Methods of construction
As a self-builder you have a choice of four principle methods of building. These are modern masonry construction (brick and block), a steel framed structure, conventional timber frame and SIPS (structurally insulated panel system). We consider the first of these as the natural choice for individuals building their own home.
A steel frame would be prohibitively expensive and would only be considered if you have vast open areas within a building e.g. sports halls and community centres. So this form of construction is currently really only suitable for public buildings. Conventional timber frame in our honest opinion has no real merit for those building their own home. It offers no cost saving on masonry build; it is not quicker in real terms, is less energy efficient, has inferior sound insulation and provides a much lower thermal mass. It is a method of construction more suited to low cost volume house building where standard house types are repeated on a large estate.
Modern masonry construction is the most popular choice amongst self-builders (and the building industry in general) and by some distance. SIPS is growing in popularity but mainly with executive housing developments as conventional timber frame struggles to cope with the demands of the latest building regulations (see 'ECO Design' on the main menu).
Modern masonry construction (‘Brick & Block’)
Our Company Architect gives his in-depth view of modern masonry construction in his article Build in Silence (click here for link).