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Insulate half-timbered house: Tips for renovation
Insulate half-timbered house: Tips for renovation

Video: Insulate half-timbered house: Tips for renovation

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Video: How to insulate a 100 year old house and not destroy it - Old House Renovation 5 2023, February

Old half-timbered houses are valuable in terms of cultural history, but they also have disadvantages - especially when it comes to thermal insulation. So they can be renovated energetically.

Germany's oldest half-timbered houses are more than 650 years old = " - a well-thought-out constructive wood preservation made a long life possible for them:

  • A large roof or floor protrusion protects the construction from rain.
  • The ground clearance of the truss threshold prevents earth moisture from being sucked in.
  • The wooden parts are exposed and have the possibility to dry quickly.

Nevertheless, exposed timber frames require special attention and professional maintenance and care. In the meantime, it has turned out to be a mistake, for example, to “seal” the joints with silicone and to coat the infills with high-density colors. Instead, it was recognized that external dehydration should not be hindered.

Today there are proven methods for the constructive and physical renovation of half-timbered walls, based on new knowledge:

  • Buildings can be examined using modern methods such as endoscopy and thermography.
  • Damaged areas can be replaced or strengthened in the course of the renovation - experienced carpenters take over this work on the house.

Stable construction of half-timbered houses

Traditional half-timbered houses consist of a wooden skeleton, the spaces between them - called compartments - are "filled" with wickerwork, planks and clay or bricks. The skeleton consists of vertical stands on horizontal floor sleepers. The half-timbered building is thus a forerunner of the modern wooden stud construction, which is common today in larger wooden houses. So-called framing beams form the upper ceiling; horizontal bars between the stands form the individual compartments. To prevent the stud frame from falling over like a parallelogram, the struts brace the construction. Elaborate wood connections such as tenons, offsets or splines connect the wood together, wooden nails secure the connections. Many old half-timbered houses are now listed buildings.

Our ancestors built with the materials they found on site - half-timbering is one of the landscape-based construction methods. Depending on regional building materials, climate and types of settlement, preferences of the building owners and art of the craftsmen, different constructions and forms of half-timbered developed.


Traditional half-timbered houses consist of a wooden skeleton, the spaces between which are filled with wattle, planks and clay or masonry.

/ ArTono

Insulate the half-timbered house and retrofit the thermal insulation

When they were built, historic half-timbered buildings corresponded to the living habits of their residents and their ideas of living comfort - today, above all, thermal insulation is inadequate. The thermal insulation of half-timbered houses can be improved later - for example, by letting the half-timbered wall with special bricks, the so-called hollow bricks.

Protective cladding made of wood or slate is part of the timber-frame tradition anyway, but mostly only on exposed house surfaces such as gable triangles or weather sides. The thermal insulation is improved in the areas where the half-timbering is covered by cladding and according to the proven principle of the rear-ventilated, insulated facade. A wooden or slate coat prevents rain from penetrating the joints between timber and infills at these particularly vulnerable house locations.

However, half-timbered buildings are not only visible on architectural monuments: construction features, decors and color versions document a piece of building history and give the house its character. Usually it would be a shame about the charming half-timbered facade. In order to maintain them, it is advisable to use internal insulation, for which even modern solutions such as vacuum insulation boards can be considered.

Requirements for the interior insulation are:

  • cavity-free full insulation between the wall and new clothing
  • building materials open to diffusion, so that the truss can dry out on both sides
  • moisture-variable vapor barrier

If you insulate your half-timbered house in this way, you protect the insulating materials from the penetration of warm, moist room air and possible backflow in winter. In summer, the truss wall can dry outwards and inwards. In this way, the thermal insulation of historic half-timbered houses can also be improved in accordance with the regulations of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEv).

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