We perceive frame houses very ambiguously, because each potential customer is often armed with a whole arsenal of deliberately negative “conclusions” about the quality of this construction technology. But most of them are nothing more than ordinary myths that we will try to dispel.
Myth 1: frame houses are unreliable and short-lived
Exactly the same can be said about any house, be it wooden, block or brick, if construction technology was violated during construction.
The main problem lies in perception. When we talk about a stone house, we mean that this building stands on a solid foundation, for which we used high-quality concrete, reinforcement of the required type, correctly tied it up and poured it, gave it time to gain strength. Then walls were erected from solid bricks, proportions were observed when preparing the mortar, work was carried out in an acceptable temperature regime, etc. These are just those moments that lie on the surface, and how many nuances the technology of building a stone house contains! And only strict adherence to SNiPs and technical regulations guarantees that as a result you will get a truly reliable home.
Unfortunately, in frame construction, everything is not so simple. Due to the apparent simplicity, almost all developers undertake the construction of houses, but only a few study and follow the technology. Hence the fragility of buildings. With a competent approach and the use of the right materials, frame houses cost from 50 years and … for example, in Alaska, a frame house built in 1680 has been preserved.
Well, if we turn to our history, it’s enough to walk through the old country houses of the Moscow region, where many frame-panel buildings of the first third of the last century have been preserved. They were built as summer housing, but over time they were adapted for permanent residence and are still in operation. Some are already under a hundred years old!
So, a frame house will be durable if:
– it is built according to a competent project,
– the construction technology is followed,
– Appropriate material applied.
The weak point of any frame house is lumber. At the initial stage, all elements can be treated with antiseptics, but after assembly it is simply impossible to get to some components. And if wood with defects or poorly dried wood was chosen for construction, this will certainly affect the durability of the building. Therefore, approach the choice of material for the frame especially responsibly.
Myth 2: Skeletons are not intended for permanent residence
Like any house, a frame dwelling can be summer or all-weather. Another question is that it is difficult and costly to convert a light frame house into a winter dwelling. Therefore, you should immediately decide on the purpose of housing. What does it mean? This means that this is essentially one thing – to minimize all possible heat losses. What does that require?
Choose the right type of foundation
For winter frame houses, it is recommended to organize UShP – an insulated Swedish plate. This is a monolithic foundation of shallow depth with a layer of insulation. All engineering communications are laid in the UWB, including underfloor heating.
Insulate all structural elements
For example, in frame winter houses using the DOM TECHNONICOL technology, the walls are insulated with mineral wool at least 250 mm thick with a mandatory cross-layout of the sheets to neutralize cold bridges. If the house has several floors, interfloor ceilings are additionally insulated. The layer of mineral wool in this case is 100 mm. The roof truss system is insulated with mineral wool with a layer of at least 300 mm. Windows are installed with a six-chamber profile system, with a double-glazed window.
Competently organize ventilation
With such insulation, ventilation is necessary. The best option is mechanical ventilation with warm air recovery. So fresh air enters the house – but heat is not lost. The result is a comfortable warm home for permanent residence.
Myth 3: Frame houses are cold because the walls are thin
What is a frame house wall? This is a layer cake, which is based on insulation, that is, a material that reduces heat transfer. Here you need to discard the lyrics and turn to the numbers, namely the characteristics of the insulation. So, for example, 10 cm of TECHNONICOL stone wool, which is used for the frame
Myth 3: Frame houses are cold because the walls are thin
What is a frame house wall? This is a layer cake, which is based on insulation, that is, a material that reduces heat transfer. Here you need to discard the lyrics and turn to the numbers, namely the characteristics of the insulation. So, for example, 10 cm of TECHNONICOL stone wool, which is used for frame structures, corresponds to 44 cm of timber or 198 cm of brickwork in terms of heat-saving capacity. So what’s the point of making the walls thick?
Myth 4: frame houses wobble
Unfortunately, many frame houses do react even to the slamming of the front door. It’s probably convenient: sitting in a back room, knowing that someone has come. But if without jokes, then this property is a big minus. Why does this effect occur? The answer is banal: due to a violation of construction technology, combined with an irresistible desire to save money.
Exactly for the same reason, steps are heard throughout the house – in this case, the norms for maximum deflections are violated. Beams under load, of course, do not break, but noticeably sag, which leads to creaks and vibration of structures when walking. It turns out a kind of drum effect. And again, we all rest on the need to comply with the technology, because in well-built frame houses there are no such problems.
