Could timber frame give you more space?

Ian Loughnane, Kingspan Timber Solutions, looks at how using a market leading insulation within a timber structural wall can pay lifelong dividends.

Anyone considering building a new home quickly realises three things:Anyone considering building a new home quickly realises three things:

  1. The market value of your home is driven by the floor area (internal living space)
  2. The size of your home is limited by the plot and planning permission
  3. Space comes at a premium

Space = Value

The amount of internal floor area you build into your home is critical to its finished value. There are other considerations but the more usable space there is, the more it will be worth.Given that a typical build cost can start from £1400 per m², it’s easy to see how simply building bigger will inflate your budget.Thankfully, there are ways to maximise floor space in a self-build. One smart way to do this is to use technology and advances structural systems to release extra space within the overall house plan.

By using a market leading insulation like Kingspan’s Kooltherm within a timber structural wall we can deliver high thermal performance in a slim wall build up – delivering more internal space!

When choosing a build system many ignore thickness and performance with cost alone being used as the main criteria for selection. There are many systems to choose from and building to reasonable levels of thermal efficiency isn’t difficult but if that performance is delivered without the benefit of high performance insulation materials it’s almost certain that the overall wall will be thicker meaning less living space for a given external envelope.

By using a market leading insulation like Kingspan’s Kooltherm within a timber structural wall we can deliver high thermal performance in a slim wall build up. This really can pay lifelong dividends.

To illustrate the point let’s look at some typical walls. Based on a brick external skin with a cavity let’s compare some systems that provide a U value of 0.17 W/m²K inclusive of service zones and internal finishes where applicable.

Construction type Insulation type Wall thickness to achieve 0.17 W/m²K
Masonry (medium dense block) Cavity blown bead 435mm
Masonry (medium dense block) Cavity PIR board 380mm
Insulating concrete formwork (ICF) EPS permanent formwork 451mm
Timber frame Kingspan Kooltherm 312mm

What could you do with the extra living space?

The obvious option would be to live in it and take the chance to potentially increase your home’s worth. In Cambridge’s CB2 postcode, Zoopla* values detached houses at £6,437 per m²; so an extra 9m² of free space could add £58,000. At a rate of £1,400 per m², building this extra internal area would cost just £12,600 – potentially yielding a profit of £45,400.

Take the Kingspan Space Test and see how much space you could gain

Submit your drawings online to take the space test and we will send you a space gain calculation within 2 days and tell you how much more your finished home could be worth as a result!

Kingspan Timber Solutions provides professional support and high-quality systems for self-builders who want to work with an external architect or house designer. To get a quote and take the Kingspan Space Test call 01767 676400 or visit www.kingspantimbersolutions.co.uk/space

*Correct at time of collating data