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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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    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2014 edited
    So I've sent my drawings to my shortlisted TF suppliers.So whilst they beaver away preparing their prices I'm starting to consider how the analyse the various quotes. I know I could simply accept the lowest price, but experience tells me that value for money, quality and performance don't always go together. So I'm thinking the use of a spread sheet could help ensure I'm comparing 'like with like' and to help identify added benefits and missed opportunities.

    So if you had to analyse a number of TF quotes what would you include in your checklist?
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2014
    So you have done the right thing and got a number of quotes.
    How did you choose between them?
    Cost and quality?
    Analysis of each quote to make sure your comparing apples and apples?
    I'd start by making a list of "things included/not included".

    So make this nice long list - including, delivery, offloading, scaffolding, etc.etc...
    Thne be prepared to quiz each supplier in detail asking - is this/that included. Where is it in the quote. How much is it?

    then you can get the apples with apples comparison
    I would make a key criteria the amount of work they sub out -

    The company I'm using have their own on site steel fabrication which seems to be making the steelwork very simple to vary and gives confidence it's going to integrate with the timber.

    However, they sub out the design and engineering and passing between Timber co/Designer/Engineer has added a lot of delays as things are passed down the chain and back again.

    Check what experience they have of dealing with your sort of build. Find out who you'll be dealing with a primary contact.
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeJul 9th 2014 edited
    Well the timber frame quotes are starting to arrive.

    Interestingly the most costly quote is double to cheapest. I'd have expected them to be closer than that, given they have all had the same drawings and information.

    Is such a wide price spread normal ? I suppose this is where the analysis comes in !!?
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2014 edited
    So at the start of the Timber Frame quotation process I sent each company a set of drawings and a brief setting out my specific requirements. But with all things building, the quotes that came back were different, some only slightly and others significantly.

    So having searched around I come to the conclusion that the best method is to do a spread sheet listing all me requirements and then to enter the information each company supplied. This left me with a list of extras that some companies included in their quotes, things like foundations, cranes and scaffolds! And exclusions, cranes and scaffold etc. So I've added all these to me broadsheet and obtained prices for each and entered the missing information. I'm hoping that having done this I'll get a better understanding of what is being offered and which company is offering the best price.

    Hope all the above makes sense!
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2014
    Is there much difference between them now?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2014
    Steve, why not split your requirement/needs into say three categories and get each of your chosen firms to quote for each separately. that way you've got a better comparison. especially the Basic model.

    1. Basic, i.e. supply and deliver only

    2. Basic,- enhanced, i.e. supply, deliver, and erect onto pre- prepared founds. this to whatever finish you specify, e.g. watertight, tiled, guttering etc. plant and onsite lifting etc. supplied by others, namely you.

    3. Full Monty i.e. there's the plot, call me when you're done.

    Maybe you've done this already. :bigsmile:
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2014
    Can the companies give you references from previous customers of theirs so you can contact them and ask if they were satisfied with the work done etc?
    I looked at two other properties my timber frame company had built and both the owners were happy and one was a certified PH. They still managed to cock mine up a bit and now they've ceased trading. It can be a bit of a lottery how ever careful you are!
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2014 edited
    Posted By: owlmanBasic,- enhanced, i.e. supply, deliver, and erect onto pre- prepared founds. this to whatever finish you specify, e.g. watertight, tiled, guttering etc. plant and onsite lifting etc. supplied by others, namely you.
    This is what I specifically asked for from the companies selected. Only 2 actually quotes in accordance with my wishes. One only wanted to cut the materials to size for me to fix together? and another quoted for the full Monty, something I did not ask for. I agree with Peter it can be a Lottery even when you have asked for something specific!
    • CommentAuthorTimber
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2014
    Well sounds like you can get rid of a few of the companies as they have not offered what you asked for.

    Then for the others, get some opinions of people who have used them.
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2014
    Can check them out at Companies House and DueDil as well.
    • CommentAuthorTimber
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2014
    Good tip - look at the directors and previous companies/directorships.
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2014
    A couple of quotes state that the cost of Timber Frame and foundations represent 25% of the total cost of the build. Is this true?
    For my build it was 24%, so pretty close.
    • CommentAuthorargy
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2014
    Mine was also about 25% with the timber frame being half of that. Total cost of the timber frame including erection and all ground floor insulation was £31k for a 1.5 storey house with 5 dormers (two of them large) and a gable end totaling 2800 sq ft

    My advice on timber frame supplier selection

    - go for a design (from bcontrol drawings), manufacture and erection package including crane hire
    - a company using CNC cutting equipment (our timber frame fitted onto the slab within mm tolerance). This also enables you to order the windows upfront (so long as they again come from a CNC supplier) with the knowledge that they are going to fit into the frames
    - make sure the the timber frame company is large (a number of the smaller timber frame companies seem to come and go)
    - have the timber frame company put the rigid insulation into the panels. They can buy the insulation cheaper than you can and have the facilities to cut and insert on the flat

    I think it is normal practice for the timber frame company to sub contract out the erection to a regional joinery company who then use an erection gang on a fixed price to do the build
    Posted By: argyI think it is normal practice for the timber frame company to sub contract out the erection to a regional joinery company who then use an erection gang on a fixed price to do the build

    And this is a definite weak point in the process. You control the Timber frame company and have some control over the design process but when you get to actual erection you've a team of people whose profit is dependent on them getting the building up as quickly as possible. I'm suffering from that at the moment as ours goes up. It's not terrible but it's not as good as I'd have liked it.

    Worth considering a different way of organising the erection. I'd have thought the way to guarantee best work would be to pay a day rate and closely supervise on site.
    • CommentAuthorargy
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2014
    I'm not sure if I totally agree with you Simon. If you select a timber frame company that is big enough to have sufficient sway over the joinery/erection company then you have recourse always to the timber frame company. If you use day workers then its totally up to you of course. The advantage of an erection gang is that they are experienced (being balanced on the top of the roof trusses is no mean feat), all the insurance and health and safety is someone else's responsibility, the crane hire and timing is dealt with by the tf company and, in my case, they were cheap (I reckon I would have spent at least double the £5k or so they cost if I used joiners)

    I know what you mean though as I had similar problems and had to go back to the timber frame company eventually when they were speedily sorted out. I still ended up with a couple of issues that were annoying as much as anything - the trusses didn't go in at dead on the 600mm centres which meant putting rigid insulation between them was a pain (warm roof - I'd advise against) plus they didn't tape along the edges of the first floor boarding which gave problems when it rained on them (I should have forseen that and done it myself)
    I think it's worth using a professional erection company. However, sometimes it's better not to be on a fixed price - if you're interested in the best quality it might be worth taking on some of the risk of that stage yourself. Paying for the team to be on site an extra day or two might could mean more care taken in the work.

    Just a thought. If you can trust people and/or supervise them closely paying a day rate rather than fixed job generally means happier people focusing on doing a good job rather than a quick one.
    • CommentAuthortrw144
    • CommentTimeJan 23rd 2015

    Do you mind saying who you obtained quotes from?
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