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Timber frame vs. concrete built

  • 07-08-2019 12:49pm
    #1
    Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    It strikes me that most of the new housing developments coming on stream from Cairn etc. are timber frame houses.

    I am not well versed in construction techniques or the pros and cons of one type of structure over the other, but my kneejerk reaction to timber frame houses is that they just can't be as good in terms of soundproofing and durability.

    I would imagine that in a timber frame house, noise from one room is easily heard in other rooms - whether that noise be talking, TV, footfall, coughing, a flushing toilet, or whatever.

    The one or two agents I spoke to assured me that while noise was once a problem with timber frame houses, it is no longer due to improved materials and builders "going above and beyond the regulations" (this latter point especially doesn't seem very plausible to me).

    So I guess I'm appealing to the experience of people who live in newer timber frame houses -- are they as solid and soundproof as concrete built homes?


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Comments

  • Administrators Posts: 49,893 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ awec


    It comes down to the insulation. In theory there is little difference between the two sound wise, once built correctly.

    You could have a block built house but if the insulation is inadequate you'll still hear noise between walls.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,048 ✭✭✭ iwillhtfu


    Keep in mind OP not all timber frame homes are equal much the same as block built. A large number of timber frame homes built during the boom were thrown up and built/finished very poorly not to mention the Semi d's/terraced homes that are only divided by 4 plasterboards and a stud wall.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,952 ✭✭✭✭ Cyrus


    people are confused as well as to what a timber frame home is.

    a timber frame house is a complete timber frame, most block built houses will still have a timber carcass to create the internal floor plan.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    iwillhtfu wrote: »
    Keep in mind OP not all timber frame homes are equal much the same as block built. A large number of timber frame homes built during the boom were thrown up and built/finished very poorly not to mention the Semi d's/terraced homes that are only divided by 4 plasterboards and a stud wall.

    I well believe it. The question is, are houses being built today being similarly thrown up?


  • Administrators Posts: 49,893 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ awec


    Tomalak wrote: »
    I well believe it. The question is, are houses being built today being similarly thrown up?

    No.

    Standards and regulations much higher these days.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,777 ✭✭✭✭ Meredith Hot Vaseline


    Cyrus wrote: »
    people are confused as well as to what a timber frame home is.

    a timber frame house is a complete timber frame, most block built houses will still have a timber carcass to create the internal floor plan.

    A block built house will only have timber partitions upstairs and thats only if there is no hollow core. The vast majority of people (certainly anyone selfbuilding) get hollowcore now though so all the house will be block work which is a much much better job imo.

    Personally I’d stick with block built and would not even consider a house that didn’t have hollowcore for the second floor.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,952 ✭✭✭✭ Cyrus


    A block built house will only have timber partitions upstairs and thats only if there is no hollow core. The vast majority of people (certainly anyone selfbuilding) get hollowcore now though so all the house will be block work which is a much much better job imo.

    Personally I’d stick with block built and would not even consider a house that didn’t have hollowcore for the second floor.

    so a block built house (external walls all block) wont have stud walls downstairs?

    presume you mean hollow core for the under floor upstairs?

    i take your word on that, but i dont see many developer built new builds with hollow core on the second floor and i have been in a few.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,777 ✭✭✭✭ Meredith Hot Vaseline


    Cyrus wrote: »
    so a block built house (external walls all block) wont have stud walls downstairs?

    presume you mean hollow core for the under floor upstairs?

    No, well I’ve certainly never seen it anyway. All the internal walls downstairs will be block build.

    Yes hollowcore is for the underfloor upstairs and if you have hollowcore then the internal walls upstairs will be blockwork also.

    Stud walls are only for upstairs in a house without hollowcore as you can support the weight of block work on joists. I’m sure developers are not doing hollowcore as standard but it’s certainly much more common and as I said virtually no one having their own house built is using anything but hollowcore for many years now. Hollowcore is so so much better.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,626 ✭✭✭✭ meeeeh


    We rented in tiger block house. Except outside walls all other wals were timber frame. We could hear every argument neighbours had.

    We self build imported timber frame (certified for German market) and it's very good. Top floor is timber and poured concrete for underfloor heating. There are no sound issues because it's well insulated. Timber frame has probably shorter life span but quality can be just as good as concrete. It's the quality of build that matters a lot more than the type of build.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,952 ✭✭✭✭ Cyrus


    id prefer that too to be honest, no matter how well its done you get creaking from subfloors unfortunately.

    i was in several new build estates in Dublin at the more expensive end of the market and the best you will get is block built with timber internal partitioning with a lot of them going full timber frame.

