Timber Choices

There are many things to consider when selecting what timber to use – whether it be strength, aesthetics, longevity or environmental impact. This is why green oak – especially English Oak – is such an exceptional building material; durable and strong, practical and versatile, individual and beautiful.

Our English Oak timber comes from GIB (Grown In Britain) certified sawmills, which means that it has been sustainably harvested under the scrutiny of GIB. This ‘chain of custody’ scheme will ensure provenance and good woodland management. It is the only scheme that focuses 100% on British woodlands.

You can therefore be assured that your timber has had the minimum negative ecological and environmental impact and is sourced from well-managed forests.

English oak

We believe that we are the best handcrafted timber framers in the country, with attention to detail at the forefront of everything we do. With this in mind, as a standard, we use the highest quality English Oak for our timber frames.

English Oak is grown in the UK and is classed as the highest quality timber-framing grade oak used in our industry. Not only is it a superior grade to European Oak, but it has a straighter grain, fewer knots and reduces shaking (cracks in timber).

Another benefit of using English Oak is that your structure has a greatly reduced carbon footprint. Imported timber is likely to have travelled hundreds, if not thousands, of miles.

Unlike many companies, we use naturally curved, English Oak timber for our braces/curves. This is because if curved sections of your frame are cut from straight timber, then if it splits, it will do so tangentially to the curve, rather than along it.

European Oak

Although not as high a grade as our native English oak, the European oak varieties are still a good option; they offer many of the benefits of English oak.

However it should be noted that it is harder to track the origin of the timber, and so although it may have PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), the timber may of come from variety of sources throughout Europe (Eastern and Western oak have different attributes).

Douglas Fir & Larch

These quality home grown timbers are available in large sections in long lengths, making them ideal for modern open plan design with clean, straight lines.

With a lighter moisture content and a naturally straight grain, these timbers are structurally more predictable than some others. Strong and lightweight timbers, Douglas Fir & Larch are ideal for a contemporary and economical build.

cladding timbers

These timbers are primarily used for cladding our structures, and are available in a wide variety of profiles; from traditional green Oak feather-edge cladding to seasoned Cedar tongue & groove. 

Other cladding timbers readily available from our local sawmill include – Sweet Chestnut, Western Red Cedar, Elm and Siberian Larch. Also there are a range of thermally modified British hardwoods, such as Brimstone Ash, Sycamore and Poplar.

Cedar also has its own unique use, in that its makes one of the most beautiful roofing finishes when used in shingle or shake tile form. With its long life span, Cedar shingles/shakes are often used as a more subtle finish on porches, garages and outbuildings. 

C24 Softwood

Sometimes, where applicable, we need to use treated softwood timbers – specifically in our roof build-ups and Structurally Insulated Panel System (SIPS). Although not aesthetically pleasing, it is structurally superb, especially at spanning unsupported distances. 

All our responsibly sourced softwood timber is C24 grade, which is high pressure treated, kiln dried and known for its structural performance. We would only use this timber where it is either hidden or covered up.

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