Frequently asked questions

¿Es necesario solicitar permiso municipal para construir una vivienda prefabricada de madera?

A nivel urbanístico, y en general, el material con el que se construya una casa en indiferente a la hora de cumplir con la normativa. En el caso de las casas prefabricadas de madera, SÍ es necesario solicitar licencia de obra mayor (con proyecto) en nuestro ayuntamiento y cumplir con todos los requisitos legales y normativas urbanísticas (C.T.E.) cuando vamos a construir en terreno urbanizable y dicha vivienda va a ser legalizada.

¿Se precisan planos de arquitecto para edificar casas de madera?

Sí, es necesario realizar un PROYECTO para solicitar la licencia de obras, así como el arquitecto técnico o aparejador. Normalmente esta información, al tratarse de casas prefabricadas, es proporcionada por el fabricante. Con el certificado de final de obra del arquitecto, el cliente obtendrá la cédula de habitabilidad y los boletines para los suministros de agua, luz y gas, y podrá realizar la declaración de obra nueva y obtener la licencia de primera ocupación para la vivienda por parte del Ayuntamiento, de tal forma que esta edificación podrá ser escriturada y registrada en el registro de la propiedad. Así mismo podrá realizarse el empadronamiento.

Instalaciones eléctricas

Las instalaciones eléctricas se realizan cumpliendo la normativa vigente en todos sus extremos, los cables van colocados a través del interior de los muros y tabiques, suelos y techos, ocultos cuando sea posible en los rodapiés y embellecedores. Realizada la instalación eléctrica se podrá solicitar el certificado correspondiente (Boletín emitido por profesional autorizado), preceptivo para solicitar el suministro a la compañía.

Movable goods:

For reasons that are difficult to understand, there is a lot of confusion and a connection between wooden houses and mobile "houses" (movable goods).

A mobile construction can be made of any material, even if wood is not the most suitable material to be mobile.

A mobile "house" made of wood or any other material and manufactured according to a standard model process, can hardly meet the infinite variants in the urban planning criteria applicable in each area.

The origin of the so-called "mobile home" is to be towed by a car and deposited in a campsite or place where it can receive the minimum services and supplies for habitability.

If we intend to have a mobile home to be used as a regular dwelling, it will be subject to the same criteria of habitability, compliance with urban planning regulations, permits, projects and licences as any other construction.

Mobile homes are by definition "movable property", not anchored to the ground, they are not susceptible to registration in the Land Registry (they may have access to other types of Special Registers of movable property) and do not have access to mortgage loans (financial institutions are usually reluctant to grant loans to this type of property) and in all cases need the mandatory municipal licenses to be installed and inhabited.

Applicable legislation: There is no specific legislation applicable to these constructions, at least as far as dwellings are concerned. In any case, if they are manufactured and installed as such, they must meet the same requirements as any other dwelling, whether it is made of wood or not.     

Real estate:

Real estate is any type of fixed construction, anchored to the ground, not removable or transportable. It can have different uses, from a dwelling to a factory, and its construction has followed the town planning regulations applicable at all times and in accordance with the use for which it was built.

The real estate is registered in the Land Registry and is eligible for mortgage loans.

Applicable legislation: The same as for any other type of construction.

We offer a comprehensive architectural service. We design what the client asks us to design, and we also carry out the basic project and the execution of the house, as well as the construction management.

How much is a concrete foundation or garage? Do these houses need foundations?

Our houses require foundations. The price of the base or garage will depend on the slope of the land, as well as the characteristics of the land (depth at which it is appropriate to make a foundation on that land, so that it is a stable foundation). Other elements, such as earth retaining walls, etc., are sometimes included in the calculation of the price of the concrete base. Due to all these variants, it is impossible for us to provide the client with an exact price for the foundation. This can be calculated exactly once our architects design and define the base or garage suitable for each terrain, for this they need the geotechnical and topographical study with one they know how deep the foundations must go and with the other how much earth movement or type of wall must be carried out to level the house, therefore both are necessary and without these studies it is impossible to calculate. In any case, the client always has the option of having the foundations built by a bricklayer who knows how to do this, following the plans of our architects. How much does the municipal building permit cost?

