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Why work with us?

Using a combination of traditional hand-skills and the most technological advanced CNC machinery we are able to produce truly unique oak frame designs that enable even the smallest of detailing. The end result is a beautifully finished bespoke oak frame building that is economically constructed and exceeds your expectations.

Being based in Hereford are you able to work anywhere in the UK?

Yes, although our design and manufacturing base is in Hereford, we work all over the country. We also have regional architectural designers who are able to provide bespoke designs for you and assist with any planning applications required.

Do I need planning permission if I am just replacing an existing building?

It depends on the size and location of the existing building and if your property is listed, in a Conservation Area, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Park or the Broads. We would recommend talking to your local Planning authority for initial advice. Further information can be obtained from the Planning Portal: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/

I want an oak frame building that is different to what is on your website/in your brochure; do you offer a design service?

Whether you are looking for a house, outbuilding or extension we can offer a complete bespoke design service. Our architectural design team and regional design consultants will work with you to create a building that completely suits your needs.

I have heard that oak moves, can this be avoided?

Unfortunately not, all green oak frames shrink as they dry out; known as the seasoning process. This process will take many years although the most obvious shrinkage will occur in the first couple of years. This is an entirely natural process during which time your frame will develop cracks (known as ‘shakes’), twist and settle. This period of ‘movement’ is not as violent as the term suggests. All of the jointing and pegging that has been designed into your frame will minimise this movement and, in the process, become stronger as a result.

Will the shakes in my oak frame mean it is unstable?

No, the shakes down the grain of your frame are part of the oaks natural drying process and are to be expected. Any structural defects within the oak will have been picked up at the grading/machining/framing stages of the manufacturing process and the oak rejected.

Do I need to treat my oak frame?

As a rule, we don’t recommend treating the exterior face of your oak. The dark tannin stains and patchy appearance will even out over the coming years as the frame seasons and silvers. We believe it is better for your oak frame to adapt to the local conditions and seasonal fluctuations; without interference from oils or waxes, however this is down to your personal preference. One thing we would advise when considering the finish of your oak frame is the frames need to breathe. Surface treatments can restrict the release of moisture from the frame to a greater or lesser extent. It is the drying out and hardening of the timbers that will protect your oak frame from rot and pests, as well as giving it strength and character.

How do I clean my oak frame?

Your oak frame can be cleaned by blasting, sanding or cleaning with oxalic acid. Both sanding and acid cleaning can be done yourself as long as you follow all health and safety guidance. However, blasting will require a specialist company.

Where do the black marks on my oak frame come from?

The black marks are caused by the oak coming into contact with iron or steel during the milling/machining/framing up and erecting process. Heavy oak framing is not a carpentry/furniture type activity and some marks are inevitable due to the multi-man/machining/handling of the timbers.

How do I remove the black marks?

The marks can be removed via several cleaning method. Please see ‘How do I clean my oak frame?’ above to learn more.

When will the tannin stop coming out?

The tannin leaching out of your oak frame is a natural process and will stop as the oak dries out. Over time, natural weathering will wash away these stains.

How long will my oak frame last?

Traditional green oak framing is a centuries-old building method. Whilst there is no definitive lifetime for an oak frame building, the frame could well last in excess of 200 years.

What are the advantages of building a detached timber garage structure?

Detached oak garages give you more freedom to have what you want without having to connect to a current building that may be influenced by materials etc. It is an easier process and less disruptive to your lifestyle building a free-standing structure than attaching to your existing house.

What Building Regulations will I need to adhere to, if it’s purely being used as a space to house cars and other items?

For a non-habitable outbuilding, no building regulations are necessary. Additional info can be found via the planning portal link below: https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/43/outbuildings/2

Will my garage build be included in the same planning application as my main self-build project?

Yes, as long as it is included on the plans. This will be zero-rated if it is a new build.

If I decide to build a standalone garage structure or an attached garage at a later date, will I need planning permission? Or will this fall under permitted development?

Depending on the size of the garage you want will depend on whether it falls into Permitted Development. A couple of general rules apply:

  • The garage is behind the front elevation of the house
  • The garage is under 4m to the ridge (top of the building),
  • The garage is no more than half the area of land around the "original house" so would be covered by additions or other buildings
  • The garage is no further than 2m from a boundary (any closer, limits the size of the building again).

How should I start planning the design of my garage?

We have a range of single storey and room over garages, based on the best bay size to accommodate all ranges of cars (including a car the size of a Land Rover Discovery). If it is possible to use a standard design template this will save you money on design time and structural calculations. However, if you have a specific design in mind, this is not a problem our design consultants will work with you to design an oak frame garage that will both meet your needs and your plot requirements.

Are there any popular trends at the moment when it comes to oak frame garage aesthetics?

Garages with room overs are very popular as they over a lot of versatility. They can be used as a place to accommodate friends and family when they come and stay or they can house a workshop space or store. Aesthetically, more people are requesting roller shutter doors, and functionally car collectors and hobbyists are putting car lifts into their garages to be able to tweak at home.

What considerations are important to bear in mind if I want to create a garage/outbuilding that is physically separate from my main house?

This will depend on how you plan to use your garage and what amenities you wish to have in it. In most cases drainage will need to be considered but if you want electricity or water running to the property this will need added consideration. When laying the groundworks for your garage, the ground it sits on will determine much works are required. Also the location of the building will need to be considered for accessibility.

How long will my garage or outbuilding take to put up?

This will depend on the complexity of your project and the surrounding site conditions. For example, a 2 bay open garage on a clear level open site can be erected and clad in 1-2 days with an additional 2-3 days to felt, batten and tile. Whereas, a 3 bay room over garage would take around 4-5 days to erect and a similar time to felt, batten and roof. Sites with difficult access or with other buildings in close proximity may take longer. We recommend you talking this through with your design consultant during the design process.

What is the advantage of oak cladding over softwood?

Oak cladding is a much more durable timber than softwood. It has the advantage that no further maintenance will usually be required for anywhere between 25–100 years. Typically, oak will have a service life in excess of 2-3 times longer than treated softwood.

Is my oak from a sustainable source?

Yes, all your oak is sourced from mills in France and Germany and comes from managed forests. FSC/PFC certification can be provided if requested at the time of order.

Where is my oak sourced from?

We buy all our oak direct from French or German sawmills. The oak is sourced from single species forests which are cropped on a rotating cycle. The competition between the trees to reach the sunlight results in the trees having very long straight trunks compared to those grown in mixed deciduous woodland.

Will you take any rubbish away after my build is completed?

We will request that a skip is provided for all building rubbish. However, if this is not the case, we will leave all waste/surplus material in a neat pile for the client to use/dispose of as they see fit.