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Why choose to build with oak?

Why choose to build with oak?

For centuries, oak has been admired for its strength and endurance. The decades-old oak-frame barns bear witness to the durable and stable properties of this material, and may explain why oak framing is enjoying a steady renaissance.
As a nation, we have evolved to become more eco-conscious, being mindful of how the environment is affected by the lifestyle choices we make. The building and construction industry is being particularly proactive for raising awareness of the more sustainable solutions on offer.
In construction, Green oak has the lowest embodied energy of any primary building material. But it's not the oak alone that carries significant eco-benefits. Oak framed buildings themselves are dry builds and therefore save gallons of water normally used on a building site. What's more, the natural insulation properties of Green oak reduce the need for additional heating during colder months.
Aside from oak's inherent environmental benefits, the appearance of this material is stunning. Even as time goes by, the oak structure develops a beautiful silver patina which then blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings.
Oak frames have many advantages from a design point of view. For example, as a structural frame it doesn't require load bearing walls, allowing for large open spaces. The frame loses its moisture over time and the dried wood shrinks the joints to support and stabilise the strength of the overall structure, meaning the build has an unparalleled lifespan compared to brick or steel - it can be erected substantially quicker too.
Building with oak essentially contributes to the rising popularity of off-site construction. There is an added level of quality and assurance that comes with this method of manufacturing. If you're choosing your project from a pre-determined design, then you will have peace of mind of the result. The accuracy and consistency of wet build techniques - and the tradesmen behind them - come with a certain level of risk. Further still, on site building works are disruptive and the build's timeline is often determined by the weather. When building oak frames off-site, the components are manufactured in a carefully-controlled environment, delivered to site when stated and are ready to be assembled in a matter of days.
What Size Oak Garage Do I need?

What Size Oak Garage Do I need?

When it comes to home improvement, size definitely matters

Whether you live in a house or a mansion, deciding how to utilise your land and what scale you need to consider when adding to your home is a very important decision, and we're going to break down what you need to know when making such important decisions when it comes to our specialty; Oak Garages.
What is the Oak Garage for?
The first thing you need to look at when deciding what you need and how big you need it is its purpose; and you can be as philosophical as you like

An Oak Garage, or any for that matter, can have many different purposes, some can do many things at once, some are only designed for one specific purpose.

They can be used for storage, extra space to place items you want to keep but don't want to litter the house; mainly objects containing memories, objects that can be used once in a while but not all the time and the list goes on..

They can be used to store your precious car - or cars - which you use frequently or which you take out once in a while for that special occasion then lock back up and maintain to the best standard possible; those classic BMWs are a right treat.

The amount/size of whatever will be housed within the garage is a very important thing to consider.

If you need a garage which should be able to store a 4x4 but can barely fit a sedan, it's going to be a whole load of headache.

Similarly, if you have a garage that fits a truck but is only used to house a few boxes, you've got more space than you'll know what to do with

The best thing to do to figure this out is plan anything you might want to go in and consider future prospects.

Buying a new car and need somewhere to store it? Factor that in

Need a place to store old items from days that past a long time ago? Factor that in

Future proof your garage as much as possible so you know when the time comes, you are ready; but don't go too overboard, in this case there is a thing that exists known as being too ready

Once we've figured out the first part of the puzzle the rest is easy.

You can then decide on the type of door, you can have a door that slides upwards, that opens sideways, remote controlled, whatever best suits the garage's purpose

You can decide where you will place the garage, will it be next to your home or detached. If it's attached, will there be access to your home from the garage via a door.

If it is used to store more than one vehicle or a vehicle alongside storage items, you can opt in for a double garage which conjoin together and can house many things within them all of which can be either stored in a single open area which is attached together or divided - usually by a wall - and neatly separated into two or more different areas all of which contain different things; for that extra neatness and peace of mind.

