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]).