Timber frame building: materials specification

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This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) outlines the materials normally specified for conventional timber frame buildings. Some variations will occur according to the structural design and detailing requirements of specific projects. Many of the components are also used in innovative forms of construction such as engineered stud and twin stud walls, cross-laminated timber and structural insulated panel forms.

Many components, such as cladding materials and joinery, are not specific to timber frame and are therefore not covered in detail here.

Timber frame houses built under housing warranty schemes should also satisfy the scheme detailed requirements, which may not be covered in this WIS.


  • Timber frame construction
  • Framing
  • Timber trussed rafters
  • Sheathing
  • Floor decks
  • Thermal insulation
  • Vapour control layer
  • Breather membranes
  • Cavity barriers and fire stops
  • Cladding
  • Wall tiles
  • Lintels for masonry cladding
  • Wall linings and ceilings

Suggested Reading

Breather membranes for timber frame wallsnavigation-arrow

All timber frame walls are designed to 'breathe'. The term 'breathe' refers to the ability of a wall to allow water vapour to diffuse through the structure. This is an important consideration to the long term durability of the timber structure.

A breather membrane restricts the passage of...

01/03/2019 |  Wood Information Sheet  

Cladding for timber frame buildingsnavigation-arrow

The main functions of cladding on a timber frame building are to provide weather resistance and create the external appearance required by the client.

Materials for cladding can be subdivided into two main categories: those which are self-supporting (built from their own foundation and tied back to the timber...

26/07/2018 |  Wood Information Sheet  

Improving thermal performance of existing timber frame buildingsnavigation-arrow

As fuel prices rise, fossil fuel supplies become more unpredictable and we strive to reduce our CO2 emissions, every Watt saved now counts.

This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) outlines the options for improving the thermal performance of existing timber frame buildings and summarises the important issues that specifiers...

22/06/2021 |  Wood Information Sheet