Stick build or Factory system built timber framed house panels?

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Roger-M
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Stick build or Factory system built timber framed house panels?

Post by Roger-M » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:21 pm

My daughter and son-in-law are about to build a timber framed house, and have quotes for both "Stick build" - where the frames are constructed in situ, and for "Factory built open panels" incorporating "I beams". What are the pro's and cons of each?

I have no experience in this, but my view FWIW is that if they were to go for the factory built panels, they would be flat and square, and would spend less time out in all weathers before the shell becomes waterproof. This could be very relevant as they are likely to be reaching that stage around October this year, just before winter kicks in, or in to winter if there is any over run. I suggested leaving it until next spring, but they cannot bear the thought of another winter in the house that is to be demolished to make way for it, and having stayed there I can understand that!

The downside is that the contract terms are rather more onerous for the system built panels. Understandable given that they will of no use to anyone else.

Downside for stick build is inaccuracies creeping in during construction, the frame being open to the weather - possibly for several months - and the risk of theft of materials left on site during construction.

Anyone any thoughts that would help them decide? The costs are very similar, but with the factory built panels working out marginally cheaper.
Cheers, Roger

mark270981
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Re: Stick build or Factory system built timber framed house panels?

Post by mark270981 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:03 am

Hi Roger

I too looked at this method but for a large kitchen extension, the prebuilt panels are the way forward as it’s pre- planned and goes together like a flat pack.

In the end we went traditional as I managed to get a very good price off the regular builder I used.

That said if I was to build a whole house I would definitely revisit using the SIP panels as the method of construction for thermal properties alone!
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Re: Stick build or Factory system built timber framed house panels?

Post by bloonose » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:57 am

My mate and his wife are both Architects who are building a house they designed, they are using Sips if that is any indicator/help ;)

Roger-M
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Re: Stick build or Factory system built timber framed house panels?

Post by Roger-M » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:03 am

Thanks guys. My daughter looked in to SIPs but eventually decided against it because they are accepted by very few mortgage lenders, and they don't want to limit the market when they eventually sell. I think the pre-built open panels are the way forward myself if you want timber framing.
Cheers, Roger

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Re: Stick build or Factory system built timber framed house panels?

Post by JonR » Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:01 pm

For myself i would go stick built but i am a carpenter, i have put up 6 large timber frame kits and done stick built timber frame extensions, the kits do go up quick for sure and the last one me and my lad did had flooring cassettes so no floor joists to do which was nice. Which ever way you go you will end up with the same thing but with stick built and cut and pitched roof you wont need 2/3 crane visits. Site made panels will be just as accurate as factory made ones and maybe another factor to consider is lead times on the kits if your in a rush.

1st floor timber frame on block work but could have been done all in timber
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Re: Stick build or Factory system built timber framed house panels?

Post by Meccarroll » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:34 pm

Hi Roger,

I have worked on sites where quite a few factory made timber framed panels were used and erected by the factory operatives and can only say accuracy was not any where near what you might think it should be. I think the problem with factory panels is that the operatives constructing the panels are not too concerned about accuracy, they are not fully skilled so not fully aware of future problems on site. Site erection of factory panels will be on a price which will mean a crane dropping them in position and a team of site fixers getting them in position as quickly as possible. All of the sites that I have worked on that have used factory produced panels have had multiple problems.

I have been employed to rectify factory problems and poor site erection. The companies I have worked for have used factory built panels but then had problems which the factory either deny is there problem or don't have the manpower to send out a team to rectify faults. You may find it works for you but my experience tells me to steer clear unless you are a large contractor where this type of build is essential.

If you used someone like JonR for example and do an on site build everything can still be built in the same way as in the factory but you will be using skilled labour throughout and have more control over the final product. Any adjustments can be made as the build progresses (Door openings to match brickwork etc). My experience is that you will probably obtain a more accurate build if it's made on site with skilled labour.

Obviously cost is important but if there is not too much in it I'd pick onsite build.

Mark

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Re: Stick build or Factory system built timber framed house panels?

Post by Roger-M » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:11 pm

Meccarroll wrote:Hi Roger,

I have worked on sites where quite a few factory made timber framed panels were used and erected by the factory operatives and can only say accuracy was not any where near what you might think it should be. I think the problem with factory panels is that the operatives constructing the panels are not too concerned about accuracy, they are not fully skilled so not fully aware of future problems on site. Site erection of factory panels will be on a price which will mean a crane dropping them in position and a team of site fixers getting them in position as quickly as possible. All of the sites that I have worked on that have used factory produced panels have had multiple problems.

I have been employed to rectify factory problems and poor site erection. The companies I have worked for have used factory built panels but then had problems which the factory either deny is there problem or don't have the manpower to send out a team to rectify faults. You may find it works for you but my experience tells me to steer clear unless you are a large contractor where this type of build is essential.

If you used someone like JonR for example and do an on site build everything can still be built in the same way as in the factory but you will be using skilled labour throughout and have more control over the final product. Any adjustments can be made as the build progresses (Door openings to match brickwork etc). My experience is that you will probably obtain a more accurate build if it's made on site with skilled labour.

Obviously cost is important but if there is not too much in it I'd pick onsite build.

Mark
Thanks Mark. That's really useful info and I've passed it on. Very grateful for the time taken to reply in such detail. Ultimately this is not my house so not my decision thankfully.
Cheers, Roger

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