Timbertown works

This week sees the ‘end of an era’ as renovation work begins on the very distinctive (and rather beautiful) timber houses on the east side of Blantyre.

Affectionately known as “Timbertown”, these homes dating from the mid 1940’s have had a uniform look and feel until now, clad in wood, similar in style to each other. Indeed, over the last few decades, council planning have been very protective in ensuring that identity was maintained, denying certain extension and additions.

Things are about to change at these timber houses which will shortly have a very different aesthetic look.

Following residents meetings in March and April 2019, work has now started to improve the energy efficiency of the homes, following complaints that some were cold, damp or in need of external repair.

Insulation work has already commenced, as seen in our picture today, with ‘Kingspan’ polysstyrene insulating the homes, which will absolutely see a reduction in heating bills for tenants and owners.

However, there is a trade off. To reclad, ‘like for like’ in wood to modern regulations is going to be very expensive, so the council have offered Marley roughcasting and a cheaper composite wood cladding as an alternative. It means certain homes choosing this, will look very different from their neighbours.

The work has proven controversial as some home owners wishing to also upgrade are choosing different options from the council or their neighbours. Whilst improvements to insulation are welcome by all, some residents are worried about the ‘patchwork quilt effect’ that such cladding options will have on the aesthetics of the estate , a sentiment shared to us by many concerned residents at the previous meeting.

Timbertown is one of the few remaining housing estates in Blantyre which had a uniform look and feel to each home. It would appear, this really is the end of an era.

Work is expected to last throughout the summer.

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