Structural Framing

Structural timber framing is at the heart of what we do.

We combine traditional craftsmanship with contemporary construction methods. Our frame designers collaborate with architects and engineers to provide the main structural element of your project.

Depending on the type of building, vernacular considerations and finishing required, it is possible to make a timber frame from a range of timbers. Oak is our signature framing material. Our ‘structural frame’ carpenters are adept at translating bespoke design. They specialise in using hand-held tools rather than stationery machines. The same carpentry team sees your project from design to frame raising.

Frame production takes place in our workshops where we consider everything up front. From calculations of roof geometry to the logistics for frame raising, we can assure quality control and
experience. Our preferred service is to cut the frame and install on site; alternatively we can supply the frame for your builder to install.

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Timber Frame Raising

Timber frame raising week is an exciting time. After the long build-up to this point – putting together a team, planning, architect, design, groundworks – for many clients it is the first point at which they get to see their project come off the paper and take shape. The structural frame forms the skeleton of the building and is made in its entirety in our workshops while your builder is preparing the foundations. Once we get on site, the frame goes up very quickly under the care of the team of carpenters who made it. Even the largest of structures is usually complete within the week. For small frames, it can be a day or two.

The completion of the frame raising is a moment to celebrate, both for you and the carpentry team. The team will ‘top out’ and mark the milestone of the project – this is when the carpenter nails a branch of a tree – traditionally oak for us – to the top of the roof.

The skeleton is in place and the work of encapsulation (with Structural Insulated Panels SIPS, cavity wall, straw bales, hemp panels etc.), roofing and cladding can get underway. The building can be watertight within days allowing internal studwork and first fix to carry on inside under cover & with ease. Compare this to traditional brick and block builds, where getting to this stage can take months, and it’s easy to see the advantage of the timber frame route.

The Carpenter Oak Way

You need to be confident that work on site is going to get done swiftly and skilfully without compromising safety or attention to detail. Our teams are highly experienced, raising over 50 frames a year and we pride ourselves on being swift, efficient and safe.

Your raising team will be made up of the carpenters who made the frame, and this ensures the ownership of quality right down to the last peg. Our teams raise frames in the trickiest locations and most challenging conditions, always maintaining pride in their work and going the extra mile to get the job done with the care it deserves.

Timber Frame Details

Wrapping the frame

The timber frame usually stands partially or entirely within the internal finish and is revealed to the interior of the property. The frame is surrounded by a structured build-up whose function is to protect and insulate the building and protect it from the weather. This zone consists of external finishes, insulation and membranes, which can surround the frame unbroken and are therefore able to do their job more effectively. In this way, the timber frame can meet and exceed all current regulations and standards for weather protection, insulation & air tightness. We do not advocate revealing the frame to the outside of the building.

External finishes

Since the frame lies inside the insulation and membrane build-up, it is possible to finish the building with any form of external finish that you want. Many frames will not be apparent from the outside of the property unless that is what you want. Often getting the appearance of the frame from the exterior is about having timer framed balconies & porches and areas of direct glazing.

Standard Architectural Details For Framing

As part of our service we supply your architect with all relevant ‘Standard Details’, these are advisory details showing the recommended detailing for the timber frame and applied glazing, and how they interact with surrounding detailing in numerous scenarios.

These details are architect approved and have been developed over many years to be robust and reliable.

We have many more information packs with further detailing – why not visit our show barn or show house to go through your ideas?

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