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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthordebbiel
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2014
     
    Hello,

    I'm planning to build a timber frame house on a VERY tight budget! I would like the building to be as green in performance and sourcing as possible within my budget, plus a healthy living environment.

    I'm just getting everything ready for planning application, but there's some things I could do with some help on.

    Firstly, I'd like to use weatherboard cladding, and I'd prefer to use one of the woods that doesn't need preservative such as Western red cedar. Does anyone have any advice about which timber might be best, and also good suppliers?

    Secondly, I'm having trouble deciding about windows - it would seem timber frames are much more ecofriendly than UPVC but with the price being over double I'm wondering if there is any alternative I might have overlooked? Has anyone managed to get second hand windows? Any ideas welcome.

    I'm in Buckinghamshire.

    Thanks,Debbie
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2014
     
    Cedar comes in different grades and the cheaper ones may still be in budget as could Larch. However the cheaper grades are usually knotty and with that comes the possibility of warping and twisting, especially in a sunny aspect, with a bit of careful planning you could mix and match the grades and locations, and prune a few pounds.
    For windows look at engineered timber, usually painted. Cheapest would be softwood usually whitewood. then the next price range would be engineered hardwood, then Oak. Windows and glazing are important and IMO best not to skimp.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2014
     
    Posted By: debbiel…it would seem timber frames are much more ecofriendly than UPVC but with the price being over double I'm wondering if there is any alternative
    Glass fibre, perhaps? I think both ecologically and financially somewhere between UPVC and timber. Relatively rare but there are a couple of manufacturers in this country. I'd have looked into them more except that almost all my windows will be roof windows.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2014
     
    Have you looked for local joinery companies that can make frames. High Wycombe used to have loads of them.
    • CommentAuthorjamesingram
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2014 edited
     
    Hard to find cheap stuff in south buckinghamshire :sad:
    I got some uk cedar feather edge from Benson a few years back .They sawed it up for me. A bit rough but very good price.
  1.  
    I used Western Red Cedar no. 2 clear and better for cladding our house. Looks good but isn't cheap unfortunately. The big suppliers are Silva and Vincent but I got mine locally.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2014
     
    Larch is great for durable cladding, homegrown is fine whereas homegrown cedar can be a little fluffy. But in 1" boards, not feather edged. Make sure it's all heartwood. May be in glut supply therefore cheap, because of the larch disease epidemic causing everything to be felled - or else the glut has passed and it'd unavailable at any price!

    Windows - Uw 1.1 3G ones from Russell Timbertech or Munster Joinery are unbeatable pricewise, in non-plastic. Not PH grade but the sweet-spot price vs performance wise, in my opinion.
    • CommentAuthorCerisy
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2014
     
    We went through similar discussions here in Normandy. Originally western red cedar was our preferred option, but looking at the surrounding houses in our hamlet and taking into account our dislike of brown or grey houses, we have ended up with heat-treated pine t&g finished with Dulux Weathershield stain - 10C31 (cream) to echo the local properties (all badly damaged in the war and rebuilt with part stone and part cream painted cement render). We have picked out the window surrounds and corners with white Barn Paint by Bedec (brilliant product), so the cream is broken up sufficiently. Surprisingly the cladding was cheaper over here than in the UK - about the only thing that is!!
    • CommentAuthoradwindrum
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2014
     
    Yprado windows...fibre glass...amazing u-values, and VERY cheap. I didn't get them for my build but wish I had now.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2014
     
    Impressive - pity it's the lip-over 'stormproof' type not flush-fronted, and v wide section width on face , loss of glass area. The design shown - is it open-in or open-out?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2014
     
    Out I would guess otherwise the seal would be exposed. I looked at them for slide and fold but in the end opted for wood. I was worried they were not yet well enough established in the UK, fabrication n' all, to risk it.
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