How long do timber frame homes last?
The life span of any building depends on the life of materials used for its construction. Indirectly, it is depending on ageing of the material and how long it takes to deteriorate. Material deterioration can be affected by many factors; quality of material, and external factors like weather conditions. Timber frames are available in many different quality standards.
This blog will answer your basic question of whether timber frame house is worth buying or not especially when age is focused. Timber building may last for hundreds and thousands of years depending on the type of timber used, timely maintenance, and preservation.
Normally, the most basic houses’ frames made with softwood have age of about 30 years, but in the UK, engineers must design houses for a minimum of 60 years, regardless of the materials. High quality timber lasts longer. So, the exception is always there. If the material has poor quality, then due to weather harshness it becomes vulnerable to structural damages. Then it has less life than the standard life span.
Timber construction can be witnessed from the historical buildings. Timber frame buildings have been around long before 700AD when the oldest wooden building was built, this due to many advantages. Timber construction never gets old owing to various advantages. Timber frame building is fast, easy, aesthetically attractive, versatile, and cost effective due to material’s availability.
Let’s have a look on the life span of some of the case studies of historical buildings made up of timber. One of the oldest buildings is Horyuji temple, situated in Japan. It is a temple building, an eye-catching historical space for locals. It is considered as the national treasure of Japan near Nara.
This five storey building was rebuilt in 700AD after 100 years of its construction. After a fire it was rebuilt. You will be amazed after knowing that these Japanese wooden temples are still existing even after more than 1300 years. The architecture is influenced by religion and Horyuji which is the main reference for architectural elevations in Japanese buildings.
Another building worth mentioning is Greensted church in Essex, England. The oldest wooden church in the whole world still standing in Europe since the mid of 9th century. The 1200 years old building is surprisingly still operational to serve the locals.
Historic house of Fairbanks in Dedham, Massachusetts was constructed in CA 1641. The oldest timber-house standing in North America, tested by dendrochronology. Quality of the construction method and materials are the main reasons of its survival.
Considering these case studies, timber constructed buildings can survive +1000 years.
In earthquake regions it stands as first preference. Timbers are green building materials unlike the brick-build construction.
Mostly, you cannot recognise the old timber-frame houses due to the new façade being adopted by modern architectural design. Barns have remain a big part of modern timber construction, with the use of modern mechanical fixings like screws and nails which have helped to speed up the construction process..