Frame houses

Construction of frame houses, panel/element houses

Frame construction is cheap, convenient and easy method of construction. Here, the quality of materials and work culture are extremely important. There are a few design requirements that can not be infringed. The wood has to be dried and impregnated in such a way as required, because otherwise it will begin to twist and it will damage entire finish at the best case and in the worst case the house can be distorted. Heat, steam and wind insulation must be installed perfectly, because lightweight panels coverings will be blown off, there will be no sound insulation or it will be cold. It is necessary to install a good ventilation,  otherwise the microclimate will be similar to the microclimate in the closed polyethylene bag. 

Construction of frame houses is often a quicker process than construction of other types of buildings. When the project is ready, the foundation is excavated and the continuous power supply is guaranteed, the frame of the house can be built in about two weeks. When the frame is finished, the doors and windows are mounted, it lasts from a few days to a week, then sewerage, water supply, heating, electrical installations, the external decoration of the house, the heat, air and sound insulation are made.

Wooden elements are widely used in construction of residential frame houses in Lithuania in recent years. Frame wooden walls are assembled from components, which are manufactured in factories. Waterproofing is placed on the foundation and the lower part of the frame is placed above it.

Struts are mounted on it and they are strengthened using supports.  Then the upper frame part is mounted. Frame houses are light, so there is no need to make the massive foundation.  According to specialists, the most suitable foundation is monolithic reinforced foundation. The foundation blocks can be used for the frame houses but they must be insulated more carefully.

The frame and the walls

All frame elements are usually made of beams. They are connected using tenons, staples, steel bands, etc. The ceiling beams and roof rafters are braced to the upper frame part. Frame struts are usually made of 100×100, 150×100 and 150×50mm beams, they are arranged every 0.6 -1.5m. Additional struts and girders are constructed in the places of openings.

They are elements of windows and doors. The frame is sheathed using 20-25mm thickness double cutting boards from the outside or 12-18mm OSD board is used. Then 20-25 mm air space is left and finishing boards are planked on the bearing beams.

When wider and more solid foundation is constructed, wood frame walls can be fronted with half brick thickness wall.  2-5 cm space is left between the wall and the brick wall in order to remove water vapour and openings for air circulation are left at the bottom and at the top of the brick wall. It is possible to plank the external wall using panelling, to use decorative bricks or decorative plaster. 

Lightweight mineral wool boards or mats, polystyrol or other effective thermal insulation materials are fitted between the inner and outer coating of the boards.  Walls of frame houses are thin but thermal properties of the properly constructed frame house are better than thermal properties of houses of other constructions .

The frame is usually made from coniferous wood. Sometimes the frame, which made of beams, is filled using the same beams, natural stones, bricks or blocks and plastered. Rolled materials (polyethylene film, parchment, etc.) can be laid to reduce the wind's blow. It is recommended that the walls of the frame houses would be insulated using three layers of at least 15 cm thick mineral wool filler in conditions of Lithuanian climate.  It is recommended to lay even thicker layers of rock wool for the ceilings - no less than 20 cm. 

The wall thickness of a frame house depends on the number of windows and their dimensions in the house in order that all heat insulation would form a closed circuit. The inner walls of the house are usually constructed of  plasterboard panels.  The chipboard panels can be fixed under the plasterboard panels in the places where it is intended to mount the cupboards.  

The houses with such constructions are built very quickly and they can be adapted to any project according to the customer's wishes. The cost of the frame houses is approximately 20-25 percent cheaper comparing them with the houses with other constructions.  The layout of the frame houses can be freely changed during construction without increasing of the expenditure and the estimate, it is easy to repair or reconstruct them. 

Frame construction is known since ancient times. The buildings of our seacoast zone - fachverks fascinate by old walls, which are built using the framework technology. Frame houses are distinguished by the lower price of the walls comparing to the price of the walls of timber houses.  Not only wood is used for the external decoration, the house can be decorated using clinker, it can be plastered.  The frame is produced from dried, calibrated, graduated (C16 - C24) wood.

Advantages of the frame house comparing it to the timber (log) house:

  • shorter ordering time;
  • fast building of the “box” in the object ;
  • Good thermal efficiency of the house (it is possible to achieve A++ or even the passive house standards); 
  • Freedom for architecture - there are no structural constraints, which are inevitable in a timber (log) house.

