Before you contact us, have a look at these FAQs and see if your query is answered here.
This depends on your own perception and whether you think bricks are “better”. Timber has a number of advantages over conventional build:
a) It is a renewable resource;
b) it has very low embodied carbon;
c) it is much quicker to build in prefabricated timber and much less weather dependant;
d) the build is much cleaner with few wet trades;
e) It is easier to achieve air tightness of the shell with a log building than block or brick walls;
f) the structure is lighter, requiring shallower foundations;
g) timber houses are largely earthquake proof and walls don’t collapse if a lorry crashes into them for instance;
h) interior timber wall panelling (instead of plasterboard) is recognised as creating a much healthier living environment.
All our log houses are manufactured in Finland where they have much greater extremes of temperature than the UK. They are designed to use as little energy as practicable in winter and remain cool in summer. You can specify as much depth of insulation as you want to achieve a target U value (we can guide you here, and it will depend on the insulation you choose to use). Wood is good at retaining heat and the log walls contribute to the overall efficiency of the house.
Timber has been used as a building material for centuries, if not millennia. The oldest log building in Finland that is still standing is thought to be St. Henry’s Chapel in Kokemäki, built in the 1400s. Arguably, a log house built today, well maintained, should still be standing 500 years from now (https://www.hirsikoti.fi/en/log-construction). Here in the UK, St Andrew’s Church in Greensted, Essex is even older – claiming to be the oldest wooden church in the world. It has oak planks that were cut in around 1060 (see http://www.greenstedchurch.org.uk/). If your home is well designed, built and then maintained there is no reason why it shouldn’t outlast you and your family.
Modern long life coatings are designed to allow the timber to breathe and be easily recoated when required, typically every 8 years on average (unless in very exposed situations).
Yes, all our homes comply with, and often exceed, UK building regulations.
Yes; and though some companies have a policy of not lending on timber houses, there is still a range of lenders who will offer a mortgage once the house is complete. None of them offer a traditional mortgage to build a new house, so if you do need to borrow to build your home, you’ll need a staged release loan / self build mortgage, which can be converted to a standard mortgage on completion.
Yes, absolutely – talk to us about what you need. To date, all of our customers have altered the layout from the ‘standard’.
We answered this question in depth in one of our blogs How long will it take Scandinavian Homes to build my house?
Yes and no, just like any other house. The right design in the right place will (or should) gain permission, however it is highly unlikely that you’d get permission for a log house with acres of glazing in a suburban street of brick or rendered houses. Think about the inside more than the outside as you spend a lot more time living in the house than gazing adoringly at the exterior. The floor plans can be made to work for you and the design and finish of the outside may well need to be a compromise, unless you are lucky enough to find an isolated plot where you’ll have greater scope for innovation.
Yes, we can offer help, and our suppliers can produce drawings to support your planning application.
Yes and no. If you want to build in your front garden, you will definitely need planning permission. In your back garden, if the building is above a certain height, or within 2m of your boundary, you will also need planning permission. We have some detailed advice for you here – Planning a Garden Room.
Our range includes too many houses to have them all in a brochure, and all our projects are customised to suit each client anyway. We have included most of the essential information about them on our website.
Because there are so many possible options with self-build houses and we customise all our builds to suit our clients, it isn’t really practicable to have a price list. Please ask about any houses you like and we’ll be able to give you guide prices for supply of parts, watertight shell build or a turnkey build to our standard specification.
If customers are willing to have their house showcased, we usually put a case study up on our website, and any interior photos will be shown there. We also show interior photos from houses our suppliers have built in other countries.
Scandinavian Homes is a UK company and and we import and build only within the UK. However, our Finnish manufacturers can supply to and have agents in other countries; we can pass on your request to them.
No, unfortunately, this is not a service we are able to offer.
We could possibly shell-build (structure built including roof to watertight but not tiled) one of the smaller two-bedroom homes for you within that budget, but you would need to do the rest of the work yourself. It would not be possible to do a turnkey build within that budget.
This is a very difficult request to respond to in any meaningful way, as our 2 and 3 bedroom homes range in size from around 40m² to over 160m². It would be better if we chat to you about what size plot you have, then we can make suggestions as to what will work.
We don’t have a show house in the UK, although we can sometimes arrange with past customers for you to visit their homes. Our suppliers in Finland do have show homes which can be visited.
Regardless of what they are made from, all houses constructed in the UK must comply with the relevant fire safety regulations (there are separate building regulations for Scotland, England and Wales, and Northern Ireland but these are broadly similar). Much of the housing built on the continent and in Scandinavia is made from timber. There is plenty of evidence that log buildings are safer than buildings made from steel or masonry, as they don’t tend to collapse as readily in a fire. This video illustrates a comparison between a timber building and one that is more traditionally constructed –
Usually no as they have to meet the same regulations as any other construction, have the same perceived value and similar rebuild costs.