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The right materials for the job: How timber oak framing can form the basis of your dream luxury home

By LLM Reporters on 23rd October 2019

If there’s one thing more exciting than shopping for a new home, it’s having one built from scratch. Allowing you to make your dream luxury home a reality, self builds give you the chance to decide upon everything from layout down to stylistic interior details – and best of all, you can rest safe in the knowledge that no-one else will have the same. There aren’t many prouder moments than welcoming guests into your newly built and decorated abode – and, if you throw in some lavish features like a heated swimming pool or hot tub, games room or gym, then the chances are, you’ll rarely want to leave.

Starting a new homebuilding project can be daunting, especially if you’re new to the experience. One of the most bamboozling tasks can be selecting the right materials for the job, and though you’ll likely have the help of a seasoned architect, it pays to know the basics.

Attractive, durable and easy to work with, oak has been a sought-after material when it comes to creating quality buildings that last for centuries, and remains just as popular choice today as it was in the beginning. An aesthetically pleasing material choice, it is often found in luxurious country mansions and homes, where it is used to create a grand yet cosy feel – think exposed oak beams, and you’re on the right track.

Offering a raft of benefits to architects, homebuilders and homeowners alike, it’s little wonder this incredible natural material has lasted the distance in the construction world, holding its own in the modern world despite endless competition. Here are some of the top reasons you should consider making oak timber framing your material of choice.

Attractive, durable and easy to work with, oak has been a sought-after material when it comes to creating quality buildings that last for centuries, and remains just as popular choice today as it was in the beginning. Image credit: English Heritage Buildings

Sustainability

Oak timber framing is one of the most eco-friendly materials you could make when it comes to home construction. Not only can it be locally sourced – minimising the amount of carbon used to get it from A to B – but while it is growing, it absorbs excess CO2 from the atmosphere that is retained as long as the oak exists. In many cases, this is a very long time.

Oak trees often grow for up to a hundred years before wood can be harvested, sso upporting oak tree farms means you’re supporting forest habitat instead of tree farms that will be razed in just a couple of years. Plus, green oak doesn’t need to be treated with toxic chemicals to make it fire retardant or protect it from insects like other materials do and it remains low-maintenance for its entire life.

The assembly method used for oak framing often creates a very air tight seal, which is another added bonus. The better the seal, the less insulation in the walls you’ll need when you opt for oak panels – making for a more energy efficient home, lower energy bills and less damage to the environment all round.

Speed

Timber frames tend to be made off site in dedicated workshops, making it one of the fastest possible methods of construction. Framing often arrives at a building site pre-assembled, which means it is quicker and easier to erect than most other materials. Sometimes, a timber build can be completed up to a third faster a brick or concrete one.

Oak timber framing is one of the most eco-friendly materials you could make when it comes to home construction

Their relatively “dry” construction process also means that electrical and plastering work can start much sooner once the frame is done. In contrast, mortar and plaster take a long time to dry. It might be weeks before you could begin internal work in the home. Oak timber doesn’t need to be pre-heated like masonry buildings, so if you’re looking to complete your dream home as quickly as possible without compromising on quality, then oak is a great choice.

Strength and durability

Make no mistake; oak wood is one of the strongest materials on the block, and can be used to support large roofs and tall walls without any problems – making it an ideal choice for open floor plans. You can use the same oak boards in the roof beams as the floors, creating a consistent colour scheme throughout the building, and one that coincidentally blends in with nature.

Oak has been used in residential construction for centuries in the UK, in part because it is much more durable than other types of wood – one of the many reasons you’ll see homes that were built hundreds of years ago still in such good nick today

Naturally long-lasting and hard-wearing, modern manufacturing methods create accurately cut pieces with tight tolerances that slide together and stay securely in place. The result? It’s now a more durable material than ever for use in home construction.

Oak has been used in residential construction for centuries in the UK. Image credit: English Heritage Buildings

Aesthetics

Timber framing in all its forms can make for an aesthetically pleasing choice, but few woods have quite the same visual appeal of oak. Oak framed luxury buildings have a classic, timeless beauty, and their character only improves with age. Resistant to the elements and moisture, oak is unlikely to rot or crack, helping it to maintain its lovely colour as it ages – and ensuring that it continues to look its best for years to come.

Having a new home built can be a huge and overwhelming task, but get the basics right, and you can’t go wrong. Futureproof your design by choosing the right materials, choose something that looks good, adds character, and contributes to energy efficiency and the luxury house you’ve always dreamt of is within easy reach.