Myth 5: frame houses have poor sound insulation
A good home is not only warm and dry, but also quiet. Achieving the latter is not always easy, and this problem is especially relevant for frame houses. True, not for everyone. Sound insulation is provided not only due to the quality of the building materials themselves, but also due to the observance of the rules for working with them. This applies to any structure – stone or frame, it does not matter. If your frame house is insulated with the highest quality insulation, but at the same time with minor, but still violations, do not expect silence. Internal sound insulation is provided by constructive solutions, in accordance with which walls and ceilings are connected.
Myth 6: in 5-10 years, all insulation will “sit down” or mice will start in it
A lot here depends on the quality of the insulation. Modern mineral and stone wool, with proper installation and operation, does not deform for up to 60 years. Is it a lot or a little? You decide. But let’s think about it: replacing a rotten crown of a wooden house or stopping the deformation of a brick structure is much more expensive and labor-intensive than changing the insulation in a frame!
It is also fundamentally wrong to say that any of the fillers of the frame walls will be eaten by rats. Yes, insulation manufacturers are aware of these kinds of problems, and therefore they are working on new materials. In fact, rodents do not eat heaters – they can gnaw their moves and make nests. But, for example, they really do not like stone wool, because it makes them feel thirsty, thus creating uncomfortable living conditions. And the foundation of the UWB itself serves as a barrier to the penetration of rodents. That is why we talk so insistently about meticulous observance of construction technology: carefully sealed gaps and technological holes simply will not allow rodents to penetrate inside the walls and get to the insulation.
Myth 7: a frame house is a thermos in which it is impossible to breathe
A good frame house really looks like a thermos. It has a closed circuit of heat and vapor barrier. This is the only way to achieve high energy efficiency. This principle is also relevant for any other buildings, regardless of the material. Therefore, this kind of claim can be presented to any energy-efficient home. Whatever the house, it is important that ventilation is included in the project, and preferably with a recuperation function. Then the house will have a comfortable microclimate and always enough fresh air.
Houses are equipped with a natural ventilation system as standard. Thanks to this, in addition to the presence of fresh air, the house achieves savings on heating up to 50% compared to brick houses. You can also install a mechanical ventilation unit with a heat recuperator, which will give another 20% heat savings.
Myth 8: there are drafts in skeletons, load-bearing structures get wet and rot, but nothing can be done about it, because the house must “breathe”</strong >
This myth is the exact opposite of the previous one and clearly characterizes a low-quality frame house. It really has drafts, and rotten supports, and moisture under the skin. There is a neglect of the vapor barrier or its incorrect installation.
A quality frame house “breathes” only through ventilation! There should not be any drafts in it. But the supporting structures must remain dry. Only then will the house serve you for many years!
Myth 9: a frame house holds heat worse than a stone house
As we have already found out, frame houses are any buildings based on a frame filled with insulation. But this is a very vague concept, combining a huge number of options. Naturally, there are frame buildings that do not keep heat well, but there are also those that are in no way inferior to stone buildings, and sometimes even surpass them.
Myth 10: frame houses are many times cheaper than brick houses
The cost of construction is a decisive issue in most cases. It is at this stage that many fall into the trap of profit-seeking. Looking through the offers, you can often find very tempting price tags. So one gets the impression that a frame house is several times cheaper than a stone, block and even timber one. How can you not be interested? What are you ultimately paying for? What exactly do construction companies invest in the concept of “frame house”? A truly high-quality carcass cannot be so cheap.
Myth 11: builders save money on everything, and quality cannot be verified
Unfortunately, this is only partly a myth. Indeed, this happens as well. The way out is to control every step or use the services of technical supervision.
Myth 12: A frame house can only be finished with wood
In fact, the finish of the frame can be anything. So, for example, the facade of the house according to the project can be made under plaster, plaster with stone, brickwork, imitation of timber. And the stability of the structure allows the use of any materials for interior decoration. So, for example, it is quite possible to lay tiles in a bathroom or kitchen.
Myth 13: Frame houses are unhealthy
Just like any other house can be harmful. If you choose safe materials, there is nothing to be afraid of. The frame technology itself does not carry any dangers.
Almost any of the myths about frame houses is based on reviews or on the experience of living in low-quality buildings. There are, unfortunately, a lot of those. But you need to understand that frame construction can and should be different. It is comfortable and safe to live in such houses, and building them is quick and convenient.