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Oak Framing

I want to build my home with an Oak timber frame, but where do I start?

As with most self builds it all starts with a dream and a vision of how you want your home to look and feel. Once you have this vision then the process is pretty much the same as it would be for any self-build.

 You will need an architect or designer along with an engineer. At this point it is vitally important to choose wisely. Look for an architect who has experience in designing oak timber frames, don’t be afraid to ask for references or details of previous successful projects. If your architect knows how to build with oak timber frames, then they will no doubt be using engineers who are also accomplished in this field.

Knowing the stresses and strains that oak can accommodate and understanding the movement within a frame are just as important as visualizing the finished product and understanding that less, is sometimes more. Some rooms may be filled with intricate trusses and additional joints to show off the artisanship and skills of the carpenters, while others may have high vaulted roofs with large oak beams conveying both stature and elegance. Whichever style or design you choose you will need a structural engineer to ‘sign off’ your designs to ensure that the timbers and joints are of sufficient strength to carry the loads placed upon them. Some engineers will not understand or appreciate the strength of an oak joint and may want to add stainless steel plates or brackets for support or in some cases instead of oak joints. There are instances where stainless steel is required for additional support but at Premier Oak Buildings, we try to avoid this and use far more traditional methods, after all, there are numerous examples of Oak timber frames still standing after hundreds of years with absolutely no trace of steel in the structure.

So, in answer to my original question. Once you have the dream (and the means) to build your oak framed home then start looking for an experienced architect. Most oak timber framing companies will know and have dealings with such architects, and we are no exception, so don’t be afraid to make us your first port of call.