House Construction Today
House construction today, in the majority, follows the method of brick and block construction which is set in most people’s minds, as the traditional solid, secure, permanent build.
Timber frame construction is gaining some popularity, not only in areas such as Scotland with huge local timber resources, but as an alternative, should the circumstances of the build, or the preference of the builder determine it.
Timber frame built housing is not seen as a cheaper method of construction, but it carries some advantages which may make it the choice for certain sites.
The first advantage is the speed at which it can be constructed. The foundations have to be dug and brought to ground level in the same way as brick and block construction, but the timber framed house can the go up in a matter of days.
The shape and dimensions of the house have been carefully planned, not only by architects, but by computer designers to strict tolerances and will require erecting exactly to plan.
Much of the time apparently saved in the physical construction of the timber frame, is time spent on the design and building the frames in the factory, and once the frames are made they await the call from the site.
Unlike brick built, there are few if any tolerances from the plan. Brick and block can usually take minor variations in its stride, a tweak here or a touch different to plan there, are easily accepted into the build.
The timber frame requires exact foundations, preferably a raft or block, to sit the frames on, given its unforgiving nature, but once ready to go, the house can be up and weather proofed in a matter of days. Once sealed against the weather, the trades can begin their inside work of wiring, plumbing etc.
The brick and block build can be weather dependent, too cold or too wet can hinder progress, but although the process is regarded as traditional, it too has absorbed many modern improvements in technical design and products to constantly improve insulation and structural compositions.
The perception of strength and durability keep the brick and blockwork tradition the foremost choice of house building in the country. Although a “skin” of outer brickwork on a timber frame house make it almost impossible to differentiate its structure, once inside, the solidity of the masonry build can be felt, along with its thermal resonance, keeping a building cool in summer and holding residual warmth in the winter.
Bricks, blocks and mortar look like still being the traditional build for some time to come.