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We’re seeing a sudden shift away from traditional foundations and block builds.

Declan Bourke of Timber Frame Ireland talks to Build & Renovate

Story Highlights
  • “The main factor with timber frame, aside from speed of course, is most definitely energy efficiency.”
  • “With all your ducks in a row as they say, you could be living in your new home within just months of order.”
  • “Given the flexibility of design, it's often preferred by the planners and architects too!”

Company Overview
The team at Timber Frame Ireland offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in the design, engineering, manufacture and erection of Passive standard timber frame homes. We take your build from the planning approval stage, right through to the erection of your pre-insulated and airtight panels, roofing and external block or cladding works. We even cover some of the internal finishes!

We truly believe that our people are what make us stand out from the crowd. We pride ourselves on having the most enthusiastic, multi-skilled and driven team, committed to manufacturing and delivering quality timber frame homes to the Irish market.

Dedicated, innovative, experienced; just some of the key words used to describe both our work ethic and our team. We understand that building can be overwhelming, which is why we assign a dedicated team, delivering an unmatched personalised service with regular updates as your build progresses. The same applies to large scale developments; scheduling and pre-planning are at the forefront of what we do. Here Declan Bourke gives us some insight into his company.

Build & Renovate: What would you like to tell us about the business?
Declan Bourke: Well, to introduce ourselves, we are Timber Frame Ireland – manufacturers and installers of timber frame homes.

We’re also the only roof truss and posi joist manufacturer in the Northwest, with our own design, manufacturing and fitting teams – so all is done in house! We offer the complete package from the insulated foundation, closed panel (pre-insulated) frame, roof slating, external block or cladding and quite a few other optional extras.

If going with our complete package, essentially all the self-builder needs to appoint is their initial architect, electrician/plumber and internal finishing trades.

B&R: Are you a nationwide company?
DB: We’re based up in the hills of County Donegal with teams covering nationwide. We’re actually on a new build at the moment overhanging the water in Glengarriff, County Cork – so distance certainly isn’t an issue!

B&R: What are the benefits of timber frame?
DB: The main factor with timber frame, aside from speed of course, is most definitely energy efficiency. It’s no coincidence that timber frame is the most popular building method in the world accounting for 70% of all new builds. It’s the only method used in similar cold climates such as Scandinavia and even Scotland.

In recent years, we’re seeing a sudden shift away from traditional foundations and block builds here in Ireland, more in favour of Passive insulated foundations and timber frame homes – both of which we provide! There’s the devastating effects of Mica & Pyrite in the blocks too. The trust in so-called ‘traditional methods’ just isn’t there anymore.

We go into quite a bit of detail on the benefits on our website, but the key factors are; speed, ease of airtightness, sustainability and flexibility of design. For the self-builder; the fact that the price is fixed as well is a big selling point, as all is manufactured off site – particularly in the times we live in at the moment!

B&R: How long will a timber frame house last?
DB: We get this question quite a bit – not so much in the last two years though. I think some are confusing a timber frame with a modular/cabin type build which would be considered temporary. A closed panel system is completely different.

Everything is precision designed and engineered, and goes through strict testing before even getting to site, and then again on install. The same Building Regulations apply. We’ve worked with all the main insurance providers and banks with absolutely no issues whatsoever.

In fact, they actually prefer timber frame in most cases as it’s quicker and the price is fixed, so there’s much less risk. Given the flexibility of design, it’s often preferred by the planners and architects too!

B&R: Approximately how long does it take to build a timber frame house?
DB: It differs from build to build in terms of complexity and the package chosen. As an example, our turnaround at the moment is approximately six to eight weeks from order until delivery (one to two weeks for design and three to four weeks for manufacture).

We cover the timber frame design & engineering, with all manufactured off-site, bespoke to your plans. The frame is delivered as a closed panel system with the insulation, airtightness and service cavity all factory fitted so your electricians and plumbers can get to work straight away (another cost saving!).

All can be run within the service battens and joists, so there’s no need to cut/drill blockwork, saving you time and money. Your windows can also be pre-ordered at design stage ready for install on erection of the frame. With all your ducks in a row as they say, you could be living in your new home within just months of order.

B&R: Have you anything else that you would like to add?
DB: I think that’s everything covered really! If any readers are interested in a site visit or factory tour – you’re more than welcome.

Have a look on our website at www.timberframeireland.ie where you can submit your plans at the top of the page or drop us an email and we’ll have a detailed quotation back to you within one to two working days!



Words: Emer KellyImages: Webpress

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