The hassle and headache of deciding what to do and what to get when it comes to Oak Garages - and dare we say any process of home improvement - can be made a lot more clear and a lot simpler by following a similar process to what we have outlined above

Deciding the purpose of what you want, considering every possible thing you could use it for and then making sure there is nothing left to chance and everything is accounted for and planned down to a t will make sure you are getting just what you need with nothing to spare and nothing you need to sit and wish for

We hope you enjoyed reading our article and we hope we have helped you make those life changing decisions so much easier!
A 5-step guide to achieving your perfect oak-framed garage

A 5-step guide to achieving your perfect oak-framed garage

For some, taking on any sort of construction work can seem like a daunting prospect. Navigating your way through design concepts and planning procedures can sometimes prevent the most aspiring home improvers from taking on the challenge. However, with the introduction of oak-framing kits, a lot the stresses and strains have instantly been removed. Here, Oak Frames Direct reveals a simple 5-step guide to achieving one of the most popular oak-frame products on the market today: a garage.
1) Design concept
There are numerous benefits to building with oak - longevity and strength means that whatever you build is guaranteed to stand the test of time. With that in mind, it's important to consider the potential longer-term uses of your garage rather than the immediate needs. For instance, will you require extra storage? Are you likely to own an additional car? Will your growing family result in the need for extra living space?

Due to the increased popularity of oak-framing, many companies now have a vast library of standard garage buildings. These can range from one- to four-bay garages with or without log stores, garages with rooms above, complexes and much more.

At oakframesdirect.com, our simple product configurator can help you specify the exact garage you require, from frame type right through to roof ends and depth options. At the end of the process, you even have the option to add on joinery from our range of softwood and oak windows and doors. We think of all the design possibilities, so you don't have to.

2) Planning
Once you've set your sights on your chosen design concept, it is essential to present your intended design to your local authority. The rules for permitted development or planning permission vary from property to property, therefore our advice is to seek approval before any purchase is made.

To help with gaining permission, Oak Frames Direct offers a full planning drawing service which will enable you to lay out all the facts and dimensions to your planning officer. Should you go on to succeed with planning and purchase your oak frame from Oak Frames Direct, we will deduct the fee from the price of your frame.

Building Regulations is another important legal consideration. If the floor area of the building is between 15m2 and 30m2, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations approval. This is providing the building contains no sleeping accommodation and is either at least 1m from any boundary or it is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.

3) Foundations
Foundations are the most crucial part of any building, creating a level and solid base that the rest of the structure relies on to keep it standing. The preparation of your groundworks should be considered fairly early on in the process to ensure your project runs as smoothly as possible and doesn't result in any delays to the erection of the frame.

Bear in mind that the base also represents a sizeable proportion of the total cost of your build, so it's worth shopping around to get the best price from a trusted trader. When agreeing the terms, we recommend that your groundworker's contract includes a provision to ensure that the foundations they have laid are accurate and suitable to accept your oak frame.

4) Assembly
The introduction of oak-framing kits has significantly reduced the level of support needed to erect an oak-frame building. If you possess a basic knowledge of joinery or carpentry, then this would be an ideal project for you. However, it is recommended that a minimum of 2 people are needed to erect the oak frame due to the weight of the beams.

As a guide, an experienced team of fitters will take between 1 and 4 days depending on the style of the frame, so this might help you gauge the timeframe needed for less experienced assemblers. All reputable suppliers, including Oak Frames Direct, will provide a full inventory plus easy-to-follow assembly instructions and guidelines for further treatment of any extras, such as weatherboarding.

5) Maintenance
The oak frames that form part of your garage will not require treating, as over time they age gracefully turning silver, however due to the natural moisture content of Green Oak, you may notice natural tannins (black marks) appearing on your oak. These marks will naturally disappear with time but if you wish to remove them straight away you can use a product called oxalic acid. Otherwise, the external oak will not require treating. Instead the joinery and weatherboard will need treatment on a regular basis.

Be aware that leaving joinery untreated may lead to cracking, splitting or movement in the timber, for which we cannot be held responsible. All joinery including oak should be treated as soon as possible on both sides, top, bottom and both edges. This will prevent water stains and the absorption of water into the timber, thereby reducing the risk of problems with the doors and windows and help with maintenance and cleaning.

For softwood weatherboard, Stain as soon as possible with the colour of your choice to stop water penetration, and to give an even colouring. If left unstained the timber will weather unevenly and go a patchy grey colour in appearance. Untreated boarding will also absorb moisture leaving the inside face damp during long periods of inclement weather.