Whether you are self-building for the first time, a property or land developer, or a construction company moving toward building more sustainable and eco-friendly properties, choosing a highly reputable timber frame manufacturer is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions that you’ll have to make.
As time-consuming as it may be, your due diligence during the selection process is more likely to result in a superb quality outcome and a long-lasting relationship with your chosen supplier.
Our guide to choosing a timber frame manufacturer is what it says – a guide. If you follow these key steps, it will help you to ensure that you have considered all aspects when it comes to making a final decision.
Step 1 – Finalise the specification and architectural plans and elevations.
The more detailed your specification is, the easier it will be to compare quotations.
Typical requirements for a timber frame system quotation would include:
- Site plan
- Floor plans/layouts to a recognised scale and fully dimensioned for the position of all walls (internal and external), partitions and apertures (windows, doors, staircases)
- Positions of key elements such as SVPs, ducts, services risers etc.
- Elevations to a recognised scale
- Section details to a recognised scale. If the structure includes a room in the roof, also provide section details for each “profile” including dormer details
- Ground floor build-up
- Window & door schedules (internal and external), please whether you are showing structural openings or joinery finished sizes and give preferred building tolerances
- Roof plan, pitch, and details of roof covering, dormers and roof windows if applicable
Details of eaves and verges
- Details of external finishes/claddings
- Any special loading requirements for engineering the structure
- Any special site conditions that may affect the way the timber frame is designed, delivered and installed e.g. restricted access, limited height restrictions, working hours constraints etc.
Step 2 – Choose a manufacturer that is a member of the Structural Timber Association (STA).
This will ensure that the supplier you choose meets all regulatory and quality standards in the industry. STA Assure Gold members are top players in the industry and meet NHBC’s assessment process for timber structures. It is also recognised by industry-leading structural warranty and building control bodies.
Step 3 – Request a minimum of two quotations
This is why the detail of the specification is so important.
To compare quotations, they must be like for like. Don’t dismiss a quotation on price until you have carefully assessed what is included in the quote.
The quotation should be clear with no ‘subject to’ phrases.
The quotation should include:
- Full manufacturing layouts and drawings
- Structural calculations
- Line and point loads
- Full details of all component parts – VIEW EXAMPLE
- Delivery schedule
- Erection schedule to build the entire timber frame system including roof trusses
- All require certifications that will be issued on completion
Step 4 – Choose a preferred supplier
Having chosen a preferred timber frame supplier, you should now fully assess the business:
- Verify qualifications
- Carry out a financial background check
- Visit the factory
- Ask for details about the sustainability of materials
- Ask for any specific advice and discuss any type of changes that might affect the quotation
- Confirm lead times
- Ask for references – and ensure that you make contact with them
- Visit one or two sites with projects in progress.
At this stage, you should be very confident and happy with your final choice and in a position to place your order (hopefully with Target Timber!).
If you would like any further clarification on how to compare quotations, or if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.