FAQs

Where can I view your buildings?

We have built a 15 x 6.8m, open plan, two bedroom passive timber frame show home near Dorchester, Dorset that is available for viewing by appointment. We also have a sales office/showroom in Poole where you can pop in to see samples and discover more about what we offer.

The models shown on your website aren’t quite right for me, do you offer a bespoke service?

Everyone wants something different, so the model ranges shown on our website are really a starting point. Everything is made to order, so we can easily make alterations to offer you something tailor-made, or we can work from your own plans or with you to create something bespoke.

Will my new building require planning permission?

Our residential models will require planning permission, however we do have a planning free mobile home range that can be installed in the grounds of a main dwelling under a Lawful Development Certificate as a ‘mobile home’. Our smaller garden room models without living accommodation can be installed under Permitted Development Rights. For more information visit our planning page or search online for the government’s Planning Portal.

Can you find me a plot of land for my building?

We only supply the building, not the land to site it on.

Can I get a mortgage or finance for my building?

High street banks/lenders are happy to provide mortgages and insurance for prefabricated timber frame homes. Log cabin homes are more difficult, but there are a number of ethical, eco friendly lenders that will lend. We currently don’t offer a finance option.

Will I have to build the house myself?

The prices guides we provide are based on us sending one of our specialist build teams to erect/install your new building for you. You can then arrange for local trades to complete the internal fit out, or do this yourself if you have the necessary skills, or we can also complete this work for you if you prefer.

Are your buildings suitable for all year round living?

Yes. Our residential models are designed and built to meet or exceed UK building regulations.

How long can I expect my new building to last?

Timber frame and log cabin homes last for generations. These build types have been around for centuries, and in many parts of Northern Europe and North America they are the norm. There are lots of examples of timber frame buildings hundreds of years old, and that’s without the benefits of modern technology, such as pressure-impregnated timbers, plastic vapour barriers, etc.

What should I prepare before you arrive to site?

We will usually conduct a site survey to determine if there is suitable access for your new building, and to see how best welfare facilities can be provided for our build team. Groundworks and a foundation should be completed ready for us to erect the building onto, unless you have asked us to manage this too.

Will my new building need to comply with building regulations?

Not all buildings/instances require building regulations, but if you intend to use your new building for sleeping accommodation, and it can't be classed as a planning free mobile home, building regulations will usually be required. Smaller garden rooms for private use over 30m2 will generally require some form of building regulations, too. Our timber frame and twin-skin glulam log cabin residential models are designed to fully comply with or exceed UK building regulations (including the new Eurocode 5) as standard. Our buildings also go through structural calculations and building control, so you can be sure that you are getting a new space built to full residential standard or beyond.

How should I maintain my building?

The larch cladding on timber frame models can be left to naturally weather and turn a beautiful and consistent silver/grey colour without losing its durability, or it can be treated periodically with something like a linseed oil to maintain its rich, straw-like colour. Log cabin models should be treated with a wood stain roughly every 5/7y, as directed by the product instructions, to protect it.

How are timber frame houses different from a brick and block house?

Essentially, an engineered timber frame structure replaces the ‘breeze-block’ structure. Timber frame consists of wall panels (complete with layers of insulation, vapour barriers, etc) with plasterboard on the interior layer and vertical larch cladding on the exterior. The outside of the frame can also be cladded in brick, block and render, stone, tiles, etc to suit – many models in our passive timber frame range feature a combination of cladding and render for a modern look.

Is timber frame as energy efficient as using brick and block?

Timber frame is more energy efficient because of the build quality delivered as it’s easier to put insulation into the timber frame walls and allow for cavity between the two skins.

Will my new building be as strong as a brick and block house?

Yes. We use computer aided design, state-of-the-art mills and the best quality timber to precision engineer your new building, which also goes through structural calculations and meets or exceeds building regulations.

What happens if my new building catches fire?

Our residential builds meet or exceed building regulations, so there’s no greater risk of fire with a timber frame home than a brick and block equivalent. Actually, timber performs very well in fire because, unlike other forms of construction, it doesn’t deflect at high temperatures.

How does the order process work?