The properly constructed frame house can serve more than one hundred years. You can be sure that the frame house will serve you for a lifetime because we use only the highest quality materials and the most advanced technologies. 

Only natural materials that are not harmful to the environment and the residents of the house are used for building of the frame houses. We recommend to choose the passive house variant if you are looking for not only environmentally friendly, but also cost-effective choice.  The energy leakage of such type of frame houses is minimal. It is a more harmonious relationship with nature and extremely low heating costs.

How do stereotypes influence our choice - frame or brick houses?

We tend to follow the stereotypes in different situations although we live in the modern world, in which new technologies are rapidly making their way.  Stereotypes do not bypass the construction sector in which there are a lot of myths about the new technologies.  Frame houses are relatively new technologies, about which myths are disseminated - these houses are not durable, economical, their service life is short, etc. As a result, people tend to choose the brick house, which is related to durability and reliability.  We strive to deny the myths which are related to building of frame houses and help to choose the solutions, which are not influenced by stereotypes. 

There is one of the most popular myths about durability of the  frame houses. The man, who does not know the technology, imagines that the frame house is built from unstable “sticks”. However, the frame house is built according to the construction project, in which the required constructional solutions are provided.   The special construction timber with the precise dimensions is used for the construction of the house. The house, which is built in accordance with all technological requirements, is as durable as the brick house.

People say that frame houses are not economical, they fear that heating costs will be high. However, the practice shows that the heating costs are much lower than the heating costs of the brick house. Materials which are used for wall, ceiling and roof constructions, have excellent thermal properties, which determine low heating costs.

Sometimes doubts arise due to frame house durability.  Supposedly, it is possible  to live for only 20 years in the frame house. However, the service life of the frame house can be up to 100 years due to the correct technology and maintenance of the owner. 

Many questions arise due to the reaction to fire of the frame house.   The special attention is paid to this issue - the wood is covered with fireproof solution and the it becomes hardly combustible. Other used materials, such as mineral wool, have excellent fire resistance properties. Consequently, the whole house is made of wood, but it is safe.

We can see that the stereotypes are mostly just ignorance. We hope, that after reading this article, you learned about frame houses more and you can make a decision regarding selection of the house without the preconception influence.

Panel houses 

Panel houses are constructed in the workshop and they are assembled in the object during several days. Panel houses are constructed from the wall panels with internal and external decoration which are prepared in the factory. The detailed drawing is made for the wall segments before the beginning of their production. The exterior decoration, the wind insulation, the thermal insulation are used during production of the segments of outside walls, the openings of doors and windows with weather-strips are cut. The inner wall segments can be produced with the selected decoration if the customer requests it.  The produced set of the walls is transported to the construction site and it is assembled on the foundation on the average during  three days. Easy mounting and installation of windows and doors significantly speeds up the construction of the house, so it is possible to avoid the effects of rainfall to the quality of constructions completely. 

The house construction consists of sandwich panels, the base of which is composed of the wooden frame, that is sheathed using OSB (oriented strand) boards from the external side and the inner side. The inner part of the shield is filled using the rock wool, so it is possible to achieve the necessary thermal resistance.  This construction guarantees the stable thermal resistance characteristics at any time of the year. Houses built according to these technologies are environmentally friendly, they have high heat and energy-saving characteristics and they are designed for permanent living. 

Wooden panel houses derived from the frame houses. This advanced construction technology became popular because of a simple and quick method of construction, and environmental friendliness.  These houses are built from the panels, which are manufactured in the workshop, and assembled on the site.  After the development of the construction technology all elements of panel houses can be designed with a special computer program which provides quick and accurate installation. Control is performed for each element in the workshop.  The house does not deform during exploitation, because the walls are manufactured in a horizontal position and pressed using presses.

The complexity of foundation constructions of the panel house depends on the purpose of the building.  Bored pile foundations fit perfectly if the cellar is not built or the ground water is high. The inlet engineering communications are laid in the cellar according to the project. 

The panel houses are usually one or two-storey buildings with sloping roofs, although they may be higher. Also separate bulkheads and roof constructions of the residential houses, garden houses, trade kiosks and other buildings can be produced.

