Anyone who remembers the tale of the Three Little Pigs might think that timber is not the best material to use for constructing houses. Fortunately, that’s just a nursery rhyme, and the realities of building with timber frames are much more reassuring than the myths that surround them.
1. Are They Stable?
In short, yes. In fact, the flexibility of timber-frame constructions means they are actually more suited to particularly gusty areas in exposed locations where other construction methods might result in cracking. For this reason, timber-frame construction is often relied upon in countries subjected to seismic activity. So even if your plot is ravaged by coastal winds or Highland gales, a timber frame will be more than suitable for those conditions.
2. Is There a Fire Risk?
As timber-frame houses are by their very definition made of wood, it is only natural that there should be some concerns over whether or not they are more prone to, or more dangerous in the circumstance of, a fire. Luckily, this is a myth too.
Once a timber-frame home has been erected, they are coated in a fire protection finish. After this stage, it is at no more risk of combustion than any of its counterparts. And, as with all buildings constructed in the UK, timber-frame construction must adhere to the Building Regulations set out by the government. According to statistics collated by the UK government, the number of fires in timber-frame buildings correlate closely with those in buildings made of alternative materials.
3. Will My House Rot?
There is some concern that, as wood is a natural material, timber-frame houses will be subject to rot and infestation. All structural timbers are kiln-dried to reduce moisture content, stress-graded to meet engineering standards, and pressure treated with preservative to protect against rot and fungal attack, ensuring structural stability and durability.
The timber-frame panels that make up the walls of your Potton home will also have several measures in place, like two vapour-control layers, which ensure that the inside of your panel stays free from moisture.
4. Are They Cold?
Timber is a natural insulator, so it stores heat much more effectively than many of its counterparts. In fact, it can offer greater thermal effectiveness than the equivalent thickness of brick. Potton homes are inbuilt with market-leading insulation, so if anything, your new home should feel warmer than what you're used to. This also has the benefit of saving you money on energy bills.
5. Will It Be Noisy?
Guess what? This is a myth too! The provision of sound-deadening materials within walls, as well as the insulating materials in the timber-frame panels, mean timber-frame houses have excellent acoustic performance.
6. Can I Get Insurance?
Mortgages and home insurance should not be affected by your choice of a timber frame, since it is one of the most widely used structural systems in the UK.