Timber Grades

Structural softwood generally comes in two grades in the UK – C16 and C24.  The C means coniferous and the number represents the strength class that the timber has reached – the higher the number the stronger and stiffer the timber.

For roofs, generally Grade C16 will be sufficient as the size of timbers is often determined by the insulation requirements.  Recent changes to Building Regulations have meant that the insulation thicknesses have increased and therefore size of timber needs to increase as well.

For upper floors, there is not the requirement for as much insulation and the size and grade of timber is more determined by the loading and span of the joist.  Generally, as small a joist as possible to meet the requirements so you lose less internal space, i.e greater floor to ceiling heights.

C16 grade timbers will normally be less expensive than the same size in grade C24, as they have more defects,i.e knots, grain deviation and wane but if they work for their intended use, thats the important bit.  Grade C16 timber is also more likely to have been grown within th UK, as the climate is good for faster growing varieties of trees so less carbon footprint from transportation costs from overseas.  Grade C24 comes from slower growing areas such as Scandinavia or the Alps.  If your timber will be seen in the final design, then you may want C24 as it will have fewer defects and be of a more uniform condition.

There is no need to automatically go for C24, as it could be more expensive without any additional benefits.

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Definitions of Surveys

There are many different types of surveys and investigations for buildings and the Construction Industry Council (CIC) has produced a useful document defining the different types.  The term “structural survey” although widely used should be avoided as it is not well defined and can lead to confusion as to what is included or excluded.  A link to the document is included below.

Definitions of Surveys

Corona Virus Update

Coronavirus Update

We would like to reassure our customers that Davies Torres Design is still open and available for business. 

All our staff are working from home and available as usual to provide sketch drawings, calculations and full packages for Building Regulations applications.  We are continuing to work on new build and internal, external alterations and extensions to domestic and commercial properties.

Most of this can be carried out remotely using any plans, drawings or photographs you may have already.  Only where a site visit is absolutely necessary to take measurements, determining structural arrangement or to view ground conditions, we will arrange a suitable time/visit and ensure we observe all Government recommendations regards social distancing in order to reduce risk.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss work to be carried out either now or in the future.  We are happy to talk over the phone and provide a fee quote via email.