For centuries, oak frames have been used in construction. Given its durability, endurance, and capacity to withstand adverse conditions, oak is an eco-friendly choice. As it dries, this wood has a stunning appearance that attracts many admirers. In addition to its inherent beauty, modern oak homes are highly energy efficient, airtight, and ingeniously built.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most important factors to think about while building with oak.
1. Engage an Experienced Designer
It may come as a surprise, but not all architects, builders, or designers are familiar with the unique characteristics of wood. Despite its widespread use, few people understand oak’s strengths and limitations as a construction material. That’s why it’s crucial to use a construction firm, design firm, or architectural firm like New Forest Oak Buildings that has expertise working with oak frames.
2. Cleaning the Structure
Scratches and scuffs are inevitable on a freshly constructed oak frame. The wood may have water stains, the tannins in the wood may have left black streaks, or the wood may have “blued” by coming into contact with steel. While sandblasting is effective at cleaning, it has the potential to ruin the finish on your wood or frame. Also, sandblasting requires expensive, sophisticated, and bulky equipment.
Oxalic acid is a less harsh cleaning method. When working with oxalic acid, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s safety protocols and use protective gear such as gloves and a face mask. Bleaching stains with oxalic acid won’t affect the wood’s finish.
3. Think about Incorporating Steel in Your Design
Many modern wood-framed homes combine oak and steel. This has aesthetic and structural benefits. Incorporating steel in oak frames helps strengthen the structure. Steel flitch plates make it possible to use long sturdy oak beams.
When left exposed, the combination of oak and steel creates a striking contrast of industrial and natural elements. Steel eliminates the need for massive, costly beams while allowing for designs that would be impossible with wood alone.
4. Classic Look/Modern Solution
Oak frameworks were often used, with wattle and daub or brick filling the spaces between the beams. But it did a poor job of keeping the heat in. This resulted in the invention of encapsulation. Though encapsulation is the norm, some homeowners insist on keeping their beams exposed inside and out. Insulation is applied for each segment separately between the beams as opposed to completely enclosing the structure in a single huge panel. The outside is rendered to give it a classic appearance, and the finishings around the edges make it airtight. This method allows the exposed frame to remain while meeting modern safety requirements.
5. No Need for Finishing
The appearance of oak evolves throughout time. Wooden surfaces exposed to sunlight eventually become silver and weather gracefully. It is the oxidation process that gives wood its characteristic rustic look. However, oak does not need to be treated since it is resistant to water and weather. It can withstand bacterial and fungal attacks and is poisonous to insects. To maintain the original colour of your wood fixtures, you may use wax oils from time to time. Oak fixtures can be oiled if they are exposed to moisture or water. However, this is not necessary. Oak frame requires little care after it has been erected.
Why Choose New Forest Oak Buildings
Oak is hardy, durable, and visually appealing as a frame material. For those without experience, working with oak might be challenging. However, with the assistance of a professional oak frame designer, creating stunning oak framed garages, extensions, stabling, garden rooms, or additions is child’s play.
New Forest Oak Buildings provides a comprehensive oak frame service and carries a variety of prefabricated oak frame building kits. If you have any questions or want to discuss your design, don’t hesitate to get in touch with them today. You may count on them for assistance with building any structure made from oak, including oak framed buildings, oak garages and extensions to pre-existing structures.