News: Buying an Oak Timber Structure: All you need to know
If your home has ever undergone an improvement. You'll appreciate it’s a stressful experience.
From start to finish, there’s worry. Is the quote fair? Is the company legit? How long until completion? You face many concerns.
But, what if there’s another way? See, at Oak Timber Structures, we're aware of your concerns. Moreover, we can put your worries to bed. We make sure buying a solid oak structure is a seamless and exciting experience.
In this article, you'll learn what to expect when buying from Oak Timber Structures and how we make it a customer-friendly adventure.
Let Your Imagination Run Wild
So, you've decided to add another dimension to your home with an Oak Timber Structure. Good choice!
Whatever you want, whether an oak porch, oak gazebo, oak pergola or any oak structure from our vast catalogue. We create each structure from scratch.
What's this mean for you? Not only is your solid oak architecture one of a kind, but you're getting a structure custom-tailored to your needs and specs.
Going back and forth with designers and architects is tiresome. That’s where the 3D online designer comes in. The designer allows you to compose a plethora of oak structures each bespoke to your needs.
If you have concerns about overpricing. As you change dimensions and features, the price updates in real-time. With instant quotes and a fixed price, you’ll learn we act with transparency.
Truth is, whatever oak structure you dream up, we'll make it. Take a seat, don your thinking hat, and dream.
What if you envision a design outside the capability of the designer? No matter, just send in a quick sketch with your measurements and send it through, we love to see your ideas and we’ll happily send you back a quotation.
If you've created the design on the 3D designer, it's as easy as adding your creation to the basket. For any hand-drawn designs, email them over and we’ll send you a quote.
Now the wheels are in motion, it's getting exciting. Onto the next step.
What is a CAD Drawing?
With your order paid, you'll receive a CAD drawing. What's a CAD drawing I hear you ask? CAD is short for Computer Aided Design and is a precise illustration of your structure.
Why is the CAD drawing important?
It’ll detail the exact dimensions and specs of the oak structure. Everyone involved in the project will refer to the drawing throughout.
We'll use the CAD drawing to create the oak structure. So, every detail has to be perfect.
For this reason, we won't use any alternative CAD drawings other than our own. This ensures we understand every fine detail of your structure inside out.
With a completed CAD drawing, you or your builders can start the project. Because if builders need to lay the groundwork or supporting brickwork, they’ll work from the CAD drawing.
But, before you lay bricks, if you want to change the CAD drawing, now’s the best time to speak up. It's not a worry. After all, it's your dream and we're here to facilitate it.
We understand there’s a chance of alterations, so contact us with changes to the oak structure.
That said, a few things to note if there are revisions to the first CAD drawing.
Remember, don’t start any groundwork or brickwork until you’re 100% happy with the CAD drawing. Also, make sure your builder has the most up-to-date drawing.
Even if you make the smallest change, builders will need the latest drawing to ensure they're working to the right dimensions.
Because we create every oak structure bespoke, ideally, there will be no alterations before we cut the first solid piece of oak.
However, if this is the case, you can make changes as long as it isn't to the wood we've worked on. In this scenario, we may have to charge you for the cost of materials.
Are you happy with the drawings? With your approval, it's time to move on to the next step.
Do I Need Planning Permission?
Now, this isn't the most exciting part of the experience. But let’s not jump the gun.
You should find out if you need planning permission. You wouldn’t want an enforcement notice, right?
Contact your local council and ask to speak to the LPA. LPA is an abbreviation of 'Local Planning Authority'. You can refer to the CAD drawings when outlining your plan, as the drawings have all the precise dimensions.
Most of our oak pergolas and gazebos fall into the ‘permitted planning’ category. This means that the structure is within the dimensional boundaries set by the government. For example, our gazebos seldom exceed 3.95m in height and the set limit is 4m. All areas and local councils differ so we strongly recommend checking regardless.
Although it's common for our structures to be below the threshold. It's always worth checking to save hassle down the line.
Creating An Oak Structure: A Heritage of Quality
Now you've got a completed CAD drawing and a green light from your local authority... It's time to bring your vision to life.
So what should you expect from the building process?
Let's start by saying, if you are looking for durable timber, then oak should be your go-to wood. Furthermore, we only use the best sustainable quality oak.
By using only QPA and QP1 grade oak, there are no defects such as holes or dead knots as found in cheaper grade oak. So you can expect your structure to have longevity and a beautiful grain pattern.
With the highest quality solid fresh sawn oak at the ready, it's time to get to work.
The skilled workforce at Oak Timber Structures has years of experience in the timber industry. So you can sit back, secure in the knowledge your oak timber structure is taking form with painstaking attention to detail.
We'll precisely cut each piece of timber and plane each side for a smooth finish. Of course, you can stipulate a sawn finish if you wish.
All joints are traditional mortise and tenon joints with oak dowel reinforcements. The skilled workforce prepares each joint, knowing that oak shrinks. So they use the process to tighten the joints.
For more information on what to expect from an oak structure, read this article.
Once the solid oak beams and joints are ready, they'll assemble the structure. Doing a mock assembly allows our artisans to double-check all the joints and dimensions to make sure they’re spot-on.
