Stages of a Frame Build Project

Self Build Timber Frame Structure - Stages Of Build

Stages of a Frame Build Project Step by Step | To give you an insight into self building with Frame Build UK, we have put together a step by step guide of the stages involved in building your new home.

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Stages of A Frame Build Project - Frame Build UK

Timber frame is one of the fastest growing sectors within the construction industry. Widely accepted as a factory produced and offsite engineered solution to self build homes, residential developments and schools.

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Stages of a Frame Build Project

1. Site Preparation


Health and Safety


Entrance and Access

Water and Electricity Supply

Space Planning

2. Working With Sub-Contractors

Obviously during the stages of a frame build project, always remember that an ‘estimate’ is not a quotation and you should obtain a written quotation since this is a fixed, binding figure and should define the scope of the works to be completed. With the large majority of trades, you should obtain quotations for ‘Labour and Materials’, unless you have a specific reason not to do so. An example of an exception to this is brickwork, which is almost always ‘Labour’ only Always check with each subcontractor exactly what is included and what is excluded from their package. You may need to provide materials for some subcontract trades. Ensure these are ordered in good time. Don’t forget to check they have the correct insurances in place!

3. Groundworkers

Setting Out


Structural Floor, Insulation and Floor Finishes


4. Scaffolding

Always choose and agree a price with a qualified, recommended scaffolder. Internal features may also require additional scaffolding, such as vaulted ceilings and galleried hallways. It is advisable to lay a hardcore strip around the outside of your house in order to provide a firm base for scaffold. A scaffolder is not obliged to erect a scaffold if he considers the ground to be unsuitable. This could cause unnecessary delays. No one should be allowed on the scaffolding until it is complete and a certificate issued (by the scaffolder).

5. Timber Frame Structure

Erection Service

Sole Plates

Timber Frame Panels

Intermediate Floors

Roof Structure

6. First Fix Trades

First Fix Carpentry

With a timber frame structure loose timbers (noggins) that are typically required for services. Any that are required should be fixed by your carpenter to support electrical sockets, plasterboard, kitchen units etc. Try to fix all window sill boards from underneath at this stage; they can quite easily be screwed, thereby avoiding any holes and filling on the top face.

First Fix Plumbing and Electrical Services

The installation of all cabling and pipe work. It is essential that cutting / drilling of the timber frame structure be carried out in strict accord with the Frame Build UK Construction Details. MAKE SURE YOUR CONTRACTOR IS AWARE! Liaison with your electrician, plumber, kitchen and sanitary ware supplier is essential to ensure correct provision of timber supports. Ensure that electrical box supports are fitted in accordance with the building regulations.

7. Insulation

Thermal / Acoustic Insulation

8. Plasterboarding


Plasterboard used on walls and ceilings is an internal finish which is a fundamental structural element offering an appropriate degree of fire and acoustic performance. Plasterboard must be fixed in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, usually by screw fixing directly to the TIMBER FRAME panels and or directly to the timber internal walls. The joints should then be taped, filled and smoothed. Plasterboard for walls should be taper edged for a taped and jointed system, but for ceilings can be either taper edged or square edged dependent on the final decorative finish.


Storage of plasterboard must adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. Care must be taken not to overload upper floors. It is not advisable to put any more than 12-14 sheets of 12.5mm plasterboard in any one stack.

9. Claddings

These are the different claddings that are available:

Roof Finishes


Interlocking concrete tiles are large format and are generally the most cost effective. Plain tiles may be concrete or clay and they cover an average of sixty to the square meter, and so have a consequential increased labour cost. Plain tiles are often used for tile hanging.


May be stone, quarried slate or man-made. Man-made slates are available and are made from either fibre and cement or moulded with a mixture of slate dust and glass fibre resin.


Frame Build UK houses can accommodate most types of roof covering. If you intend to use natural or man-made slate it is important that details are agreed prior to the structure construction. Tiled roofs will require nailing according to the exposure rating and the manufacturer’s recommendations. As soon as the tilers have finished, decorate the facia and fix the guttering prior to the scaffolding coming down.

10. Second Fix Package

This all comes as part of your joinery package

Second Fix

Works to be carried out include the following:

Additional Tasks

There are other tasks that the carpenters are often called upon to carry out as extras to the above:

Carpenters/joiners will usually work on a labour only basis so all the materials and fixings will have to be supplied by you.

11. Second Fix Services

These are to be completed to finish off your new home.

Second Fix Electrics

Second Fix Plumbing

The installation of the sanitary ware, radiators, boiler and rainwater goods etc. This will also include commissioning and the issuing of certificates for Building Control approval. In most cases your plumber will fix the rainwater goods, e.g. guttering and down pipes, as part of his second fix work. Don’t forget to give services (water, gas and electricity) plenty of notice of your requirements and timing for connection.


This trade is usually labour only with the decorator providing most of their own tools including brushes, sandpaper and fillers. Most timber windows and door frames are supplied with a protective base coat, suitable for receiving either paint or stain decoration. It is essential to complete final decoration as soon as possible, and in accordance with the chosen manufacturer’s instructions.

Internal Joinery

12. Landscaping

Hard and soft landscaping

Regulatory Requirements

Lastly during the stages of a Frame Build Project, the approach to a building from the boundary should be designed to allow access for the disabled. This is set out in the Building Regulations. Ramps will be required for the main point of access to the house. Normally steps are not allowed except on steeply sloping sites. Many local authorities refuse to issue a completion certificate until such time as a proper driveway is installed. They may also insist on pathways, including disabled access and bin stores being completed.