Building a house of timber frame has been passed on for ages. Following this traditional method of building a house, you can easily build a house at a much affordable price and even after a few years, you can again rebuild your house with a different design and structure.
Timber frame houses are eco-friendly, affordable and with recent advancements in construction techniques, building a house with a timber frame adds strength and durability to its primary characteristics.
The life expectancy of a timber house
Timber frame houses are a great option if you want to build a house on a low budget. These houses have a life expectancy of a minimum of 25-30 years and using good quality timber frames, new construction techniques, and proper maintenance, and few renovations they can easily last up to 80-100 years.
The life expectancy of a timber frame house mainly depends on the quality of timber you use, the size of the frame, construction techniques, etc. Using the best can increase the cost of building your house but it will also increase the life expectancy of the house. Also, if you want to think of selling the place, you can sell it for a good price.
Construction tips to increase the life expectancy of a timber frame house
1. A highly skilled and reputable contractor
If you are considering building a timber frame house then do appoint a highly skilled reputable contractor who has years of experience in building houses with timber. A builder with professional skills will provide you with flexibility in building your house.
A reputable contractor has the skills and follows the latest construction techniques that will help you to build your dream house with multiple design options. Using a highly skilled builder using the best quality materials will gradually increase the life expectancy of your house.
2. Location and environmental factors
The location and environmental factors must be considered while building a timber frame house. You must examine the land and the location to check the building possibility of a timber frame house. The land must meet certain requirements to ensure its safe to construct a house in that location.
Also, environmental factors can disrupt the construction of your house. Don’t start building your house during a bad climatic season. Considering these factors can increase the longevity of the house.
3. Timber frame and trusses
Selecting the right timber frame and trusses becomes very important to increase the life expectancy of a timber frame house. There are different types of timber frame systems to build a house with timber.
The most commonly used timber frames are open-panel system, closed-panel system and SIP technology. Select the type of frame suitable for your house. SIP technology is the most suitable frame option as it provides a firm seal to the frame from both sides.
4. UV protection
If you want to increase the life expectancy of a timber frame house then protection from UV rays becomes important. UV rays damage the timber fibres which can increase the chances of cracking, board wrapping, cupping etc.
This can reduce the longevity of the house and you might have to spend money on repairs more often. Give the exterior of your house UV protection to avoid fibre deterioration, mould issues, cracking etc.
Maintenance tips to increase the life expectancy of a timber frame house
1. Exterior maintenance
Maintenance of your timber frame house is very important especially the first 2-3 years of construction until the timber structure adapts to the environment. You must take the necessary steps to protect the exteriors during bad climatic conditions and from UV light from the sun.
Due to trapped moisture inside the timber, you might have to face mould issues, cracks etc.
To prevent such issues you can use stainless steel and aluminium plates that provide support to your timber frame structure and increase the life expectancy of your house.
Roof gutters are an ideal way to stop backsplash and roof overhang shades can provide UV protection and rain from affecting the timber structure from dislocation or disorientation.
Applying outdoor stain on the exterior structure of your timber house can prevent UV rays and weather of any kind.
You can use a double coating of outdoor stain after a couple of months once the construction is complete and another after every 2-6 years. The right time to apply outdoor stain is when the exposed parts of the timber frame start to fade.
2. Interior maintenance
Interior maintenance of your timber frame house is also important but the interiors don’t require much maintenance. You can use some natural oil that will make your timber frames dust-free and clean from the inside. This will avoid dust oozing through small openings into the timber.
Paint your interiors with water-resistant paint that will prevent absorption of water and humidity into the heavy timber structures. Also, it gives a shine and exquisite look to the interiors of your house.
Ensure there is enough air circulation inside your house and use ventilators and humidifiers to maintain the right level of humidity. Install a hot air system to force out the dry indoor air which can be harmful to the heavy timbers. Maintain the humidity balance between 30-50% to avoid any deleterious effect.
The traditional timber house building method is still adopted by several people to build their dream house. The lifespan of a timber frame house might be less as compared to houses made of bricks and blocks but you get flexibility in design options and can build your dream house at affordable prices.
You can still increase the longevity of your timber frame house by following the construction and maintenance tips. Don’t compromise on the quality of timber and use heavy timber for the strength, durability and longevity of your house.