The conditions of the terrain determine the type of foundation that we must lay and on which the wooden house will be built and settled. Depending on its characteristics, one solution or another may be appropriate and will always be subject to the architect's project.

Flat land. In this type of land we can build three types of foundations according to our preferences.

On continuous footings made under the load-bearing walls of the wooden house. (Suitable if the floor of the house is made of wooden decking.

On pillars or columns. These are placed at the load-bearing points of the wooden house (also suitable if the floor of the house is wooden).

On a concrete platform. In this case, a wooden or stoneware floor or any other material can be used (therefore, it will be more economical to use stoneware or similar materials).

Slightly sloping ground. In many cases the land has a slight slope, not so steep as to make a traditional building floor for a garage or other uses, but it is possible to make use of part of it.

On footings, the same as on flat land.

On pillars or columns, the same as on flat land.

On a concrete platform, totally or partially depending on the uses desired in the basement.

Land with a steep slope. We usually find land with very steep slopes, in many of these cases it is advisable to build the first floor with traditional construction work, that is, to build all the foundations and the walls of the ground floor. Once this has been done, we have two options:

To build also the platform where the house will settle in concrete (it will be the most recommendable if the floor of the wooden house is going to be of traditional materials). The floor can also be made of wooden decking.

To build the wooden house on the walls of work, so that the floor of the wooden house is the ceiling of the basement or garage. (In this case the floor has to be always of wood). If the house has a porch, the floor on which the wood rests must be made of concrete to prevent water from passing through. In all cases, and once the type of foundation chosen is known, the client and/or his technicians are provided with the necessary plans for the construction, in which plans the necessary support points are shown.

Are wooden buildings vulnerable to attack by fungi, termites or other insects?

All the wood we use in the construction of our houses is treated in the factory by immersion in tanks with environmentally friendly products. This product impregnates the wood in depth with fungicidal functions (against fungi), insecticides (against wood-eating insects such as woodworm, termites, etc.), as well as water-repellent (water and humidity repellent).

Another very important detail to avoid problems with our wood is that, prior to the aforementioned treatment, we introduce it into drying chambers until the wood reaches a humidity level of between 14 and 16%. Wood below 19% humidity is practically immune to attacks by xylophagous insects (woodworm, termite, etc.) and fungi.

Finally, it is important to ensure that all wooden elements are slightly raised off the ground and protected against dampness with butyl or asphalt paper.

Paints and varnishes

Wood, as a natural element that interacts with the environment, and in particular with the weather throughout its life (it breathes), requires and it is of vital importance the adequate protection, maintenance and conservation to guarantee a good state and to ensure its duration in time. We must bear in mind that wood is an organic element that interacts continuously with its environment, in such a way that its state is susceptible to vary in volume depending on environmental conditions, i.e. it swells or grows when it absorbs humidity, while it contracts and/or cracks when it eliminates it. These circumstances will produce movements and variations in the structure, in some cases significant, which may cause unevenness or misalignment of doors or windows. In the same way, it is normal and usual for the wood to recover its condition as soon as the excess humidity is reduced.

Likewise, the very settling of the structure in the first weeks after the installation of the property will cause small movements and variations, which can also cause misalignments in doors and windows.

Although this is a natural process of wood as it is an organic element, the conditions of its assembly, and especially the treatments and protections carried out to the wood, are of vital importance to minimise these effects.   

This section contains a detailed description of the treatments and protections applied to the wood during the assembly of the structure. It also presents the 'colour chart' offered for the finish of the structure, to be chosen by the client. This proposal includes the possible combination of a maximum of two colours (2nd coat).

The experience of MISTERWOOD and all the professionals, suppliers and specialists with whom we work, have led us to configure the protection system included in this sale and purchase as the most suitable, as shown in the second clause:

Detailed description of the protection procedure and treatment carried out

Protection 1st layer. This application is made to all the wood of the structure, including doors and windows, floors and ceilings. Its purpose is to protect the wood against fungi and insects. It is colourless and penetrating, it does not form a film on the wood, thus respecting its porosity. This primer is immunising, biocidal and fungicidal. Product description: Preventive and curative protector against fungi and xylophagous insects, water-based and intended exclusively for the treatment of wood. WATER-BASED WOOD KILLER.