With site survey, plans, specifications, costs, etc all finalised and agreed, we draw up a staged payment plan and a Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) contract – the JCT clearly states the responsibilities of all parties within the process and their obligations to each other, so everyone is protected. The deposit is paid and the mill produce a set of drawings under our guidance for you to approve, and manufacture begins. Depending on the size of building and available production slots, your new building is delivered in specialist kit form, ready for us to erect onto a pre-prepared foundation, 10-12 weeks later. Build time to a completed structure (including external windows and doors, internal walls and doors, with a Metrotile roof covering as standard), ready for kitchens, bathroom/s, electrics and plumbing to be fitted, is 2-4 weeks. We can offer a full turn-key solution, including groundworks and internal fit out if you wish.

What are your payment terms?

We operate a stage payment system: 50% on ordering (with the design, specification and costing finalised and agreed) to book a production slot at the mill; 40% once manufactured and before build/install (manufacture and delivery to the UK usually takes around 8-10 weeks); 10% on completion (build time to an installed and completed structure usually takes 1-3 weeks [extra time for internal fit out, if required]).

Quick Reference
  • 3632
    Sets out the minimum standard for residential buildings (below UK Building Regulations). It usually applies to caravan and park homes. We feel this is a substandard specification – offering inadequate insulation and flimsy build quality – so all our buildings, including our park homes, go far beyond this. We build to full residential house standards and UK building regulations, or beyond.
  • Bi­fold doors
    Bi­-fold doors consist of a number of glass panels that can be folded together and to one side. They are a great option to create a light-­filled space, connecting the living areas to the outside.
  • Building Regulations
    Building regulations are in place to ensure your finished build is safe, efficient and long-­lasting. Our timber frame and twin­-skin log models are designed to fully comply with UK building regulations (including the new Eurocode 5) as standard. In fact, we can build to stricter, Scandinavian regulations and Tek10 for ultimate performance and future proofing. Not all buildings/instances require building regulations, but if you intend to use your new building for sleeping accommodation, and it can't be classed as a 'mobile home' building regulations will usually be required.
  • C-­value

    This is a measurement of how strong the timber is. The timber's characteristics are graded against permissible limits for the timber species. The higher the number, the stronger the timber. A common strength class in the UK is C16. We only use timber of C24 to C40 (more in line with demanding Scandinavian requirements) to ensure the highest quality possible.

  • Eurocode 5 (EC5)
    Eurocodes are a series of standards that establish common rules across the European Economic Area (EEA) for structural design using any material. EC5 is the suite of standards specifically relating to timber structures. It replaces BS 5268, which is no longer maintained by BSI (British Standards Institution). Our buildings comply with EC5.
  • FSC
    The Forest Stewardship Council is the hallmark of responsible forest management, and the most widely recognised forest certification system worldwide. We only use FSC­ approved timber, so you know your new building has been responsibly sourced.
  • Glulam/Laminated
    For maximum quality we use glued laminated timber (glulam) for our residential log buildings, as opposed to standard solid timber. Solid timber moves throughout the year because of shrinking/swelling, and it splits easily, too. Glulam is engineered from 40mm layers of timber (woodgrains in opposing directions) bonded together to increase strength and stability. It won’t rot, shrink, crack or split – it’s virtually maintenance free, and lasts a lifetime. Glulam can conform to building regulations because structural calculations can be made that aren’t possible with standard solid timber. If you prefer a plasterboard interior finish in line with modern houses, rather than the traditional timber look, glulam makes it possible to add framework and plasterboard to the internal walls that are external facing.
  • Granny annex
    See 'mobile home'
  • Insulation
    Our buildings are designed to be enjoyed all year round, with unrivalled levels of insulation as standard. Insulation is built into our timber frame panels, and is added between the wall layers of our twin­-skin log buildings. We can insulate according to the U-­values the building needs to achieve, right up to passive house standards, but as a guide 100mm of insulation is very efficient for most requirements to cover walls, 175mm insulation for floors, and 215mm in the roof.
  • Larch (Siberian)

    We favour Siberian larch for our timber frame builds because of its excellent durability, dimensional stability (minimal shrinkage/swelling), and aesthetic beauty. It grows very slowly, making it extremely dense and strong when compared to other softwoods. In fact, Siberian larch is one of the toughest and most durable softwoods in the world. It can be painted or treated to maintain its straw­like colour, or when weathered it transforms to a beautifully consistent silver/grey, which is highly desirable in many cladding projects. Siberian larch should not be confused with the dark pink British/European larch that grows faster and not as dense in a warmer, wetter climate. Siberian larch also contains fewer knots – for a clean, contemporary, and consistent look – and, unlike British/European larch, its knots are light in colour and remain solid, even after drying and machining.

