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Energy Efficient Homes Ireland: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is a timber frame cheaper than traditional build?
A. The cost of the build is comparable but the main cost savings are achieved by the speed of build and the reduced costs of energy year on year.

Q. How is a timber frame different from a traditional build?
A. A traditional built house is normally made of an inner supporting wall of concrete and an outer supporting wall of brick. Unlike timber frame there is no empty cavity to create a complete break from the outside inclement elements (Wind & Rain). The cavities in traditional buildings are either tightly filled with insulation causing “bridging” or poorly fitted insulation with unwanted gaps and there is no guarantee in either case that moisture will not leak through to the inside block work. A modern timber frame house replaces the inner block wall with a timber frame wall strong enough to carry all the loads of the house. This is usually covered by plasterboard internally and a brick or block external finish with an empty 50mm cavity to prevent moisture penetrating into the insulation. (See 'Timber Frame Structure Explained')

Q. Are you more at risk from fire in a timber frame house?
A. No. In common with all forms of construction timber frame has to meet all Building Regulations. Safety in timber frame is our number one commitment and we have an excellent track record.

Q. Are timber frame homes noisy?
A. No. Our modern timber frame systems enjoy better acoustic insulation qualities than traditional build and fully confirm or exceed current Building Regulations.

Q. Will I have to pay more for insurance?
A. No. Insurance companies draw no distinction between modern timber frame and brick and block construction provided the external roof covering is of tiles, natural or mineral slates or concrete.

Q. Will a timber frame last?
A. Yes. A new timber frame home will last as well as any other type of new home.

Q. Will a timber frame house look different?
A. No. Usually a timber frame house is clad in brick and look like any other house. You can also use a range of suitable materials, e.g.stone, block or render.

Q. Can I still hang pictures , cupboards etc in my timber frame house?
A. Yes. Many of these jobs are made easier because of the good fixing you get in the vertical studs

Q. Will I get a mortgage on a timber frame house?
A. Yes. Banks and Building Societies make no differentiation in the lending terms offered on either form of construction

Q. Is timber frame quicker to build?
A. A timber frame takes less than half the time to build than the traditional build. In ideal conditions a timber frame house will be wind and water tight within 5 days allowing other tradesmen to start their work. (See 'Construction Sequence')
 

 
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