Protection 2nd layer: This protection layer is the one that gives colour to the wood (see colour palette) as well as providing double protection against UV rays and being water-repellent (it repels water and regulates humidity). It is an open pore lasur based on acrylic resins with transparent colour pigments, i.e. it is penetrating and therefore preserves the beta of the wood. It is applied to the entire exterior of the structure, including windows and exterior doors.

Protection 3rd layer: This external protection layer is intended to protect the wood and the applied colour from the sun and inclement weather. A colourless open pore lasur treatment with ultra solar filters is applied to the façade, windows and exterior door.

Interior floor protection. A colourless, resin-based vitrified varnish is applied over the first coat of protection, giving the wood a warm tone. It complies with standard EN 71-3 (toy safety), is highly resistant to rubbing and abrasion, and is designed for high-traffic areas.

Colourless fireproof varnish for the entire interior (floors, walls, beams, columns and ceilings). Transparent water-based, certified with the highest possible classification in low smoke emission. Properties: Bs1d0 according to EUROCLASES WALLS AND CEILINGS system (UNE-EN-13501-1), BFLs1 according to EUROCLASES FLOORS system (UNE-EN-13501-1), BROOF(t1) according to EUROCLASES EXTERIOR COVERS system (UNE-EN-13501-5), Classification A+ (Lowest VOC emission).

Logically, wood can be varnished or painted in the way it is considered appropriate, in any case, it is important to bear in mind that once painted it will be very difficult to return it to its original state and that it is essential to use paints that guarantee the breathing of the wood.

In our opinion it is more convenient to varnish. The varnishes that are currently used are open pore, also called "Lasures" or "water-based varnishes", these varnishes exist in a wide range of colours, they are easy to apply, they do not peel off in layers and it is not necessary to sand to reapply them, so they do not involve large costs in terms of time or money. The exterior varnish of a house behaves differently depending on the solar radiation to which it is subjected and the colour applied. Thus, the south side receives the most radiation and its minimum duration is three to four years after the first application. Subsequent applications extend these periods, reaching periods of seven to ten years.

All our products have a three-layer treatment:

Isn't it true that wooden houses are more susceptible to fire?

One of the factors that causes more rejection towards wood construction in Spain is its supposed ease of combustion. However, the behaviour of a wooden house in case of fire is better than other constructions with other types of materials. A metallic structure can collapse shortly after a fire starts due to the large deformations that occur in the metallic elements and their loss of resistance. On the other hand, concrete construction can become uninhabitable depending on the extent of the fire and, even if the structure is still standing, in many cases there is no choice but to demolish it.

A timber-framed house is protected by a set of layers that make up the wall and increase its resistance and stability in the event of fire. The materials used for cladding and insulation can also help to retard the action of fire. In any case, it is easier to repair the damage caused in a wooden house than in a traditional one, as it is often enough to change the interior slats (it should be taken into account that most fires originate in the interior due to carelessness, such as a curtain, a sofa, an electrical socket, etc.). No type of construction is fireproof; they all burn in fire.

Do wooden houses have a shorter life cycle than others, and how long can they last?

Our wooden houses are built with very slow-growing logs, which results in the formation of a compact, extremely hard and extremely resistant wood.

On the other hand, the fact that all wood used for construction is nowadays previously treated with preparations against humidity and parasites and with sun protection products, guarantees a long life for this type of construction, which in these conditions can survive for several generations without major deterioration, only with good maintenance.

Do these types of houses need a lot of maintenance?

Wooden houses need to be protected against the sun's UV rays with suitable varnishes or woodstains. If an open pore varnish is applied to them that allows them to breathe every 5 - 6 years approximately, their exterior conservation will be optimal and the effects of the sun, inappreciable, as a long tradition of wooden houses in sunny and high temperature areas demonstrates.

Are wooden houses recommended for humid climates?

