Oak As A Building Material
Oak is the strongest, most durable timber we use. It is rich in tannins making it extremely durable and resistant to decay and insect attack, and if kept dry oak frames have frequently lasted over 500 years. The fresh sawn oak we use is of the highest quality and consistently available in this country.
Oak’s wavering grain lends frames a complexity and movement, unlike softwoods for example. It is well suited to more traditional framing and the characteristic curves and arches which you see within the wall braces and vaulted roof spaces.
The playful grain presents the carpenter with a constant challenge, requiring several years of traditional craftsmanship training, allowing the adoption of different techniques to achieve consistency between different sections of timber.
The initial seasoning and then subsequent response to humidity means that it never stops moving. Indeed it is said of oak that every bit is unique, and working with it or living with it, it will always give the feeling of ‘being alive’ – many people talk of it as a living material and having a distinctive presence. Its solidity and its assured enduring strength imbue a space with peace and timeless quality.