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13th January 2017 / posted by DavidGrey

Bespoke Oak Frames on a Budget Questions, Answered by Oakwrights Sales Director David Grey

Oakwrights David Grey answering questions for a self-build visitor at Build It Live! Kent in 2016

In the March Edition of Build It! Magazine, our Sales Director (David Grey) will be one of the experts commenting for a feature article on ‘Bespoke Oak Frames on a Budget’. Here, David, adds a little more detail to the five questions brought up in the magazine article:


1. What are the key factors that influence the price of an oak frame build?


The overall build price is influenced in the same way as all builds i.e. build method (self-build, project managed, turnkey) and levels of fixture and fitting. With a bespoke oak frame package of structural oak frame and insulated wall and roofing encapsulation system the price is also influenced by the complexity of the design, the more complex the design the higher the price. However it is worth noting that utilising a structural oak frame in a build does not dramatically increase the overall build cost, generally an increase of 5-10%.

Oak frame barn style home on plot with garden.


2. What would you say to someone who is thinking of building an oak frame home but isn't sure if they have the budget?


Again this is the same as any build project: Be realistic about your budget and make sure you are being realistic about the build cost of your proposed new home; at Oakwrights we can offer full in house architectural and quantity surveying services to assist and reassure clients. Keeping the design simple in concept, when you are building with a structural oak frame by the nature of the product you will get all the character you could wish for.

Oak frame kitchen with central unit


3. Would you recommend self-builders opt for just a ‘supply and erect’ package and manage the rest of the project themselves?


This depends on individual client’s availability and skill sets. A supplied and erected oak frame and insulated wall and roofing encapsulation system from Oakwrights effectively gives our clients a watertight shell to work with, some of our clients then manage the project from that point, others contract us to provide a full turnkey oak frame build. Generally, clients who manage their own projects have some project management or building industry experience and crucially have plenty of time that they can dedicate to the day to day management and decision making. If clients do not have the time and skills to dedicate to the project they are better to go down the turnkey or main contractor route.

Oak frame bedroom with ensuite overlooking the garden through window


4. What's the most cost-effective way to incorporate glazing?


Glazing and external joinery, windows and doors, are key components in creating an energy efficient and air tight home. Building Regulations demand reasonable levels of energy efficiency and air tightness, most of our clients want to achieve much higher levels. Depending on the architectural style of the building there are different ways of incorporating glazing. Generally, features of modern oak framed homes are large areas of glass and glazed gables. The most robust way of achieving large areas of glass in conjunction with structural oak framing is by the ‘Face Glazing’ method; this is best done by a specialist contractor and again is an in house service provided by Oakwrights. Other windows and doors can be standard joinery and fitted into the walling system, Oakwrights can fit this joinery into the walling system in their workshop ensuring the best quality control and building practice.

Oak framed gable house with glazed windows and weatherboard feature


5. Why might a hybrid approach (incorporating some softwood framing) be a good way to save money? Does it still represent value for money?


A hybrid approach can potentially save money, sometimes there are areas such as utility rooms, boot rooms etc. where clients may not deem it necessary to see an oak frame; in these cases the wall and roofing system will become structural allowing for the removal of the oak frame. In these cases the character and beauty of the oak frame is still apparent where you want it to make the most impact in the main areas of the home; this does represent good value for money because there are cost savings in the other less informal rooms. Some designs lend themselves to this approach; therefore it is crucial that this should form part of your architectural brief in order that the savings can be achieved in the build process.




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