Ambient humidity or rain will do little damage to wood treated with water-repellent products. When building the houses, the concrete base, the columns and the platforms are insulated with a layer of asphalt fabric, to prevent the passage of permanent humidity. Constructions in Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and snowy areas support this claim.

Exterior maintenance

The varnishes that are currently used are open pore, also called "Lasures" or "water-based varnishes", these varnishes are easy to apply, they do not peel off in layers and it is not necessary to sand to reapply them, so they do not involve high costs in terms of time or money. The exterior varnish of a house behaves differently depending on the solar radiation to which it is subjected and the colour that is applied. Thus, the south side is the one that receives the most radiation and its minimum duration is three to four years after the first application, with subsequent applications extending these periods to seven to ten years.

In any case, it is not necessary to apply it to the entire construction, only to those areas that receive the most sun and its application is simple.

Interior maintenance

A wooden house has a practically inexistent interior maintenance, in its case this maintenance is limited to the floors and it is not superior to the one that can have a parquet in a traditional house. Painting the interior of a traditional house is necessary, costly and cumbersome and it is also necessary to do it from time to time, which is not necessary in a wooden house.

The behaviour of the floorboards, like that of the rest of the wood in the house in general, is basically affected by changes in humidity and temperature. Absolutely all floorboards have variations in volume and size; keeping the ambient humidity between 40 and 60 % as well as the temperature between 18 and 24º is the best guarantee to avoid variations in the same, if this is not the case, grooves will occur between the floorboards which, although they do not have any technical or duration repercussions, they do affect their aesthetics.

Some practical advice:

Avoid exposing the floorboards to the sun through windows.

Always use humidifiers to maintain room humidity, your health will thank you for it.

Use little water for cleaning.

Remove stains quickly.

Use felt under furniture, doormats at the entrance and in high traffic areas.

Do not enter with wet shoes.

Thermal behaviour (hot/cold)

There is a belief that wooden houses are "hot" and also that they are "cold", the reality is quite different: wooden houses are neither "cold" nor "hot"; they are warm and insulating with an excellent thermal behaviour.

Wood is a poor conductor of both cold and heat, which means that they do not transmit either cold or heat to the interior, and if they do, it is much less than most other materials used in construction.

An example is the use of wood in saunas; as wood has a minimum conductivity and little accumulation power, the temperature of the sauna can be close to one hundred degrees centigrade and yet you can touch the wood without getting burnt. Logically, it behaves in the same way in the cold. The energetic expense of a wood house derived from heating or air conditioning is 50% less than that of a traditional house.


Behaviour in front of the sun's rays

Wooden houses have usually been built in sunny and hot areas such as Australia and the USA without suffering deterioration if they are properly protected. To protect a wooden house from the sun's rays, it is necessary that it is protected by suitable paints and/or varnishes. In Spain, they adapt perfectly even in extreme conditions of low humidity, solar radiation and high temperatures with an excellent response.

Varnish is the most advisable as it allows the wood to breathe. The varnishes used in log houses are an absolutely effective barrier to block the UV rays responsible for the degradation of the wood.

A varnished house offers a full guarantee of durability and preservation of the wood.

Recently, there has been a tendency not to varnish the wood and to let it age naturally, but in our opinion this option is not sufficiently verified in our climatic conditions (at least outdoors). On the other hand, it would not comply with building regulations in terms of fire prevention and anti-xilophagous treatments.


Our experience in the constructions carried out all over Spain has not detected the slightest problem; constructions carried out in extreme climates such as Almeria, Galicia or Albacete are proof of this.


Rain behaviour

Rain does not harm wooden houses, we can even say that it benefits them. The basic precaution that is essential to maintain in all circumstances is to isolate the wood from any direct and permanent contact with humidity.

Behaviour in case of fire

A structure, house, etc., must comply with the N.B.E. (Basic Building Regulations) in terms of fire resistance, which, of course, these constructions more than comply with, in fact, the values are 4 times those established in the reference regulations.

