How safe is a Timber Home in a Fire?
  • Timber can withstand temperatures of up to 2000ºc. At this temperature brick and mortar as well as steel are already in trouble. Steel starts bending and buckling at between 800º to 900º.

  • Timber frame structures are designed to limit the flow of air in the wall and floor cavities thus slowing down the rate of the fire and limiting the damage, allowing evacuation. A fire rating of at least 45 minutes applies to our structures.

  • Timber maintains its structural integrity long after the brick and mortar in a typical masonry built house has suffered severe cracking due to the different coefficients of expansion of the two materials.

  • Timber has a predictable charring rate of approximately 3mm per minute for soft wood.
How is a Timber Home insulated?
  • Timber is a natural insulator with the ability to gain or lose heat slowly. Timber cushions temperature changes. Timber’s thermal efficiency is as much as 6 to 8 times greater than that of masonry construction.

  • Timber buildings are extremely energy efficient. The hollow wall cavities, ceilings and even sub floor spaces are heavily insulated resulting in decreased fossil fuel heating needs (lower electricity bills!).
What about termites and insects?
  • Timber requires protection. Timber treatment is under strict regulation by the NHBRC and National Building Regulations e.g. SANS10005: 1996. Timber is treated for many applications involving exposure to the elements, moisture, ground contact and other factors that may promote biological or other degrade. In addition modern building codes and standards require greater assurance of performance and safety which requires the enhancement of natural wood, thus treatment of timber.
What is the best wood to use in a Timber Frame Home?
  • Particular wood species such as Pine, Mahogany, Saligna, Balau and Teak are naturally resilient to decay and can be shaped into any form you require.
Is it environment friendly? And how long does it take to renew the resources?
  • Wood has unique advantages, it is the only material featured specifically in the European Code for Sustainable Homes. Wood grows naturally and needs no energy to produce.

  • Timber buildings are environmentally friendly and therefore ideally suited to mountain-side plots and eco-sensitive areas – resulting in very little disturbance to the existing vegetation as well as minimizing site excavation and costly access with heavier materials.
What is Timber’s Carbon Footprint?
  • Timber is formally known as a Carbon Negative, as the Carbon is trapped within and only released when a tree decomposes.
How do you install a Fireplace in a Timber Home?
  • It is a myth that you cannot build a fireplace in a Timber Home. A simple brick structure on a suitable foundation and a chimney is all that is required. All fireplaces include the same basic components. These are the base, firebox, smoke chamber and the chimney. Fireplaces in Timber Homes are built as in conventional homes.
How long does it take to erect a Timber Frame Home?
  • Depending on terrain, location, size and conditions it would take approximately 3 to 5 months to complete the construction.
What about insurance and Bank Finance?
  • Insurance: There are no implications when it comes to insuring a Timber Frame Home.

  • Bonds: Are obtainable from all financial institutions provided that the structure complies with the SANS10082 and that the builder is registered with the Timber Frame Builders Association.
How strong is a Timber Home?
  • Timber houses are extremely strong and can endure most weather conditions.

  • In the case of an earthquake and on impact a Timber Home is safer than a brick and mortar structure.
What foundations does a Timber Home have?
  • Foundations can be a concrete slab or Pole type. Pole foundations are much more cost effective and less expensive than a concrete slab. On average a 100m² dwelling will cost R40 000.00 less on Poles than Slabs. Pole foundations are also better in clay and sand and the environmental damage is negligible as the structure is above the ground and the damage to the surrounding area is minimal.
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