Touchwood Homes

All FAQs

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How do we know how the timber frame home will look?

We provide a 3D sketch-up model of the structure during the design phase, with every timber element shown. This is a vital tool so that all your follow on trades, such as lighting designers and Warmcel installers know exactly where all timber elements will be. This is unique to the Touchwood Homes system.

Do you include the MVHR design, supply and install within the frame package?

We are one of very few timber frame companies that can also provide the market leading passivhaus PAUL MVHR system as part of our package. We use Lindab rigid steel ductwork, with all of the duct routes pre-cut within the timber frame so that they are hidden within walls and floors. The system is designed on 3D …

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How do I get started?

After seeing the plans and elevations for your project, we can quickly provide a quotation for the timber frame structure, and market leading PAUL MVHR system, fully integrated into the frame. Once you’ve received our quotation document we can then answer any questions you may have, come and see your site, and organise a visit …

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I’m a developer building a house to sell on so running costs don’t matter?

We often have people approach us with that statement. We feel that it’s morally questionable to build a home sacrificing the comfort and running costs for the future occupants of the house for the sake of a little extra on build costs, but the advantages of incorporating energy efficient features into new houses are now …

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Your PAUL MVHR system looks expensive compared to others, what makes it worth the extra money?

PAUL MVHR units are Passivhaus certified and exceptionally efficient – recovering up to 97% of the heat leaving the building and are also extremely quiet – one of the best on the market. For ducts we use Lindab rigid steel duct work, installed as we build the frame into pre-cut duct routes. These have a …

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What are the advantages of using timber frame for my new home?

A Touchwood Homes timber frame house is built to be super energy efficient, and so saves money on running costs. The timber structure is designed to be filled with Warmcel insulation, which is a very good insulator. Our pre-cut timber frame (as opposed to a panelised construction) means the timber frame comes in one lorry, with no need for a …

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Is timber strong enough to build a house from, and will it last long as conventional builds?

People have been using timber frames for building houses in England since medieval times and many of them are still around today, although unfortunately in the 1960s and 70s many of these buildings were damaged when people used cement based render instead of the traditional lime render they were originally constructed with when conducting repair and maintenance work. …

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I’ve had various cellulose fibre insulation quotes, should I go for the cheapest?

The cellulose fibre insulation is a vital component of your home, and to be effective both the quality of the material and the workmanship during the installation process is paramount. It needs to be installed at an extremely high density and checked carefully throughout the process to ensure that the fill is consistent and without …

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What would be the running costs of a new home built to the passivhaus standard?

Building a new home using our structure incorporating minimal cold bridging, completely air-tight envelope and densely packed insulation means there will potentially be a 90% reduction in heat demand over a conventional house (the passivhaus standard). Running costs consist of heating, hot water and electricity. Heating and hot water are usually provided by the same …

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Will the house be fire resistant?

Our timber frames are specifically designed to be filled with Warmcel cellulose fibre insulation, which is made from fire proofed recycled newspaper compact to extremely high density and which is fire resistant. Timber structures are also over engineered to allow for a ‘charring factor’.

What are the advantages living in a Touchwood Homes air-tight construction

For passivhaus homes the heating demand is so low that a conventional heating system isn’t needed, so saving substantial build and running costs. The minimal heating required can be delivered by a small heater in the MVHR system. The essential airtight layer is provided by a 15mm thick board fixed to the entire external surface of …

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I am struggling to decide between demolishing an existing building or renovating what I have, can you help?

Important considerations are that firstly, a new-build is zero rated for VAT, whereas renovations are subject to 20% VAT. Secondly, its a good idea to take an objective look at the house you have and think about what will be left of the original fabric if you decide to go down the renovation route. For example, …

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Oak features in living / dining area

I like the look of Oak houses, can you incorporate oak into the structure to create that look?

Yes, we have experience with Oak structures, so we can of course use our super low energy build methods to create a home with visible oak inside, without the poor heat loss through cold-bridging and air-tightness associated with traditional Oak built structures.  The images below show a recent project featuring pre-cut Oak trusses and various posts …

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I’m embarking on my first self-build and will manage it myself, any advice?

From our experience, keeping up a positive attitude regarding the project is important, along with some empathy for your tradesman, who for them, your build site is their work place. Ideally, some experience in managing a project with different teams involved would be good too.  Once our frame is up, many different trades will need to …

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air tight

How does your wall build-up provide a VCL (vapor control layer)?

Our VCL (vapor control layer) is on the inside face of external walls, provided by a foil-back plasterboard. The cavity between the plasterboard and external airtight board is then filled with super-high density cellulose fibre insulation. Some clients opt for a membrane (Intello) approach instead of foil back plasterboard, most commonly when a service cavity …

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sun levels affecting internal build temperature

Do Ecohomes overheat?

If not designed correctly then sure, low energy homes can overheat or be too cold. As with everything, it’s down to getting the design right. For example, a principle of passivhaus is to obtain some winter heating from south facing glazing. The size and orientation of this glazing must be modelled by an expert in …

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