This also allows the team to number each component of the oak structure. With identifiable parts, assembling an Oak Timber Structure is straightforward. You’ll also have ‘Parts Identification Drawing’ to work from. More on that later.
They then disassemble your structure before organising it into a flat pack ready for delivery.
How long does this process take?
Each product page advises our current lead times which we update as required, the lead time will commence once drawings have received final approval.
Flat Pack Oak Structures Delivered To Your Door
Once your custom oak structure is in kit form, we'll contact you to arrange delivery. If you're not ready, no need to worry. We're happy to store it at no extra charge until you're prepared.
You can either have your oak structure delivered to your location. Or, if you have the means, you can collect from our premises at Airfield Industrial Estate, Stafford, ST18 0PF.
Your new structure arrives on a lorry appropriate to your structure. The vehicle depends on the size of the structure and access limitations.
Try to be flexible on delivery day as distribution times vary. Our drivers will call you an hour before arrival to give you a heads-up.
Upon arrival, the driver stops at a safe place and helps remove the oak structure onto the kerb. Make sure you have enough person power to offload the oak kit. If you selected HIAB/Assisted delivery then just sit back and watch us do the heavy lifting!
On the subject of heavy lifting, oak is dense and weighty timber, so prepare appropriately. If you want the exact weight, we can send them to give you an idea of what to expect.
Needless to say, follow all health and safety guidelines. For more information on heavy lifting, the NHS site has tips for safe handling.
If you want assisted delivery. We can provide a quote for HIAB transportation. A HIAB has a crane attached and the driver will offload the oak structure onto the kerbside.
When offloading using a HIAB, you’ll need to factor in the mechanical legs. Mechanical legs extend from the side to stabilise the vehicle during lifting. So, ensure there’s an area with ample space.
Now you've got a kit form oak structure, it's time to assemble.
Guaranteed No Stress Oak Structure Assembly
What do you need to know about assembly? Whether it's you or a builder, here's what you need to know.
First off, be careful when using screws or nails. Make sure they're stainless steel. Oak and cedar contain an acid called tannins. When iron comes into contact with tannins, it causes the iron to erode and will leave black streaks in the wood. So stick to stainless steel.
It's advised to assemble the structure within the first few weeks. As oak ages, it loses moisture. This is part and parcel of the ageing process.
As moisture leaves the oak, it shrinks the timber. While only minimal, as you know by now, we craft the parts with shrinkage in mind and use it to help tighten joints.
If you've gone beyond a few weeks, it'll still be fine to assemble. But you may have to sand down the oak pegs as holes become smaller through shrinkage.
Either way, all our oak structures are made to last and will have a healthy lifespan.
To assist with construction, we'll supply a 'Parts Identification Drawing'. Consider this your instruction diagram.
Oak trusses have few parts, so are easy to identify. But, oak gazebos, for example, have more components, so are more complicated. The ‘Parts Identification Drawing’ will identify each part and instruct where it should go.
Each post has a label on the top with a matching label for where it should attach. Likewise, with joints, the mortice which is the hole will have an identifiable label to match with the corresponding tenon joint.
All woodwork is complete, and it's simply a case of putting it together. It's advisable to lay all parts of the structure on the ground. You can then use the ‘Parts Identification Drawing' to slot it together.
There’s no set way to assemble a structure. Each oak structure is different and every builder uses their own methods. Factors such as the amount of workforce available, previous experience and equipment affect how the assembly process proceeds. For this reason, we don’t supply a step-by-step guide.
Talking of equipment, there are a few items that are of use. A genie lift makes light work of lifting heavy beams. By taking the weight of the beam, you can hold them in place while joints are pegged together.
Framing pins are also handy. While not a necessity, they’ll also help hold the frame to peg the structure concurrently.
Don't rush, take time to double-check each piece. Once the pegs are in, they’re made to stay in situ. So, if you make any mistakes, prepare yourself to drill pegs out.
On our gazebo, pergola and garage pages, you'll find build galleries. These are helpful to see how previous clients have assembled their structures. We're on hand at any stage to offer advice. If you have questions about assembly, get in touch.
If in doubt, use a professional builder. An experienced professional will have your structure up in just a few days, hours even if it’s a smaller, more simple structure. It’s commonplace for builders to comment on the ease of assembly of all Oak Timber Structures regardless of size.
Relax and Enjoy
So your solid oak structure is up. It's time to revel in the grace.
Solid oak structures are a great way to add beauty to your home or garden. What's more, kit form structures are an efficient and cost-effective way to achieve this.
What do you need to know from here on in? Not much!
Oak Timber Structures only use the highest quality oak available. With this grade of oak and precise craftsmanship, your structure needs little to no maintenance.
There are things you can do to add extra protection or stain the oak, but mostly, it’s down to preference. For ideas on how to maintain your oak structure, click here.
But now's the time to sit back, relax and enjoy your new solid oak structure in all its glory. So... you know that bottle of bubbly you've been saving? Perhaps now’s the time to pop the cork and celebrate.