Purchasing an oak framed building can appear a daunting propsect, so we have put together a quick step-by-step guide for prospective customers.
It has recently been published in a number of leading lifestyle magazines. The version here is taken from the Wealden Propery Magazine where it was featured as a front page lead.
If you require any further information or a copy of our brochure, please do not hesitate to call our sales team on 01435 867 072.
An important consideration when looking at any new property is its potential for improvement. This is often achieved by extending the main residence or adding and replacing outbuildings such as a garages, porches, garden rooms, and gazebos..
Whilst many types of structure are available, oak frames are increasingly used as they offer a stunning aesthetic, outstanding durability and are treated sympathetically by planners. Their recent recently rise in popularity ensures they add to the value of any home, whether new or existing.
The prospect of purchasing an oak framed building can, however, appear daunting, particularly if you have limited experience of construction projects. As such, here is a quick guide that breaks the process down into a series of stages that can be managed to a level you feel comfortable with. A good supplier will value any input you wish to give, but should be equally happy to oversee the entire process.
The enquiry process will be far easier if you have a good idea of the type and style of building you require. Your first point of contact with a supplier should be to request any brochures they have. Along with their website and magazines, these are a rich source of inspiration
During your research it is also well worth ascertaining if a ‘kit’ building can meet your requirements as they can represent great value. Round of Mayfield, for instance, supplies 47 variations of standard garages and 12 off the peg garden rooms!
You may, however, have specific needs and therefore require a bespoke design. Whichever path you take, several decisions will need to be made. You can save time by considering these before contacting a supplier to obtain a quote. You will need to provide information on the following:
Dimensions: You will need to give relatively accurate details of desired footprint & height.
Roofline: Where appropriate, you will need to choose from a selection of profiles:
Gable - Front & rear rooflines tiled to apex. No tiling to sides.
Hip - All four sides of roofline tiled to apex.
Barn Hip - Front & rear rooflines tiled to apex. Side rooflines tiled from halfway.
Bricks/Tiles: Do these need these to keep in style with surrounding buildings?
Joinery: Do you require doors, windows or a staircase? Many frame suppliers also have joinery workshops.
Space: Do you require partitions or living areas, which may have planning implications?
Construction: Who do you want to carry out the build? The build process can be broken down into three stages: groundwork, frame assembly and roofing. The supplier of your oak frame will have in-house teams for each. Whilst it is possible for you to source your own contractors - which can prove more cost effective if they are nearby - this is only recommended if you are prepared to manage the project to a high degree.
Before proceeding with any quote you will obviously need to meet all planning and building regulations in your area. If you are considering a large frame and your local authority is considered to be strict, it may save time to enquire about any conditions you may have to meet before even contacting an oak frame supplier for a quote.
There are several useful planning resources at your disposal. Most councils offer a pre-application advice service and a wealth of information can be found on the ‘Planning Portal’ website, where applications can be made online.
Most established frame suppliers, however, will be happy to guide you through the regulatory process and often employ dedicated staff members. This tends to be the simplest option given their experience and contacts in the field and knowledge of the buildings their company supplies. If your project is relatively small, they may be able to tell you immediately if planning permission is even a requirement.
If you decide to take the plunge after obtaining your quote and planning permission, the next stage involves signing off on plans. Unless you have supplied these via an architect, your oak framer should draw these up for your approval. A site visit may be required depending on the nature of the project.
“After a quote is approved, we will contact the customer to discuss the fine details,” explains Anna Baldwin, CAD operator for Round Wood of Mayfield. “Plans will then be drawn up and sent to them for sign off. If they have any revisions, the plans are amended.”
Watching your building go up is the fun part, especially if you have decided that your framer will manage all of the necessary teams! The first phase involves the groundworkers digging out the foundations, pouring the concrete slab and then laying the necessary brick work.
Then the assemblers move in. First, they will fit a soleplate to the brickwork. Some of the upright green oak posts are secured to this using steel pins, whilst those that stand independently rest on staddle stones. The eaves beam, tie beam, rafters and ridge complete the frame assembly.
Studwork and bracing is then fitted, on to which the external weatherboard is fastened. This can be supplied in either oak or softwood, depending on budget. Next the rafters are put in place, ready for the tiles to be fitted by your final team – the roofers.