What to look for onsite: Timber frames 

In the latest of our #whattolook4onsite series we take a look at Damp Proof Course (DPC) details in timber frame houses.

Timber frame homes are the norm in many countries and whilst their popularity in the UK has taken a while to take hold, they are now used by the mainstream house building industry.

One of the concerns some people still have with the use of timber frame is the effect of water ingress on the structure of the building. With this in mind it is more important than ever to ensure the correct detailing is used at DPC level.

What to look for onsite?

The below image shows the structure of a timber frame house at DPC level. Take a look at the picture and have a think about:

  • What construction details can you see?
  • Whether there are any issues?
  • What remedial action is necessary to address any issues?

The answers are at the bottom of this article.

So, what did you think?

What construction details can you see?

The photograph shows timber frame panels in place on a soleplate positioned and ring beam/ footings.

Are there any issues and what remedial action is necessary?

Hopefully you spotted the following issues:

  • Unusual soleplate/ring beam detail is likely to cause shrinkage problems so the surveyor would be looking at ways to reduce these issues such as making provision for the shrinkage of the frame at all external window , door openings, or flue outlet positions.
  • The membrane/vapour barrier is not wrapped around the corner leaving the timber frame exposed
  • The DPC is not visible below soleplate so the surveyor would be checking that the DPC has been installed correctly

Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty technical manual.


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