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Help! The house I want to buy is timber framed

(77 Posts)
Eglantine21 Sat 17-Nov-18 08:45:30

I didn’t know until the surveyors report came in. NowIm anxious about it.

At least not about the house itself. The report says it’s sound and has been built well. But about selling it at some point.

Is it going to be hard to sell? Would you buy a timber frame house? Have you and do you live in one? Would you expect to pay less than the market price for a timber frame rather than a bricks and mortar?

I just want to gauge what the market would be like on a resale. It’s a perfect property for someone retired who wants to be close to town.

Someone like me. What do you think?

Iam64 Sat 17-Nov-18 08:49:14

I have architect/surveyor friends who plan to build their own and will use timber frames. There are a number of new houses round here being built on timber frames. Not the huge new building estates, more the couple of expensive houses on a plot in a sought after area.
I know nothing eglantine, that's just my observations. Hopefully wiser words will follow

PamelaJ1 Sat 17-Nov-18 08:55:22

For what it’s worth (my opinion I mean ) I would buy one.
Depends how old it is but timber frame houses are generally more eco friendly than traditionally built.

travelsafar Sat 17-Nov-18 08:59:16

If its for your retirement, close to everything you will need and suitable for later years and you dont envisage moving again then go for it.

mcem Sat 17-Nov-18 09:05:41

DS and DiL are preparing to build a large extension to their stone-built house. The choice was between brick or timber frame. On advice from both architect and builders they've opted for timber frame.

Panache Sat 17-Nov-18 09:25:40

We have lived in a timber framed property for going on 15 years,in all the properties we have lived in .....and this is the 6th.......this is the warmest and no signs of damp,by far it has proven itself to us as supreme to the others.
It has a double thickness of timber plus 6inches of insulation throughout,with double floors.
Sound as a bell and we live in a damp and windy position near to the western coast.

Welshwife Sat 17-Nov-18 09:43:15

Most American houses are timber framed - DS is living in one about 20 years old. He has replaced windows etc but to have double glazing.

MiniMoon Sat 17-Nov-18 09:54:26

We live in a timber framed house. It is actually a kit house, bought by the original owners, from Norway, and built the way they wanted it. You could change the internal layout if you wanted to, there's plumbing for a toilet in a cupboard in the bedroom next to the bathroom. We haven't bothered to change anything, as the house suits us as it is. We've lived here for 16 years.

Brunette10 Sat 17-Nov-18 09:55:29

We built our own timber framed bungalow 45 years ago and it's still standing smile. Never had any problems at all with any part of the structure. We had replacement windows and eaves a few years ago but frame of the house has never shown any signs of deterioration. I wasn't aware there would be any difference in the house price to that of a traditional built house. It is also very well insulated so is nice and cosy. I cannot see why anyone wouldn't have a timber framed house but maybe you know something I don't wink

stree Sat 17-Nov-18 10:35:01

As a retired joiner who has worked often with the building trade, I would choose a timber framed over most block and brick buildings .

Framilode Sat 17-Nov-18 10:39:05

We had a Canadian style timber framed house in the 80's. It was incredibly warm and snug. It was on a small development of similar houses.

When the time came to sell it sold quickly and for a good price. Going on Right Move I see those houses are still selling for a good price and still looking good.

I would have no worries.

Cold Sat 17-Nov-18 10:55:29

Where I live timberframed houses are the norm. I currently live in a totally wooden house. It was built in 1850 and looks wonderful so I think it has passed the test.

M0nica Sat 17-Nov-18 11:37:08

We have/lived in 2 timber framed house, one brand new, built in the 1970s. From the exterior it looked like any other brick built house. We bought and sold, and houses in that development continues to be bought and sold on a regular basis. The are really quite expensive now, nothing to worry about.

We now live in a 550 year old timber frame house, socking great oak beams everywhere, but that is another story.

SueDonim Sat 17-Nov-18 14:14:14

Loads of houses here in Scotland are timber-framed and Scandinavia is famed for its timber homes. I've never heard of it being a problem so I wouldn't worry.

Nannarose Sat 17-Nov-18 15:36:57

We built a timber frame house!
Eglantine, what are your specific worries?

