Frame design

Oak frames that work practically and aesthetically

At the heart of the frame making process are our frame designers who not only design the ‘look’ of your oak frame, but also the numerous joints that hold your structure together. Because of the nature of how we work, oak frame design is as much a part of the production method as the actual fabrication itself.

Therefore, each frame designer must have a thorough understanding of the specialist software on which the frame is designed and also have extensive knowledge of oak framing. Addressing the equally important issues of structural integrity and aesthetic appeal is paramount to the success of your design. That is why all our frame design trainees go through a thorough induction in both the workshop and on-site.

Your frame designer will become the ‘steward’ of your project as they will have in-depth knowledge of your particular build. This is invaluable for both the fabrication and the erection process as your designer can help guide your frames progress through the workshop and go on site to assist in your structures erection.

From design concept to your oak frame dream

Your frame designer will meet you on-site to discuss your project and take you through the process. They will keep in contact throughout the design stage, asking questions where necessary to clarify design requirements. As the design progresses the principal issues of sizes, loading, spans and jointing will be addressed. Depending on the size and complexity of the structure, this process may take on average between a week and a month, although in some extreme cases it may take a little longer.

Once your designs are finished, copies of the design will be sent to you to be ‘signed off’. At this stage we encourage you to visit our offices so you can be taken through your frame. Any amendments required can then quickly be talked through. Once we have received signed off copies of the frame it will be jointed and then passed on for final checking with another designer.

When finally satisfied your drawings are sent to an independent structural engineer who will review your drawings for Building Control. Once this is complete your designer will convert the design frame drawings into machine files and compile a set of fully dimensioned fabrication drawings for our workshop. At the same time a timber-cutting list will be produced and sent to the mill.

Choosing your green oak

We only choose the highest quality sustainable green oak for your frame. Your oak will have been felled within 18 months and will still contain a large percentage of water. We choose Green Oak as it is better to work with, and over time will age with your building to produce a beautiful, unique character.

Over time your green oak will shrink across the grain as it dries out. This shrinkage is taken into account by your designer at the design stage, when they model in mortices, tenons, housings, and drillings for pegs accordingly. Over the months and years, the oak will dry becoming stronger with time. So, you can be rest assured, your oak frame home will become better with age both structurally and aesthetically.