Before you contact us, have a look at these FAQs and see if your query is answered here.
Do you build houses or ship kits to Europe, USA, Australia/New Zealand?
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 .
Do you have a brochure of your house collection that you can send to me?
Our range includes too many houses to have them all in a brochure, so we have included most of the essential information about them on our website.
Do you have a price list you can send me?
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.
Are the houses not a fire risk, being made of timber?
All houses must comply with fire safety regulations, and much of the housing built on the continent and in Scandinavia is timber framed. There is plenty of evidence that they are no less safe than masonry houses and indeed they can be considered in some ways safer as they don’t collapse as readily in the case of fire.
How long do they last? After all timber rots.
Timber has been used as a building material for centuries, if not millennia, and examples exist of timber houses several hundred years old. Rot only occurs when timber is exposed to high moisture levels, not to be confused with high humidity. i.e. it if is wet for a prolonged period it will decay, however that implies poor design, construction or maintenance.
Are they high maintenance? I don’t want to have to paint it every year or two.
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). Alternatively a timber framed house in such locations can be externally rendered to minimise maintenance.
Can I get a mortgage?
Yes and though some companies have a policy of not lending on timber framed houses, there is still a wide 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 a staged release loan is required, which can be converted to a standard mortgage on completion.
Do they cost more to insure, being timber?
Usually no as they have to meet the same regulations as any other construction, have the same perceived value and similar rebuild costs.
Why should I buy a timber house if the cost is the same as bricks and mortar?
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 timber frame 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.
Can I get planning permission for one of your houses?
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.
How energy efficient will it be?
All our 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. Our panel houses are nearly passive standard and log houses can be specified with as much depth of insulation as is wanted. Wood is good at retaining heat and the log walls contribute to the overall efficiency of the house.