If you are in the process of building a home, the first thing you need to consider is the construction method you will employ. Your architect can help you with the complicated process of deciding which method best realises your concept, while at the same time staying within your budget.
Construction techniques and methods have advanced throughout the years. Recently, however, the focus has been on sustainability and construction speed. Here is a look at some of the most popular construction methods used in self-builds today.
Structural insulated panels or pre-cast panel systems
SIPs are not new but are only gaining popularity once again because of the increased need to build energy-efficient structures. As emphasised by SIPs Eco Panels, SIP panels are composed of two oriented strand boards with insulation sandwiched between them. These panels can vary in depth depending on what is required for a project. Although the most common insulation used for these panels is EPS or expanded polystyrene, some manufacturers can also use other materials for insulation.
SIPs are also compatible with other building materials and techniques. You can build an entire home using SIPs or combine them with conventional timber framing or concrete blocks. Panels manufactured at an off-site facility will be delivered to the project site ready for installation.
Builders need to take extra precautions when working with SIPs because of their susceptibility to moisture. Before installation, panels need to be stored above-ground with a protective covering.
Timber frame system
Timber frame building systems are perhaps the most popularly used technique in construction today. These timber frames can also be assembled off-site and erected on-site after delivery. Using timber frames also reduces construction time significantly, and wood is generally a sustainable material, depending on the source.
An open panel timber system consists of a stud frame reinforced with sheathed timber. On the other hand, closed timber frame systems have pre-installed insulation and moisture barriers fixed using plasterboard.
Homes made with timber frames are lightweight and have superior insulation properties as well. If you want to enhance the stability and integrity of the structure, you can combine a timber frame system with other construction materials like SIPs.
Concrete block and brick system
Constructing with concrete blocks and bricks is another popular method used in building homes in the UK. The cavity between the layers of brick and block is filled with insulation material. By adding insulation, you can enhance the structure’s durability and strength.
One of the drawbacks with the concrete block and brick method is that it is not as airtight as SIPs and timber frame systems. To improve the airtightness of homes built using concrete blocks and bricks, there are special membranes and tapes used to support the structure and reduce air infiltration.
One of the main reasons why brick and concrete systems remain popular is the low initial cost of construction. You can build a brick and concrete home in stages and buy only the materials you need as the project expands. But this process can slow down the completion of a project. Nevertheless, the popularity of this method makes it easier to find an experienced builder or contractor who will work on the project.