Is shopping local for timber frame a good thing?

Timber frame kit being loaded onto lorry by forklift

Modern methods of construction, supply chain management, and efficient shipping methods make it possible for timber frame companies to deliver bespoke solutions and high-quality products to customers across the UK. Sometimes self-builders prioritise the location of the manufacturing company in their decision-making process. Buying local is something we support. We do this as much as possible, recognising that local businesses contribute significantly to the local economy and community. However, when it comes to choosing a timber frame supplier, your decision should be based on the quality and craftsmanship of the product. In this article, we set out some of the reasons why shopping local for a timber frame could be short-sighted.

Location doesn’t determine quality

The location of the manufacturing facility does not determine the level of expertise or quality of a company’s products. Focusing on a reputation, experience, and track record is a better indicator of project success than a company’s physical location.

A global product

Globalisation has enabled efficient supply chain development and advanced logistics networks. As a result, timber frame companies source materials from sustainable forests worldwide. Manufacturing location doesn’t limit the availability or quality of the materials used in the construction process. If your carbon footprint is crucial to you, note that the timber in your kit has probably travelled across continents to reach the factory it’s made in. A few more miles across the UK in delivery will be offset by the carbon sequestration effect of the timber used in your home.

Video conferencing has transformed the way we communicate

Physical proximity to the manufacturing facility is not a design or manufacturing process prerequisite. More fundamental to project success is effective communication. The adoption of video conferencing in recent years bridges geographical gaps facilitating connectivity and effective collaboration. There’s also an argument to say that video conferencing now makes it quicker and easier to schedule meetings when you need them.

Timber frame is highly transportable

The flat pack nature of timber frame generally makes delivery of your kit fast, reliable, and cost-effective. Using 40-foot trailers also means your kit will be seamlessly transferred between different modes of transport, if for example, a ferry is required. We can coordinate the logistics and ensure all materials reach your site safely, regardless of the distance.

But what if something goes wrong?

Seeking comfort in your supplier being ‘just around the corner’ in case of an issue might end up being a false economy if it’s one of your key decision criteria. The offsite manufacture of timber frame within a factory environment means quality should be a given. However, an excellent timber frame company will never leave you hanging in the face of an issue, no matter your distance to their facility. Don’t plan for the worst; plan for the best. Choose your supplier based on the quality of the products they make!

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