  • Log

    Alternative to timber frame construction, offering the traditional log cabin look of timber inside and out with interlocking exterior feature corners. Constructed log­by- log, rather than from sections/panels, this type of build is well suited to sites with restricted access. Log buildings are available as single or twin­skin glulam.

  • Mobile home

    A selection of our models can be classed as a 'mobile home'. Built to our usual residential house standard for all year round enjoyment (not the flimsy, substandard BS3632 specification associated with holiday parks), these can be up to 20 x 6.8m and feature multiple bedrooms. The big advantage is that if the building is going in the grounds of your main house, you could add new living space without needing planning approval and increase the value and use of your property.

  • Passive house technology

    Creates a super insulated energy efficient home, with tiny heating bills, minimal carbon footprint, lots of natural light and superior levels of comfort compared to normal homes. We can design passive house technology into our residential models. The interior maintains a comfortable temperature – from the coldest day of winter to the hottest day of summer – without traditional heating and air- conditioning systems. The thickness of the walls, roof and floor is greatly increased and all glass upgraded to argon- filled triple glazing to achieve the incredible levels of insulation and U­values required. A mechanical heat recovery ventilation system provides a constant supply of fresh air using only a fraction of the energy consumed by a typical house.

  • Permitted Development

    Single-­storey outbuildings can be considered as permitted development; without needing planning permission. Located to the rear or side of a property, they must be ancillary to the main dwelling and not contain living accommodation – office/studio space for example. The footprint can be up to 50% of the total area of land around the house. The maximum height for a dual pitch roof is 4m (3m for other roof types [e.g. mono pitch or flat]), and 2.5m if within 2m of the property boundary. Building regulations approval is not usually required up to 30m2 in floor area (no sleeping accommodation). More information can be found at www.planningportal.gov.uk

  • Planning Permission

    Full planning permission is normally required if a building does not fit the criteria for a 'mobile home' or a 'permitted development'. More information can be found at www.planningportal.gov.uk

  • Single-­skin

    Type of log construction featuring a single wall layer, or skin. With only one wall layer, plumbing and electrics are face­mounted – so pipes and cables (inside conduit) can be seen running along walls – and the wood itself is the insulation. For hidden electrics and plumbing, and additional insulation see 'twin­skin'.

  • Sustainability

    Timber is the only mainstream 100% renewable building material. Increased demand means increased sustainable managed forest to supply it, so its a win-­win situation. Timber has the lowest embodied energy and best thermal insulation properties of any mainstream building material. Our timber is FSC­approved and comes straight out of the forest and into the mill, so handling is minimal. Our timber buildings are built to order and precision engineered in factory-­controlled conditions, so wastage is minimised, and so are post erection quality/snagging issues. Timber buildings are quick to erect, so on site construction time and resources is greatly reduced.

  • Timber frame

    Constructed from sections/panels with full insulation built in, this type of build gives you a plasterboard interior finish inline with modern houses, with plumbing and electrics hidden behind. It’s an ideal option if building regulations is required. The exterior features vertical Siberian larch cladding to provide a clean, contemporary, and consistent look.

  • Twin skin

    Type of log construction featuring two wall layers, or skins. The plumbing and electrics are hidden between the two wall layers. Insulation is added here too, which makes twin-skin a good option for residential log builds, particularly if building regulations are required.

  • U­-values

    U­-values (also known as ‘heat transfer coefficients’) are a measure of how effective a building element (such as a wall, floor, roof, etc) is at preventing heat from transmitting between the inside and the outside of a building. The lower the U­value, the less energy is required to maintain comfortable conditions inside the building. U-­value requirements are part of meeting Building Regulations. Our buildings are designed to be high performance. High levels of insulation and quality features such as double, triple, and argon­filled glazing ensure low U-­values, all the way to passive house standards – like we’ve achieved on our show home.