The main elements of the panel house are panels and frame constructions. Constructions of the wooden panel house: external and internal walls, the ceiling, the roof, the elements are assembled from shields to the selected covering. The panels of walls and ceilings are made in the factory using the base of the wooden frame. The panel walls, the roofing and overlays are produced indoors, so they do not depend on the weather conditions.   In such a way high quality is reached because there are greater possibilities to use the special equipment, to control conditions of the production and storage of the products. The engineering equipment and finishing of the house can be done in a factory or on the construction site.

The set of produced walls is transported to the construction site.  Mounting is carried out using the mobile crane directly from the motor vehicle, so temporary facilities and warehouses on the construction sites are not needed. The set is assembled on the foundation during 2-5 days. Modern sealing - packing materials, galvanized fasteners and anchors (at the foundation) are used during the installation. Roof construction elements can be supplied in parts or as assembled panels.

The decoration of external wall panels of the shield is carried out using various technologies: panelling of different profiles, cement, particle boards, the walls can be bricked in or plastered. Also, the walls of the house can be prepared in the factory with an external finish. The fir and larch wood is usually used for decoration of the house facades.  The interior finish can be carried out or not, it depends on the customer's needs. 

The production of the house lasts 2-4 weeks and the assembly  time on construction site can continue from 2-5 days to 4-6 weeks, it depends on the level of the house mounting, the roofing technology, etc. 

The positive attitude to the wooden frame and panel houses formed in European countries a long time ago, their demand is high and stable. That happened because good quality prefabricated panel houses have suitable technical parameters like brick houses or houses from blocks and duration of the construction of panel houses is shorter and the price is lower.

What is the difference between frame houses and panel houses?

Frame houses and panel houses have only one essential difference. The houses, the wooden frame of which is assembled on the house's foundations in the client's site are called frame houses. During construction of panel houses such frame is produced in the factory. The wooden frame is filled with rock wool, protective films, it is wainscoted using panels, etc. During production of frame houses the filling of wooden frame is carried out on the construction site, and during production of panel houses the filling of wooden frame is carried out in the factory.  The construction method of frame houses, or in other words - frame construction, is simpler - the special facilities for production are not needed, it is enough to complete the necessary materials.  The frame house construction inconvenience is that the construction must be adapted to natural conditions. The house, which is built in the open air, can be exposed to rain, snow, cold. The panel house constructions - walls, the roof, the ceiling - are produced in specialized production facilities, where air temperature and humidity do not change.  This construction method is more advantageous because during production of the house constructions indoors, the constructions are not affected by atmospheric changes and accuracy of produced panels is higher. 

Main elements of the prefabricated houses

They are panels and frame constructions. The panel is made from the wooden frame - sawn planed coniferous timber. The elements are insulated with non-combustible rock wool, polystyrene or other insulation material. The frame is sheathed with modern laminated materials and according to the agreement using finishing boards, painting them in workshops. Steam insulation is installed on the inner side of the wall. According to the coordinated project, electrical installation tubes are installed on the walls, the places for installation boxes are prepared. 

The optimal panel size depends on the planned - dimensional requirements. It should be noted that structural characteristics of big panels  are better: assembling works are performed faster, less timber is used, there are less junctures in the walls and dimensional solidity of the house is better. Thickness of elements is provided according to the normative thermal resistance but it can be thinned or thickened according to the desired resistance and projected external finish. The panels are produced up to 3.20 m height and up to 13.50 m length. Also these elements of buildings are produced from prefabricated panels: external wall panels, interior partitions, ceilings and roof elements to the roof surface.

1. Composition of external wall panels

The plasterboard or wood panelling and the non-combustible steam isolation PE film are installed from the internal part. The moisture-resistant oriented chipboard OSB-3 or wind insulation, panelling are installed from the external part. The heat insulation material is inserted between vertical struts in the internal part of the panel.  Other variants are possible: two-chamber wall construction or other materials for planking of the panels: the gypsum plasterboard or “Vidiwal” panel of “Knauf” company. 

2. Internal panels - partition walls, the main walls

95÷125 mm, or respectively 145÷195 mm thickness timber frame is assembled, the rock wool for sound isolation is put. The panels are planked using boards or aforementioned materials from both sides.

3. Ceiling

is made from panels, which consist of  60x220 or 80x220 mm diameter beams (it depends from static loads which are planned in the project).  22 mm thickness moisture-resistant oriented chipboard OSB-3 is installed on the upper side of the panel. The cavities of the ceiling are filled with the sound insulation material for minimum sound insulation and at the external walls - through all ceiling's thickness.

