Getting a mortgage for a timber frame house

Timber frame houses are generally cheaper and quicker for builders to build. The Designing Buildings website – updated on the 7th of February 2022 – identified the additional advantages of such homes:

  • because the timber frame can be erected quickly, internal trades such as electricals, plumbing and plastering can be started so much earlier too;
  • since timber panels and components are made and assembled offsite, tighter quality control standards can be maintained than if they were manufactured entirely onsite;
  • with comparable construction thicknesses, thermal performance is typically better with a timber frame than masonry construction – the home will also warm up more quickly though it can also cool down more quickly than a stone or brick-built dwelling;
  • provided sound construction techniques are used, timber frame houses are strong and robust – combining cost-effectiveness with the use of optimum amounts of materials; and
  • with the increased use of renewable timber – where any tree felled is replaced by a new one that is planted – timber might also be the more sustainable option than traditional brick, stone, and concrete construction.

With all these benefits going for this construction technique, let’s take a closer look at why timber-framed house mortgages may prove such a challenge to secure.


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Can I get a mortgage for a timber-framed house?

Although it might be more of a challenge – and careful guidance from a professional broker may give you the confidence you need – a mortgage for a timber framed house is still possible. You simply need to be aware of the restrictions and limitations.

A timber frame construction technique is regarded as non-standard or non-traditional construction – in much the same way as prefab concrete, K Lath, and steel frame homes are also considered non-standard or non-traditional. Therefore, they are far less common than conventional or standard homes built from stone or brick and with a slate or tiled roof.

If you have set your sights on the purchase of a timber frame home, a mortgage is by no means out of the question. The benefits of timber frame construction have already been outlined and these might be enough to swing you in the direction of such a purchase.

Simply remember that there may be issues finding a mortgage, insuring the property, and a more cautious and wary approach from potential buyers if and when you come to resell your home.


Why can it be difficult to get a timber frame mortgage?

We have stressed the availability of mortgages for many types of non-standard construction, including timber frame homes. Although a non-standard construction mortgage may be available, however, it is unlikely to be offered by as wide a selection of mortgage lenders as you would find when buying a conventionally built house.

You will encounter a more restricted market choice and lenders specialising in non-standard construction mortgages will take a closer interest in the nature, type, and build quality of your chosen property.

Any questions about the build quality of a home built using non-standard construction techniques make mortgage lenders wary and hesitant – not least because of the adverse effects of less than perfect build quality on the resale value of the property (if you default on the mortgage repayments, for example).

So, let’s look at the questions raised on the website Brand New Homes about the build quality of timber frame houses:

Durability

  • although manufacturing techniques have improved the durability of the timber used for framing, it still has a significantly shorter life span than stone or brick construction;

Infestation

  • because it is a natural material, timber untreated timber can attract pests and infestations – accelerating any tendency towards wood rot;

Security

  • timber framing offers considerably less resistance to intruders than stone or brickwork; and

Noise

  • bricks, stone, or concrete blocks will insulate homeowners from more noise than a timber frame home.

All of these are likely to adversely affect the resale value of a timber frame home and, for that reason, give any prospective mortgage lender cause for reconsideration – but, in many cases, not outright rejection.


What criteria are considered when applying for a mortgage for a timber framed house?

It is worth reiterating some of the considerations likely to be made when any lender assesses your application for a mortgage.

As with any home, of course, the condition of the building will be a priority – and that goes for timber frame homes every bit as much as standard constructions. A more up to date, modern, and well-maintained timber frame home, therefore, is likely to attract greater interest and favour from lenders than one which is dilapidated and in need of restoration.

In any event, a detailed survey will be required – including your plans for financing any necessary renovations or restoration. Too much additional work might put off some lenders although others might even grant you staged advances on the funding needed for your planned building works.


Next steps- Timber Frame House Mortgages

If you have set your sights on a timber frame home, you may be likely to find it a challenge in finding the appropriate lender. That could make it even more helpful to draw on the advice and guidance of professionals such as us at NeedingAdvice.co.uk at an early stage.


Some Additional FAQs – Mortgage for Timber Frame Houses

Can you get a mortgage on a timber-framed house?

Yes, you can get a timber frame house mortgage but the approval depends on various factors. Some mortgage lenders in the UK consider such timber-frame buildings as non-standard construction. If you are in mortgages on timber-framed buildings, you can contact a mortgage broker before starting your mortgage application.

Will I need planning permission for a timber-framed building?

You do not require planning permission for a timber frame house because they are classified as ‘non-permitted development. This means that there are no restrictions on their use. However, if you want to convert them into flats, then you will need planning permission. You should check this out with your local council’s planning department.

Is it possible to buy a timber frame property without having a deposit?

This is possible but it will depend on the individual circumstances. The best way to find out whether you can afford to buy a timber frame house without putting down a deposit is to speak to a mortgage broker who specialises in helping people finance properties. They will be able to advise you on how much money you would need to borrow and what type of mortgage you would qualify for.

How long does it take to build a timber frame house?

There are different types of timber frame houses depending on the size and design of the structure. It takes about two years to build a small timber frame house while larger ones can take longer. The time took also depends on the availability of materials and skilled labour.

Can I get a timber frame property mortgage with a bad credit history?

Yes, you can get a timber frame property mortgage with bad credit scenarios. The problem is that there are only a few bad credit mortgage lenders who can approve your mortgage application process.

Can I get a self-build mortgage?

Self-build mortgages are available from specialist banks and building societies. These are usually designed to help first-time buyers purchase new homes. Self-build mortgages are often cheaper than traditional loans. The timber-Framed property comes under a common way to get self-build mortgages.

Can you get an equity release on a timber-framed property?

If you own a timber-framed property, you might be interested in getting an equity release mortgage. Equity release mortgages allow homeowners to access some or all of the value of their home by selling off part of their property. There are many benefits associated with these mortgages including tax relief, reduced maintenance costs and lower rates of interest.

What is the eligibility requirement for self-build mortgages?

The eligibility criteria for self-build mortgages vary between different lenders. Generally speaking, applicants must have a good credit rating and enough savings to cover the cost of the mortgage repayments. In addition, most lenders require applicants to have sufficient income to make the monthly payments. If you are interested in getting a mortgage for such a type of building, you can contact a market broker for exclusive mortgage deals.

How much can I borrow for my timber framed property?

Depending on the lender, you can borrow up to 80% of the property’s market value. If you’re looking at buying a timber-framed property, you’ll probably

What is considered a non-standard house as per the UK Building Society?

A standard constructed property which is made of bricks and mortar or stone with a tiled roof is considered a non-standard construction property. A timber-frame house is a type of non-standard construction property because it’s not built using bricks or stones. However, it has its advantages over other types of non-standard constructions.