeys. A crane may be necessary to erect the frames, depending on their size.

Exterior cladding on prefab timber frames

After the assembly of the prefab timber frames and roof trusses, the finishing layer is the exterior cladding commences. 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 rafters’ wood needs cladding with tiles or other roofing material. It will improve the general aesthetic and also weatherproof the building more effectively. After this, the basic construction is complete.

Get expert help

We can provide quotes, budgets, and advice, so please contact us today on (02) 4351 2616 and speak to one of our experts. You can also visit us at www.heydenframeandtruss.com.au, if you need additional information about our products and services.

We service the regions of Sydney, Gosford, Newcastle, Central Coast, and surrounding areas.

We supply and deliver all over Northern Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast.

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