4. Roof construction

They are produced with bearers and rafters, usually with  cross-section dimensions of 50÷60 x 200÷220 mm. Roof beams-bearers are made of laminated wood and are selected calculating statics. The roof panel is completed with all attic finish chosen by the client and the roof set to the covering. Roof construction elements can be supplied separately or as panel elements. 

Thermal resistance of panel houses

Depending on the chosen materials, resistance of the walls is from 5.00 m² K/W and roof resistance is from 6.0 m² K/W and it can be increased to the customer's request. It is usually recommended to perform the additional decoration of internal walls for panel houses so separate insulation is possible.


Wooden panel houses derived from the frame houses. The increasing standardization of construction products and production advantages (production of panel walls, roof and ceilings does not depend on the weather conditions, because they are produced indoors), speeded up this process. Architect Walter Gropius designed the first house of this type in Europe according to the order of one German firm in 1931. Construction of panel houses began to spread in the US from 1945. The houses of this type are built from 8th decade of twentieth century in Lithuania. The new building technologies bring a new quality to panel houses.

Construction of the houses which are produced in the factories is the most popular construction technology in the world for several decades. For example, 90% of houses are built of wooden frame in the United States of America. 80% of houses in Sweden and 48% of houses in Scotland are built of timber. These numbers are constantly growing in other countries too. This construction method is considered cost-effective, environmentally friendly, with low operating costs. The modern architectural trends, new building materials and technologies offer more and more possibilities for the production of prefabricated houses.

Production of hybrid frame-panel type houses in the Europe began to develop 50 years ago.  The majority of people of Germany, Norway, Finland and other countries live exactly in such houses. Therefore hybrid frame-panel houses are sometimes referred to as the twenty-first century houses. Over the past decades, the production technology of such houses changed significantly for the better for used equipment and new building materials.

Advantages of hybrid frame-panel houses

These houses are ecological and warm, they are assembled quickly (within a few weeks). The assembly work can be carried out regardless of the season; so-called wet processes are minimal. Fast installation allows withdrawing of temporary facilities and warehouses on the construction sites. The houses can be  disassembled - this is important for temporary structures. The owners can equip the houses by themselves.  Constructions of timber panel house (walls, ceiling, roof) are assembled from panels, which are produced in the specialized workshop. It ensures high quality of the work, because working indoors atmospheric conditions do not influence the building constructions, it is easier to control the working conditions and there are more possibilities to use special equipment. 

Why is the hybrid frame-panel house a worthy choice?


  • A large part of work is carried out without human intervention - automation helps to avoid mistakes.
  • Connection components are designed in such a way as to avoid frost “bridges”.
  • The experienced employees participate in each production stage.
  • The house is produced at the factory (not on the construction site), where the better quality can be guaranteed. 


  • The produced house can be assembled within three - five days.
  • You can contact us only once and UAB “Mano vila” specialists will produce and assemble the house according to your needs or based on a standard design in a short time (depending on the complexity of the project).
  • Frame houses can be manufactured and assembled during any period of the year.


  • Only reliable materials with certificates are used for production of these houses.
  • We perform post-warranty service even when the warranty expires.


  • Such house is lighter and the simpler - cheaper foundation can be built.
  • The house is assembled very quickly - work of employees is cheaper.
  • Frame houses are characterized by the excellent price while assessing the construction speed (the need of operating capital is reduced) and other characteristics.

Scandinavian choice - a practical approach to the construction of the house

The Scandinavians have known since ancient times that the wood is one of the most practical and most friendliest environmentally construction materials. It is a renewable source as cut forest is replanted. As a result, the majority of residential houses are built precisely from this material. Scandinavian-style houses are characterized by simplicity - usually traditional home projects are chosen, bright, natural colours are used for the house's exterior and interior, large windows, spacious outdoor terraces are designed.

The frame or shield technology is usually chosen for construction of the residential house. According to the frame house technology, the timber frame is assembled on the constructed foundations on the site of the customer and the constructions of the panel house (walls, the roof, the ceiling, partitions) are assembled indoors and later, within one day, constructions are assembled on the site. 

Such houses are characterized by high technical characteristics, good heat insulation, high quality and good price.

Statistics show that frame houses are more popular than other construction technologies.  Lately, even 90% of the people of Norway and Sweden chose wooden prefabricated residential houses. These figures show that the Scandinavians rationally choose their own housing.