Apr 09, 2014

Building new homes? Here’s how to do it faster and catch the wave

After several stagnant years in the UK new homes market, demand is now outstripping supply. Housebuilders need to be able to respond quickly to catch the crest of the wave, and the opportunity is brief. Here’s how you can see it in action, and get ahead of the pack.

Ever seen a surfer catch a wave? Impressive, right? Ever seen one miss it completely? You can almost feel their disappointment as they paddle back out to sea to try again.

The current surge in the UK new homes market is the wave all housebuilders are trying to catch, but missing it can’t easily be remedied by paddling back and having another go. This is a once-in-an-economic-cycle chance for housebuilders to get right to the front of the pack.

In doing so, there are challenges to overcome; impending sustainability targets, planning approvals, mortgage availability, and the continuing brick shortage. There’s also the cost element – financing a new development is a hefty undertaking, and a tight rein on costs is essential.

Here are our top reasons why offsite construction of timber frame is a good way to meet the demand effectively:

1. Speed of build: Typically, a masonry-based construction project will take 18 weeks to complete. Our timber systems can bring this down to seven weeks from the foundations; the offsite construction means the building is erected quickly on site, regardless of weather. So you can build two timber system-based houses in the same time as one masonry-based house, and start generating cash four weeks earlier.

2. Capacity: Our factories have the capacity to meet the growing requirements of housebuilders which want to take advantage of the improving new homes market. We operate on the basis of three week call-offs once the final designs are complete, and our Witney factory alone produces 10,000 units per year. We’re also increasing our headcount to meet the growing demand.

3. Reduced costs: Offsite construction means reduced prelim costs. There are also overall labour savings, lower crane and scaffolding costs, reduced material disposal costs due to lower waste, reduced health and safety implications, fewer weather delays, and others. That in turn means a quick return on capital outlay.

4. Quality assurance: Offsite construction methods allow precision, factory-controlled engineering, which means the design you specify is reflected in the end product. That not only makes it easier when it comes to the onsite build stage, but also assures energy efficiency performance within the parameters you set.


If you’d like to see for yourself (for free) how offsite construction works, and how it can help your business achieve its objectives, we’ll be holding a (free) tour of our factory in Witney, Oxford on Wednesday, April 9. Did we mention it’s free? You can register by following this link – we hope to see you there (and surfboards are not mandatory).

Homes For Scotland Home Builders Federation National House-Building Council Royal Institute of British Architects Structural Timber Association Constructionline British Board of Agrement Wood Campus Build Off Site Building Research Establishment WOOD FOR GOOD

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