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Quality Oak Frame Buildings

Oak Frame Buildings

Over the last thirty years, we have planned, erected and finished thousands of oak framed buildings. These have ranged from garden gazebos and single bay garages, up to office complexes and full houses. Regardless of size, every oak frame is approached with the same sense of pride and close attention to detail. The majority of oak framed buildings we produce are tailored to meet bespoke requirements. Some set designs are offered, particularly for garages, but these can be modified and still require some specification. We typically offer a full service solution through our in house design and project teams, but are equally as happy to simply build and deliver an oak frame if you wish to manage the design and construction elements yourself. Unlike others on the market, our frames are fully planed, feature dovetail joints, mortise and tenon joints and curved braces.

What Happens Next?

Should you decide to proceed with a quote we have offered for an oak frame, these are the steps that follow to complete your project

Drawing

Upon receipt of your deposit, the CAD team will prepare and issue your approval drawings based upon information gathered during the consultation phase. Any required amendments are then made until your final sign off is granted.

Planning Permission / Building Reguations

Whilst we are more than happy to assist, the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the project meets planning and building regulations lies with you. Many of our frames meet planning exemption criteria and may be classed as permitted development; often a quick phone call to the local authority will suffice. Please contact our team if you require a full planning service. As a guide, a building regulation application is usually required if your building has an internal footprint greater than 30m2 or is less than 1m from a boundary with a floor area greater than 15m2.

Structural Calculations

Whilst we are more than happy to assist, the ultimate responsibility for establishing whether you need to appoint a structural engineer lies with you. If your building requires building regulation approval, structural calculations are generally required. As many customers prefer to use their own engineer, we do not offer this facility in house. We can, however, provide details of engineers with oak framing experience (who will bill you directly). Please note that any frame revisions suggested by an engineer will be chargeable to you.

Production

Construction drawings are issued once you have signed off your drawings and any structural amendments are established. At this stage, any special size oak that we do not hold in stock is ordered from our continental sawmills and accompanying joinery (if ordered) will go into production.

Lead Times

These are estimated at quote and invoice stages using the workshop’s capacity at the time. As significant periods can elapse between these and sign-off, lead times are subject to clarification.

Delivery/Site

In advance of your delivery, we will ask you to complete a questionnaire. Please notify us of any access or working restrictions at this stage, as unexpected costs may be passed on to you. If you have ordered bricks, these will be delivered in advance of your frame to allow the groundwork team to lay your plinth. Delivery dates are provided on a best endeavours basis.

A History of Oak Framing

Oak Framing is steeped in history. It was first used in the Neolithic period for the construction of rudimentary shelters from local timbers. Developments in the technique can be tracked across the ages, including that of the Roman Empire when mortise and tenon joints were first introduced. The practice was truly perfected by English Carpenters between 12th and 15th Centuries, when demand for oak frames flourished in a nation benefiting from International Trade. Their renowned attention to detail and use of only the highest grades of oak ensured that many examples of their work still remain. The techniques they passed on established the traditions that we seek to uphold today.

Recent years have seen oak frames experience another surge in popularity. They offer a series of benefits that have become increasingly appreciated and relevant, such as low carbon footprint. Unlike many construction materials, oak occurs naturally and is sustainable. It also offers decades, or even centuries, of service with little or no maintenance.

Oak frames actually improve with age, as the timbers contract to tighten the structure whilst gently silvering down in colour. The ability to blend sympathetically into most gardens or grounds is another advantage offered by oak framed buildings, particularly as this can help with the planning process. Local authorities also appreciate that frames can be constructed with any style of brick or finished with any tile, allowing them to remain in keeping with the local vernacular.

Traditional Crafting

In the early years of oak framing the major task facing the traditional carpenter was the production of beams from trees without the benefit of a mechanical sawmill. Beams were sawn out over the village pit by two men, one above and one below. Today, state of the art technology, such as the Hundegger planer we use, enables far more rapid and accurate beam production.

Aside from this development, the techniques we use in our workshop remain true to the time honoured traditions established by the English Carpenters of the Late Middle Ages. All frames are constructed using mortise and tenon joints, curved braces and oak pegs together with dovetail joints between the tie beam and eaves beam.

Each structure is dry fitted in our workshop before despatch to ensure ease of build on site. Over recent years we have established a reputation of crafting quality buildings based on vernacular architecture. Projects have ranged from gazebos and garages to complete houses and office complexes. Examples of possible structures can found in our photo galleries.

The Sustainable Choice

Over recent years, environmental impact has become an increasingly important consideration in construction. The provenance, sustainability and efficiency of raw materials have faced particular scrutiny. Timber from well managed sources stands up well. It has the lowest energy consumption and CO2 emissions of any commonly used building material. Its thermal insulation properties mean that oak frame buildings require less energy to heat, whilst the bi-products from manufacture are carbon neutral and recyclable.

Green oak has seen a particularly marked increase in use. In addition to the strength and character it provides, it tends to be responsibly harvested given the significant regulation it is subject to. At Round Wood of Mayfield we always endeavour to source our oak from P.E.F.C or F.S.C. approved sources. These industry associations certify forests that demonstrate their sustainability with a rolling programme of felling and replacement.

As young oak trees absorb more CO2 than those that have reached maturity, this method of harvesting can actually benefit the environment. The oak that comes into our workshop is quality controlled to ensure it is of the highest quality. This, combined with the expertise of our craftsmen, helps ensure that we are producing a building that will endure for many, many years.

Rooflines

One of the specifications you will be asked to make regarding your building is the roofline your require.

Whilst we are happy to work to bespoke requirements, one of four traditional styles are usually selected (images from top to bottom):

Gable

Front & rear rooflines tiled to apex. No tiling to sides.

Barn Hip (sometimes referred to as Barn End) 

Front & rear rooflines tiled to apex. Side rooflines tiled upwards from midway between eaves beam & apex.

Hip

All four sides of roofline tiled to apex.

Gablet

All four sides of roofline tiled, small gable at apex.

Round Wood of Mayfield
Newick Lane
Mayfield
East Sussex
TN20 6RG


Opening hours:
8am-5pm Monday to Friday
8:30am-12:30pm Saturday