    If i was building myself id also go with hollow core.


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  • Administrators Posts: 49,893 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ awec


    A block built house will only have timber partitions upstairs and thats only if there is no hollow core. The vast majority of people (certainly anyone selfbuilding) get hollowcore now though so all the house will be block work which is a much much better job imo.

    Personally I’d stick with block built and would not even consider a house that didn’t have hollowcore for the second floor.

    Wrong.

    Modern block build houses often have stud walls upstairs and downstairs. You can fit more insulation in stud walls.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,952 ✭✭✭✭ Cyrus


    awec wrote: »
    Wrong.

    Modern block build houses often have stud walls upstairs and downstairs. You can fit more insulation in stud walls.

    i think what he was saying was that if you have have a hollow core first floor you wont have stud partitions anywhere (as i presume they wont hold the weight?)

    but i dont think hollow core sub floors are that prevalent outside of self builds.


  • Administrators Posts: 49,893 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ awec


    Cyrus wrote: »
    i think what he was saying was that if you have have a hollow core first floor you wont have stud partitions anywhere (as i presume they wont hold the weight?)

    but i dont think hollow core sub floors are that prevalent outside of self builds.

    He's also saying block built houses don't have stud walls downstairs, which is incorrect.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,777 ✭✭✭✭ Meredith Hot Vaseline


    awec wrote: »
    Wrong.

    Modern block build houses often have stud walls upstairs and downstairs. You can fit more insulation in stud walls.

    I’ve never seen it (and I worked in construction for a number of years a few years back). I’d also see it’s a corner cutting if it is happening, block walls are far superior.

    Even just driving past building sites I’m always looking in and you can see blocklayers working away on internal walls. If stud partitions are happening downstairs they are rare imo.

    I’ve never seen internal walls being insulated either so not sure where the stud walls having more room for insulation comes into it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,671 ✭✭✭ mulbot


    I’ve never seen it (and I worked in construction for a number of years a few years back). I’d also see it’s a corner cutting if it is happening, block walls are far superior.
    Agree here, I'm the industry, I haven't come across a house built in any estate I've been on(in the last 3 years) , where the full downstairs aren't all block walls if it's a block built house. Upstairs timber , but not downstairs.


  • Administrators Posts: 49,893 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ awec


    I'm sitting in one right now.

    Grew up in a block built house, live in a house with stud partitions everywhere (built in 2019), the difference is slim-to-none in terms of sound. Heat is significantly better in my new house, but that's not really a fair comparison.

    The only real annoyance for me is you've to take more care when hanging things on the wall, but it's minor.

    That said, if stud walls are not done correctly they are rubbish.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,671 ✭✭✭ mulbot


    awec wrote: »
    I'm sitting in one right now.

    Grew up in a block built house, live in a house with stud partitions everywhere (built in 2019), the difference is slim-to-none in terms of sound. Heat is significantly better in my new house, but that's not really a fair comparison.

    The only real annoyance for me is you've to take more care when hanging things on the wall, but it's minor.

    That said, if stud walls are not done correctly they are rubbish.

    Are your timber walls insulated(the internal walls). If you gave it a thump does it not make more sound than a block wall?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,690 ✭✭✭ dhaughton99


    I moved into one over 10 years ago and have no issues. It’s was one of the councils who paid one of the big timber frame companies to put them in. It was used by the council to see if they were a faster and cheaper option. Took them over 2 years to build 22 and cost over 3 mil. Heat wise is fine but according to the clerk of works, it would cost €100 to heat because they were that well insulated. Was dead wrong on that. Sound wise is fine but my neighbors are old so wasn’t expecting much of an issue. One of the neighbors has been put in an old folks and a family of 5 moving in soon so dreading that. The council had people in to renovate next door, new kitchen, painting etc. They had some crowd in and with a massive drill, put in vents from the outside in. I remember asking the clerk of works re vents and he explained that the vents are in the window frames and there’s slits at the top of the house to let the frame breathe. When talking to the council during the renovation, I got the impression that they didn’t realize that they were timber framed. The council put in another 20 houses in the land adjacent to us and people moved in last year. All concrete. Beautiful looking. Finished to the highest. Big back and front gardens and solar and reclaimed heating. Turn around in a year and €3.5 mil.


  • Administrators Posts: 49,893 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ awec


    mulbot wrote: »
    Are your timber walls insulated(the internal walls). If you gave it a thump does it not make more sound than a block wall?

    If I hit the wall a thump it sounds hollow.

