Timber Frame – Between the Order and the Build

We all know timber frame can be complex logistically and it is vital that customers know what the next steps will be once the quote, package adjustment and commercial process is done, once all the specifications and figures have been agreed.

The first thing that happens is an initial site visit. This is where the RML team check access, ensure space for crane and set down areas are viable and generally to talk through the overall process and logistics for the build.

We do this to ensure there are no surprises later down the line which may otherwise cause stoppages to the build. By undertaking an initial visit at this very early stage, any challenges a particular site may present can be discussed and plans put in place to mitigate and overcome.

Once the order is place, our Design team will be the next point of contact. They will provide an overall design programme indicating the required milestones and timescales that need to be met for our customers’ build programme to stay on track.

James Stanbridge, Head of Timber Frame, explains RML’s customer focus in this context: “We assist our clients every step of the way. If we feel the design process isn’t developing the way it needs to, we will highlight this at the earliest opportunity – interacting directly with our clients’ consultants, architects or consulting engineers. The RML team will always be proactive rather than knowingly allow a project to be delayed.”

The Design team will then arrange for engineering to be started, with a view to getting line and point loads issued initially – this to enable our clients to progress with sub-structure/foundation designs. Next:

  • Frozen architectural drawings are confirmed
  • Full timber frame engineering package is finalised
  • Timber frame layouts & sections are issued for comment/approval.

Once in receipt of approval our designers will develop the timber frame detailing into a finished design pack and derive from this completed design the manufacturing information for walls, floors and roofs.

Procurement of materials will begin – steel posts & beams, specialist metalwork or thermal breaks. Non-standard items have longer lead times which we factor into our programming at the outset.

Around this time the next site visit will be scheduled. This time to undertake a crane survey, discuss scaffold requirements, double check there have been no changes to the site layout and define a more detailed delivery schedule and programme and sequence of build on multiple unit projects.

Around two weeks before the timber frame start date our RAMS will be issued. Method statements, risk assessments, site specific crane lifting plans and crane methodology and risk assessments. Our installers will attend to survey the sub-structure and if the sub-structure is ready we will install our DPC and sole plates ready for deliveries to start imminently.

If you’re thinking about a timber frame project and have questions, email us or call our team on 01933 279597.

If you have a development project you’d like to talk to our timber frame team about, email sales@rmuk.co.uk or call us on 01933 279597.