In a fire, in addition to combustion, there are other much more important dangers, such as those derived from the toxic smoke caused by the combustion of chemical or synthetic products. Wood, as a natural product, guarantees an unbeatable and safer behaviour in this respect.          At present, the roofs of large public facilities, such as sports centres, etc. ...., are built with laminated wood beams; their behaviour in the event of fire allows more time for their evacuation and, therefore, offers more safety, even than steel or iron.



Another widespread belief, or at least a doubt that is often raised, is how long a wooden house can last.

There are wooden constructions that have been preserved for centuries, for example, the cathedral of Oslo, we can find entire villages in Scandinavian countries that are several centuries old, the same can be said of many constructions in the centre of Europe.

In Spain there are houses built by the English in Huelva that are more than one hundred and ten years old. Another example in Spain is to look at the beams of any cortijo or old house in any part of the country.


Protection in wet areas, kitchens and bathrooms

Depending on the intensity of use to which these areas are subjected, it is advisable to put certain protections in the bathroom and occasionally in the kitchen.

In bathrooms, it is sufficient to protect the walls (normally two in the bath or shower area). To do this, two panels are placed on top of the walls, allowing for expansion and settling. Stoneware, tiles or similar materials can be laid on top of these panels.

In the wet area of the kitchen it is also possible to install a similar system, however, it is more useful to install it together with the installation of the kitchen furniture.


Covering the walls with stone or other materials

The wet areas of the house should be properly protected to avoid problems with the wood.

Sometimes clients want to cover certain walls thinking that the wood may tire them; this is not the case, at least we are not aware of any complaints in this regard from our clients. In any case, if it is possible to place materials that can be painted or give another decorative sensation. Moreover, in houses where it is necessary to put supplementary insulation or wall cladding and this is put inside the trunks, it is easier due to the construction system necessary to put such insulation.



It is perfectly feasible to cover the exterior with other materials, i.e. to cover the wooden walls with stone or other materials.

Currently, and due to the entry into force of the CTE, it is simple if the insulation or cladding is placed on the outside.

Urban planning legislation in some municipalities requires the outside of houses to be made of traditional materials such as stone, and in these cases it is essential to install the cladding on the outside and the stone on top of the cladding.


Stoneware floors or other materials

On the upper floor, it is neither possible nor advisable to lay tiled floors or similar materials, except in the case of very costly modifications.

This type of floor can be laid if the house sits on a concrete platform or on a traditional masonry floor. In these cases it can be laid in whole or in part.

It is advisable to lay this type of flooring on the ground floor in cases where intensive and/or careless use is foreseen, and may even be more economical.

(In some cases, the choice of these types of varnish has an additional cost in labour and product price).


What type of heating system should I choose for a timber or half-timbered house?

It is possible to install any type: boiler with radiators, pellet cookers, underfloor heating, heat pumps with air conditioning, etc.

The first consideration that we must know before choosing what type of heating we will choose is to take into account that the degree of thermal insulation of our homes is much higher than that of a traditional house of work, this means that the heating needs in many cases will be half of the traditional work because the heat is not lost quickly, therefore we can look for an investment according to our needs.

In our opinion, in areas that are not excessively cold and hot in summers (-5º to 40º) we recommend heat pumps with air conditioning, as they work for both heat and cold and the machines use little electrical energy compared to the cold or heat they produce.


What guarantee does a wooden house have?

As any other type of construction, the wooden houses of the housing type have, by Law, a guarantee of 10 years of duration. If they do not offer this guarantee, they are not houses, they are bungalows, cabins, shelters, huts, well-built barracks, etc.

Decennial Insurance

This is an insurance required by the Ley de Ordenación de la Edificación (LOE) for promoters to guarantee mainly the structural elements of the houses. It is not necessary for self-promoters of their own home.

It is necessary if the buyer buys a house built by a development company, i.e. when buying a house with land included in a development made for the purpose of selling to private clients.

In any case, chalets or wooden houses can obtain the Decennial Insurance.

Home insurance

(Buildings, contents, fire, theft). Although some insurance companies have had problems when taking out these insurances, at present there is no problem in arranging these policies.

The problems that have existed have once again been the result of misinformation and lack of knowledge about wooden constructions (again, confusion between wooden house - mobile home - movable property - immovable property (more information in the section, movable property/immovable property).