    I think they are insulated, but honestly we've reached the limit of my knowledge now. :D The house is A2/A3 rated, but not sure if internal wall insulation plays any part in that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,671 ✭✭✭ mulbot


    awec wrote: »
    If I hit the wall a thump it sounds hollow.

    I think they are insulated, but honestly we've reached the limit of my knowledge now. :D The house is A2/A3 rated, but not sure if internal wall insulation plays any part in that.

    ðŸ˜. You won't hear the same sound from block though.


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  • Administrators Posts: 49,893 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ awec


    mulbot wrote: »
    ðŸ˜. You won't hear the same sound from block though.

    The downstairs internal dividing walls are definitely not block. They sound hollow, and they're not thick enough to be block with stud work attached to the block.

    I am pretty sure the development up the street from me is exactly the same.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,626 ✭✭✭✭ meeeeh


    mulbot wrote: »
    Are your timber walls insulated(the internal walls). If you gave it a thump does it not make more sound than a block wall?

    Ours are packed with about 10cm of insulation. They also have concrete reinforced timber panels on kitchen walls so cabinets are easier to hang. Similar to some other walls on the house where we assumed there will be pictures and similar hanging.

    My parents house has block walls and I notice no difference in sound insulation.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I moved into one over 10 years ago and have no issues. It’s was one of the councils who paid one of the big timber frame companies to put them in. It was used by the council to see if they were a faster and cheaper option. Took them over 2 years to build 22 and cost over 3 mil. Heat wise is fine but according to the clerk of works, it would cost €100 to heat because they were that well insulated. Was dead wrong on that. Sound wise is fine but my neighbors are old so wasn’t expecting much of an issue. One of the neighbors has been put in an old folks and a family of 5 moving in soon so dreading that. The council had people in to renovate next door, new kitchen, painting etc. They had some crowd in and with a massive drill, put in vents from the outside in. I remember asking the clerk of works re vents and he explained that the vents are in the window frames and there’s slits at the top of the house to let the frame breathe. When talking to the council during the renovation, I got the impression that they didn’t realize that they were timber framed. The council put in another 20 houses in the land adjacent to us and people moved in last year. All concrete. Beautiful looking. Finished to the highest. Big back and front gardens and solar and reclaimed heating. Turn around in a year and €3.5 mil.

    You say you don't hear your neighbours but what about other people in your own house moving around upstairs or in adjacent bedrooms?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,690 ✭✭✭ dhaughton99


    Tomalak wrote: »
    You say you don't hear your neighbours but what about other people in your own house moving around upstairs or in adjacent bedrooms?

    Live on my own so can’t really say.


  • Administrators Posts: 49,893 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ awec


    Tomalak wrote: »
    You say you don't hear your neighbours but what about other people in your own house moving around upstairs or in adjacent bedrooms?

    In terms of noise between floors, if someone is walking very heavily, or a child is running about, you'll hear footsteps in the room beneath it, but you get used to them to the point you don't notice. "Normal" movement isn't heard.

    But that's the same for timber frame and block frame houses, because as said before, unless you're building your own house the floor upstairs will be timber.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,690 ✭✭✭ dhaughton99


    The internal walls are pictured here. Same insulation in all the internal walls. Upstairs floors are 3/4 marine ply. In the last pic, the large wall is the wall adjoining next doors. It then got insulated with rock wool, and two thick sheets of fire retardant plasterboard.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,777 ✭✭✭✭ Meredith Hot Vaseline


    awec wrote: »

    But that's the same for timber frame and block frame houses, because as said before, unless you're building your own house the floor upstairs will be timber.

    This is not true, there are estates built with hollowcore flooring, I even saw a recent social housing development that used hollowcore.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,671 ✭✭✭ mulbot


    This is not true, there are estates built with hollowcore flooring, I even saw a recent social housing development that used hollowcore.

    I wonder are we living near each otherðŸ˜I just finished a contract on a social estate built like this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,712 ✭✭✭ Rows Grower


    Timber frame all the way, of course all internal walls should be insulated.

    You will not believe how easy they are to heat, and how well they retain heat.

    No issues whatsoever with noise travelling from one room to another, no issues hanging pictures(????)

    Easier and quicker for all tradesmen to do their job.

    Did I mention heating? If my youngest lad ran down the hall he'd heat the house for a few days.

    Timber frame for the win.

    "Very soon we are going to Mars. You wouldn't have been going to Mars if my opponent won, that I can tell you. You wouldn't even be thinking about it."

    Donald Trump, March 13th 2018.



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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,986 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    awec wrote: »
    No.

    Standards and regulations much higher these days.

    Standards are higher, sound regs are higher but the basic principle of the party wall is still very similar to TF houses built 15 years ago.


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