BBbevan Sat 17-Nov-18 16:26:33

We live in a timber frame Scandi Hus. Extremely well insulated and spacious. Looks beautiful, and is much admired. No problem with insurance even though we have a log burner .

Eglantine21 Sat 17-Nov-18 17:19:09

Thank you everyone that replied. I posted and then went out for the day which is why I’m only just catching up.

I’m very reassured by what I’ve seen here.I know I’m a born worrier so these are my worries.

How durable is a wooden frame house? Bricks and mortar last almost indefinitely but will a timber frame give up the ghost in, say 100 years. Does anybody know or is the technology used to build them untried in the long term?

I know I won’t be around to worry about that but if it only has a short life span then the chances of selling must decrease as time goes on or the value will decrease. Like the leasehold on a flat. It could become in mortgageable.

I might need to sell it to fund my care home. Or when I die
my children could find it’s actually a liability.

And if I needed to sell it in the short term would people be put off, or at least question, like I am. I am paying the right price for a brick built house like this but should it less because of the questions over timber frame?

More practically do the holes cut for pipes and wires compromise the waterproof membrane? Is it possible to put up a conservatory joined to a timber frame or does that affect the membrane?
Can I put up a dividing wall? Or does the frame mean there can be no alterations?

I just can’t find any useful disinterested information on the web.

I really want this house but not so much that I would just throw my money away!

Auntieflo Sat 17-Nov-18 18:06:38

I once saw a HUF house. Timber framed I’m sure. It was beautiful and I would love to live in one.

Fennel Sat 17-Nov-18 18:40:37

I've no idea, but might be worth enquiring about buildings insurance.

aggie Sat 17-Nov-18 18:49:57

Elizabethan timber frame mansions are still standing ! I am in a timber framed house and it is the warmest house I have lived in . It is a new build and the Architect advised it rather than one of concrete blocks , it does have a brick skin and plastered inside so looks traditional

EllanVannin Sat 17-Nov-18 19:14:55

Providing there aren't any termites it should be okay. I'd hate to wake up and find the kitchen half-eaten.

SueDonim Sat 17-Nov-18 20:04:50

Think of all the Tudor houses still in existence! They're 400+ years old, so yes, they endure.

Nannarose Sat 17-Nov-18 21:32:37

I'm confused. What is the construction material of the house you are thinking of buying? And how old is it?
A timber framed house is not built of wood - the frame (bare bones) is wood, and it is then clad in another material - usually brick.
Very old timber frame houses had noggins (like in-fill) of brick - you still see these occasionally, and you can see the original timber. Modern houses are very different.
Imagine building the frame of timber, putting in all of the pipes etc, then you fill it in with insulating material. You clad the outside in brick, or stone (or very rarely something else) and you finish the inside with boards of some kind (plaster boards or modern equivalent such as Fermacell).
If the house you are buying is relatively new, it will have some sort of builders' warranty.

I am having difficulty in seeing what you mean. Your question about 'holes for pipes and wiring' makes me wonder if the house you are thinking of buying is completely built of wood - rare, but not unknown in the UK. If so, it is very different to a timber frame, and what I (and some others) have written does not apply.

Happy to answer more questions if it will help.

Eglantine21 Sat 17-Nov-18 21:44:52

Thank you Nannarose. It is a modern house, about eight years old but was built by the owners so although it has building regs approval it doesn’t have any builders warranty as such. It has warranties for the electric and gas installation.

It is clad I. Brick and until the surveyor went in I didn’t know it was a timber frame. As I understand it the spaces between the frame are filled with a plastic coated insulation material with then a brick shell and a plasterboard interior.

If the plastic coated insulation material is breached,say by the water pipes, won’t it allow damp to penetrate? A friend who has a timber frame. House was told not to drill into the inside walls to put up shelves etc because this would breach the insulation. In this house they must have drilled into the walls to put up the kitchen cupboards. Outside they have put up a satellite dish. That must have made a hole.

I am totally at sea with this. The original owners are now dead, hence the sale, sonobody to ask about the things the surveyor can’t see without dis angling the house (!) and the paper work associated with the build seems to be minimal.

Eglantine21 Sat 17-Nov-18 21:46:01

Sorry loads of typos blush