If you are looking up information about oak buildings, you might be considering one or are curious about the structures. Oak-framed buildings date back to the 1700s, but they lost their appeal for a while when brick and concrete took over. However, the use of oak frames is gaining prominence again as designers and builders incorporate the material in different areas. For the past 20 years or so, the material has been used for different types of structures, including outbuildings like oak framed garages, porches and garden rooms. Oak steadily redefined itself as a modern construction solution that can create a variety of buildings. Before deciding what type of oak structure to put up, learn a few basics about working with the material for optimum results.
Always Use Experienced Designers
Work with professionals to come up with a structurally sound oak-framed building that meets your needs. You need a designer with experience in drawing oak structures. Whether you want to put up a conservatory, sun room or swimming pool shed, get an expert who specialises in oak frames. The material has its complications, which a designer must comprehend and account for within the plan. General architects and builders might not deliver the results you want because the detailing and execution of oak construction projects can be tricky. So, take the time to search for a skilled designer capable of drawing the structure you want.
Choose Suppliers Wisely
The oak building company you decide to partner with for your project influences how it turns out. Thus, select carefully. A supplier’s reputation and experience matter a great deal. Ensure you work with a company that provides superior quality materials. The range of services offered is crucial too. Some oak frame suppliers have comprehensive services that cater to every element of a construction project, from the design to building completion. Other companies supply oak frames and erect them. Your project requirements will determine what kind of service to get. Do you want a full package or only need oak frames supplied? Are you looking for experts in oak garages?
Oak Frames Require Cleaning
After construction, oak frames can have unsightly stains, hence the need to clean them. Oxalic acid is one of the cleaning alternatives for oak frames. Using the acid is minimally intrusive and soft on timber. It gets rid of the marks without interfering with the detailing. Oxalic acid is particularly effective in removing water staining. Sandblasting is the most popular cleaning method, even though it’s noisy and abrasive. The best time to sandblast oak frames is when they are weather tight or prevent them from getting wet, leading to water staining. Cleaning an oak-framed building after construction removes scuff and dirt to prepare it for decoration. Most oak frame suppliers handle the cleaning. In the case of a self-build, ensure you learn everything about the preferred cleaning technique.
One aspect of oak to keep in mind when using the material for construction is that it will shrink. So, don’t be alarmed when it happens. Qualified designers and builders will factor in the shrinkage when planning and constructing. Oak-framed buildings use unseasoned timber (green timber), which contains a high moisture content. Over time, the timber loses moisture, causing it to shrink. This phenomenon happens mostly within the first two years of completing construction. Oak frames can take up to five years to finish the shrinkage cycle. Because shrinkage leads to the deterioration of air tightness, it is necessary to caulk up frames. As the material shrinks, cracks or shakes appear. However, they don’t affect the structural integrity in any way. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the structure becoming weaker as the timber hardens. In fact, oak frames strengthen as they lose moisture.
Plan for Permissions
Do you need planning permission to build an oak-framed structure? The answer depends on the type of project. Oak framed houses need planning permission from the local authority. However, you are not guaranteed approval for your project. The house design and vernacular are two aspects that influence this decision. If you intend to have an oak garage built with the house, then the planning permission can cover both structures. Some homeowners have permitted development rights which allow construction without planning permissions. A majority of properties have these rights. Nonetheless, you should still confirm before building. Permitted development rights let you build extensions, garages, porches and other structures without the nightmare of navigating red tape. These rights don’t cover all outbuildings, though. Regulations require all outbuildings to be single-storey and 4 m in height. Therefore, oak framed garages with rooms above may need planning permission.
Now you know a bit about working with oak frames. When you recognise how much you can do with oak, your design options are almost limitless. However, you need the right experts in design, planning and construction to bring your vision to life. New Forest Oak Buildings offers some of the best creations in the industry, thanks to a dedicated team of craftsmen, premium materials and creative solutions. Contact NFOB for oak framed buildings, 3 bay oak garages, and other projects.