About Us

Read about our company and our building methods.

About Us

Please view the information about Knysna Timber Homes and our construction methods below. Click on the tabs to expand the text. 

About Knysna Timber Homes

Knysna Timber Homes – Established 1988.

Knysna Timber Homes provides a full turnkey service to clients which means that the need for a client to deal with a number of service providers including architects, engineers, surveyors, local authorities and sub contractors is eliminated, simplifying the process and making it more cost effective.

Knysna Timber Homes will however gladly collaborate with and assist any professional service provider or other which the client may wish to appoint in his/her project..

Primarily a timber construction company specializing in timber design and construction. Our projects and services include design and building of homes, resorts, convention centers, restaurants, office buildings and various other structures.

Knysna Timber Homes provides a full turnkey service to clients including:

  • Project Assessment
  • Architectural Design and Sketch Plans
  • Cost Estimates
  • Land Surveys
  • Local Authority Building Plan Approval
  • Construction Detailing
  • Project Management
  • Subcontracted Items including Built-In Cupboards, Electrical Wiring and Plumbing.

Knysna Timber Homes is based in Knysna and participate in local and international projects. It is vital that cognizance is given to the fact that our satisfied clients are our most successful marketing agents!

Timber is the only building material derived from a renewable resource. It is considered an agricultural crop that is harvested and replanted in a continually regenerating cycle while nonrenewable resources such as iron ore are mined on a permanently depleting basis. Knysna Timber Homes only uses timber sourced from sustainable forests.

Timber provides wide-ranging benefits such as carbon sequestration. Since trees capture and store carbon they are currently the most cost effective and readily expandable means of drawing CO2 out of the atmosphere. Even if the tree is cut down, carbon dioxide is still kept out of the atmosphere if the wood is used to make long-life products, such as houses. Moreover, once they are cut, if the acreage is replanted with seedlings, those seedlings will grow much faster, and store more carbon dioxide per year, than the older trees that were cut down.

Sustainably harvested timber has a lower carbon footprint compared to other building materials such as concrete, brick, ceramic tiles, aluminium and steel. Carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming, are three times higher for steel than for a comparable quantity of wood.

Timber as a building material is energy efficient in that it needs less energy (usually sourced from finite fossil fuels) for its industrial production and transformation compared with other building materials. Steel requires three times as much energy as its wood counterpart to extract, manufacture, transport, and construct. While wood accounts for 46 percent of industrial raw materials (by weight) worldwide, it uses only 4 percent of the energy required to process raw materials into useful products.

Timber is biodegradable and easily recyclable. Even the insulation Knysna Timber Homes uses is polymer from recycled PET bottles and is completely recyclable.

Timber is a healthy, non-toxic, natural building material.

Timber is light and therefore easy to transport.

Gram for gram, wood is the strongest structural material commonly used in building.

Timber homes are energy efficient.

Timber is the best insulator of all structural building materials and, when used together with fiber or foil insulation in a well designed building, minimal external energy is needed to heat and cool the home.

Timber construction is quick.

In the case of a fire, timber retains its mechanical properties. Moreover it transmits heat 10 times less quickly than the concrete, and 250 times less quickly than the steel.

Timber homes create a relaxing living environment. It has been scientifically proven that a kind of terpene substance emitted by wood, which is used for protection against invaders, is effective in relaxing the mind and body. This is the so-called "forest bath" effect. This effect does not change once the tree has been harvested. It continues to provide us with a deeply relaxing environment.

Knysna Timber Homes utilise a Timber Frame Building System which complies with National Building Regulations, relevant SABS codes and is approved for bond purposes by all major financial institutions in South Africa . Our system allows for architecturally innovative designs and are often combined with masonry, steel and any various other forms of construction. A Knysna Timber Homes project is on average completed in less that 1/3 of the time that it would take to complete a similar project with bricks and mortar. All timber components used in our buildings are from sustainable sources and our methods of construction and choice of products are at the heart of sustainable living . The overall masses of our timber structures are considerably less than those of conventional brick and mortar buildings. These structures are therefore an ideal choice when adding an additional story on top of existing brick or other structures. Finishes and cladding options both internally and externally are limitless. Knysna Timber Homes is able to guarantee its product and workmanship to a far greater extent than other timber construction companies who do not employ their own construction teams and have to reply on subcontractors to construct and complete their projects. Highly skilled building teams are full time employed by Knysna Timber Homes and we are therefore able to provide our clients with a full 12 month guarantee after handover. All timber components are preservative treated to comply with SABS standards, to ensure a high quality and long lasting product.

Timber Construction Info

Floor Structures normally consist of either a conventional concrete slab or a raised timber base. A raised timber base floor structure is more suitable for steeper sites and ecologically sensitive areas as it minimizes the environmental impact during and after construction. There are no restrictions to the choices a client can make when it comes to floor finishes but timber tongue & groove flooring is statistically the most preferred option. Tiles may be fitted to floors, walls and showers in the same manner in which they are fitted to surfaces in a conventional brick structure. Timber Decks , balustrades and staircases feature more prominently in timber designed structures. Exterior living spaces are created on the outside of buildings which are both practical and visually pleasing.

Internal and external walls are constructed using engineer designed stud frames. These frames create cavities in walls which are used for the reticulation of electrical wiring, plumbing, water lines, gas, telephones, TV and any other required services. Fibre wool insulation is then packed into wall cavities; this provides excellent sound and thermal insulation and reduces the possible spread of flame. External walls are cladded with a wide variety of profiles and materials including timber logs, shiplap planking, fibre cement planking and corrugated iron sheeting. Various combinations of these finishes can be used for visually pleasing and exciting architectural results. External walls are always cladded with plywood sheeting board as well as a plastic waterproofing membrane which are fitted underneath the final exterior finish. Internal walls are also insulated with fibre wool to ensure a very high standard of sound and thermal insulation. These walls are normally cladded on both sides with timber panneling or dry wall cladding. Windows and doors are normally manufactured from hardwood or aluminium but UPVC, steel and other materials may also be considered. Glazing complies with NBR safety standards.

Roof Construction methods used are similar to those used in conventional brick structures; either of the following two systems may be used: ROOF TRUSSES – The Roof Truss System consist of rafters which dictate the roof angle combined with horizontal tie beams which form the basis for the ceiling. King and queen posts are used to connect the rafters and tie beams together, thereby forming a rigid structural entity. EXPOSED RAFTERS – The Exposed Rafters System employs bigger, stronger, single timber beams which are fitted closer together. Ceilings are normally placed on top of the rafters creating extra volume and an aesthetically pleasing finished product. Steeper roof pitches create the opportunity to include loft/mezzanine floors in the roof spaces. Roof structures used in our Timber Frame Buildings are well insulated and the choices for final roof cover are the same for both systems. Final roof cover can include roof tiles, roof sheeting, thatching or any other practical product available.

The timber frame building system as employed by Knysna Timber Homes allows for architecturally innovative designs which may also be combined with masonry, steel, or any other form of construction or material. The system is specifically suited to renovation and extension projects for the following reasons: Timber structures are an ideal choice when adding an additional storey on top of an existing building due to the fact that the weight of a timber structure is considerably less than that of a conventional brick and mortar building.