Norscot has a strong bias towards the very popular self-build kit home market, where it believes it can add most value and enhance customer service. Norscot has over 20 years experience in the design, manufacture, delivery and erection of timber frame self-build kit homes. Consequently, we have a clear understanding as to what works, and what doesn’t, in practical terms. Many self-builders have no previous experience and very little knowledge. Where necessary, Norscot will provide a certain amount of ‘hand-holding’, particularly with regard to the initial design. If you’re planning to design your own home and working to a limited budget, Norscot offers the following advice:
It may seem obvious that the bigger the house the greater the cost. But, initially, self-builders often plan far more space than they actually need. When deciding on layout you need to be realistic in your ambitions.
Design, is not merely an exercise in creating aesthetic appeal, it must offer a practical and cost effective solution. In the case of timber frame homes, designs should be based on a 600mm matrix, inside the external walls, so as to make best use of sheet materials and suit basic timber frame panel production and roof truss centres. Therefore, main internal spans will typically be 6000 / 6600 / 7200 / 7800mm and so on.
Where attic trusses are to be used the unsupported span should be no greater than 7200mm. In two storey houses the span for first floor joists should not exceed 4200mm. The optimum storey height is 2400mm.
Ideally, roof forms should be restricted to lean-to, mono-pitch and duo-pitch styles. Hip-ends and the like are expensive and should be avoided, unless critical to the design concept. Where multi-directional roof layouts are planned, sufficient support must be provided at roof intersections.
The maximum roof pitch should be 45° and within an attic trussed roof, the minimum wall height, at the bottom of the coomb (sloping ceiling), needs to be 1200mm, to be of practical use.
Norscot Windows and doors can be more or less any style, shape and size. But, individual windows / screens should be restricted to a maximum overall size of 3m in any direction, to limit wind movement. However, windows can be joined to produce larger glazed areas. Upstair windows will need to provide adequate means of escape, in the case of fire, and be cleanable from the inside. At least one external door will need to provide wheelchair access.
Bay windows may add aesthetic appeal but they are disproportionately expensive for the practical benefits derived. Consequently, they should be used sparingly and square bays are preferable to angled bays.
Dormer windows, like bay windows, may add aesthetic appeal but they are extremely expensive in relation to the additional floor area provided. Moreover, they will give rise to medium / long-term maintenance liabilities. Here again, they should be used sparingly.
Dormer windows are supported on multi-ply girder roof trusses. So, to keep cost to a minimum, dormers occurring on opposite sides of the roof should be positioned directly opposite each other. ‘Velux’ roof windows are much cheaper than dormer windows.
Where attic trusses are employed stairs should run parallel to and not across the roof trusses and be positioned such that the opening coincides with standard truss spacings. The Building Standards impose requirements which greatly restrict stair layouts. The optimum layout will be a straight flight, but there must be a minimum 2 metre headroom above the stairs and associated landings.
To accommodate wheelchair access, internal doors must be a minimum 826mm wide and corridors a minimum 1050mm wide. Upstairs, in one and a half storey houses, care should be taken to avoid having to cut doors to suit sloping ceilings. Ideally, wardrobes within rooms in the roof should be positioned parallel to the coomb. Wardrobes at right angles to the coomb may not be able to accommodate a full size door and this makes access (over the full width of the wardrobe) awkward.
By Courtesy Of The UK Timber Frame Association
There can be little doubt Norscot has stood the test of time. This means customers can expect products which are “fit for purpose” and a reliable service. They can also have total confidence in the comprehensive guarantees offered by the company.