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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.