Working With Green Oak

A Superb Material


More self-builders are being seduced by green oak, and it is easy to see why. Not only does it look fantastic, but also the life-performance offers a unique chance to own a low-energy, cost effective home.

A timber frame is one of the most natural materials that can be used, as the tannins and oils in the wood make toxic and chemical treatments unnecessary. Green oak frames can also last for a phenomenal amount of time, and there are still structures standing after hundreds of years that demonstrate this. In fact, oak can have a better strength-to-weight ratio than steel.



Grading the Oak


When creating an oak house, it is essential that each piece of timber has been selected and sized specifically for its role in the frame. This is where timber grading is important, since it helps determine the strength and appearance of the wood. We use wood that is graded by the sawmill, and then further assessed by our head carpenters throughout the fabrication process. Our timber grading process is thorough and means you can be assured that each piece of your frame will be the right piece for the job.


Traditional Joinery


At English Oak Buildings, we pride ourselves on still using the craftsmanship of heritage joinery methods. Your frame will be made by hand in our workshop, using the traditional and precise technique called the ‘Scribe Rule’. Our carpenters lay out and mark up each individual piece of timber above a life-size drawing chalked onto the floor, creating a specific match between pieces. The joints are then cut by hand and pre-drilled so they can be fixed together on-site using oak pegs.  Every timber in the frame has a carpenter’s mark indicating its exact location within the scheme as a whole.