Timber frame vs SIPs: Weighing up which is best for your build

open plan oak frame kitchen in farmhouse style
Timber frame vs SIPs - which one is right for you? (Image credit: Stuart Cox)

Weighing up timber frame vs SIPs is becoming increasingly popular for self builders to consider when selecting the best construction methods for their new home.

If you are considering the self build option you will probably be aware that there are many ways to build a new home or extension project, but the most popular is to use a timber building system. According to the National Custom and Self Build Association, over 40% of all self builders opt to build with structural timber and as we progress to a ‘low carbon future’, their popularity is set to rise.

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Timber frame v SIPs: % project cost comparison *
System & Cladding Per m2 Per Project
Basic timber frame & brick100% 100.00%
Higher performance timber frame & brick 107%101.40%
SIPs & brick116%103.20%
Mark Stevenson

Mark Stevenson has worked as a construction professional for almost 30 years and following an extensive career in housebuilding became Managing Director of Potton where he now helps self builders build their own homes.

Whilst Mark describes himself as a ‘professional builder’ as a result of his career in housebuilding and timber systems manufacturing, he has specialist knowledge of timber construction and extensive expertise in finding land and appraising building plots.

He regularly shares his knowledge at Homebuilding & Renovating Shows and in Potton’s Self Build Academy where he leads the finding land and how to build seminar programme.

Aside from Mark’s professional career, his skills also extend to practical building knowledge as a skilled joiner, hands-on renovator and serial self-builder of his own development projects.

He is also Vice Chair of industry body, the Structural Timber Association.