Comparing Quotations For Building Works

In this article we give you some pointers for when comparing quotes for timber framed buildings. All to often quotations are judged by price only, but this may not provide you with the full picture. So here’s some points that may serve you well with your comparisons:

1) Your first objective is to get all builders to quote for a specification that is on a ‘like for like basis’. This will mean your need to be clear on the construction materials and methods surrounding your project before quotations take place. The clearer your spec is for the builders the better, this type of detail will be the basis of their quotations, a surveyor can assist you with this detail on the more detailed projects. The less time spent on this detail the more you leave your project open to interpretation and trimming of materials, construction methods and ultimately quality.

2) Focus on the main timber/oak frame structure itself, identify the cross section timber sizes and timber types utilized throughout the frame. Ask the builder to note the timber sizes on a 3D drawing if possible, this will enable you to identify where the main timbers are positioned. Here your start to see the difference between builders/companies and their frames. The more quality frames will provide very chunky timbers throughout. Question what timbers are used in the studwork. Often an oak framing company will substitute oak studwork with cheaper softwood alternatives, a sign of things to come.

3) Establish how the frames fixtures and fittings are to be carried out, will the frame be fixed down into its brickwork, will there be dovetailed or mortise-and-tenon joints used, if so identify where these are in the frame, some builders will simply nail or screw a joint where others take time to incorporate a superior joint such as those mentioned above.

4) Timber frames are often finished with cladding to the exterior, these timbers can differ in quality. Establish the cross section size, cladding tapers so your looking for its thickest and thinnest dimensions, overall this will give you a fix on its cross section size. Check what type of timber it’s made from and if it is treated. All of this will enable you to compare the quality of your clad.

5) Exterior Joinery is a minefield and often over looked by many, after all a door is a door right? Well actually no! There is considerable difference in would can effect the longevity in your door. The main aim for timber barn doors is to select a very stable timber to be used. We use Iroko as this South American timber is very stable. Next we would advise the door to be Frame, Ledge & Braced at the rear with the front planks rebate into the main frame. This helps control movement. Timber choice and its construction method are the two plus points to focus in on when comparing exterior door quotes. We have written more about doors in our other blogs.

6) Identify what type of roofing tiles are offered within the price. There is a whole array of tiles on the market place and being as the roof covering forms such a large surface area of a build its important to understand how this will look finished. We find often clients overlook this detail. For our barns the starting point is a Marley clay nib tile, which has a camber / curve across two sides, having this additional curve creates an irregular timeless finish that is within keeping with the rest of the structure. Cheaper alternatives would be a very flat uniform tile, we avoid using these as we believe the effect is disappointing.