West Midlands Oak Blog

Seasoned Oak, Green Oak or Air Dried Oak?

One of the most common questions we get asked for construction of an Oak Frame Garage is “What is the difference between Seasoned Oak, Green Oak & Air Dried Oak?”

Green Oak

The term ‘Green’ has nothing to do with the colour of the oak nor does it reflect the colour that the oak will turn eventually. Green Oak refers to unseasoned sawn timber, usually fell within 3-18 months with a moisture content of roughly 30-80%. As a result of the high moisture content, when the oak dries out, it shrinks, moves and splits, making it hard to use anywhere close to glass. But brilliant to use in the construction of an oak frame garage, garden room or gazebo adding real character to the final finish.

Air Dried Oak

Air Dried Oak has been cut to size and left to dry naturally. However, it is common that they do not dry out completely. The benefit of using air dried oak means that during the drying out process, the majority of movement has already taken place and therefore less splitting and movement will occur once installed making this the perfect oak to use in sensitive areas where any movement could be inconvenient.

Seasoned Oak

Seasoned Oak is usually cut into boards, and stacked, separated with small battens allowing the timber to breath over a period of time, the moisture content is to be reduces to roughly 13%, making it much more suitable for window and door frame construction and roof rafters. It takes on average, 1 year per 25mm to season properly. During this slow seasoning process, the oak will stay relatively flat and straight, and protected at all times from rain. Seasoned oak, reduces movement and allows glazing methods such as those used in the construction of Orangeries, porches and Garden Rooms. For more information on which oak is suitable for your project get in touch with one of our friendly team today – Contact Us

Garden Rooms – What Do You Need To Consider?

An Oak Garden Room is an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of life indoors, which in the current climate is something we can all relate too.  Enjoying your garden from a different perspective can be so relaxing whilst also providing a functional additional space, which you can use all year round.

Each West Midlands Oak project is unique, but there are a number of factors, which are common to all of them. Here we highlight some of the most important questions from our customers.

Do I need planning permission for a garden room?

Most garden rooms do not require planning permission. However, each property is different and it is necessary if the building covers over half your garden, is not for domestic use or if it is over 3m high with a pent roof (a single sloping surface) or 4m high with an apex roof. Larger garden rooms which are within 2m of any boundary line and over 2.5m high or nearer to a public highway than the original dwelling, also require planning permission. For planning purposes, a public highway would include any road or footpath with a public right of way. If you live in a Conservation Area or in a Listed Building, permission may be needed for any garden room over 10 cubic metres.

Do I need building regulations approval for a garden room?

Approval is required for any garden room with an internal floor area of more than 30m². 

Most garden rooms are smaller than this, but if you are aiming to construct a more substantial building, then it will be needed.  Take a look at our blog for planning for more information or contact your local planning department for further advice. The government’s Planning Portal provides a full list of conditions for outbuildings and structures too.

How do I decide on the design of a summer house?

The only thing you really need to consider with this question is how you plan to use your garden room. Come and speak to our creative team and we can create your perfect, bespoke oak garden room.

Oak framed entertainment area with pizza oven- perfect for family barbeques and summer parties…

Or this beautiful glazed garden room.

Should I connect the garden room to mains water and electricity?

In previous experience, no customer has ever regretted installing either, but it is worth considering early on as it has a huge impact on the location.

Providing an electricity supply is fairly straightforward, but the work needs to be carried out by an electrician who is approved under the Electrical Competent Person Scheme, plus the work needs to be notified to the local building control department.

Be inspired!

Whatever your preference is, making the decision to construct an oak garden room is one you will never regret. Not only will it enhance your property (adding value too), it is likely to become your favourite space in your home.

At West Midlands Oak we have experience in building a wide variety of oak garden rooms.

For more inspiration on creating your dream garden room, take a look at our gallery for inspiration or download our brochures.

What maintenance is required with an oak frame garage?

Oak has always been the choice timber for any wooden structure mainly for its strength and durability evident its character that is left for generations to come.
A common question posed to us is what aftercare and maintenance is required with an oak frame garage so here is our guide to aftercare and maintenance.

What are the black marks on an oak frame and what is the best way to remove them?

Naturally your oak frame may get a little dirty during and after the installation process. Also, due to the moisture content of green oak, you may also notice natural tannins which cause black stains to appear on the oak in certain areas. This is a natural process and the recommend way that these marks are can be removed is with using an oxalic acid solution.

Do you recommend treating my oak frame?

Again a common question but we always say there are no specific requirement for any maintenance of the oak frame itself. The natural sunlight on the frame over time will turn the frame to a silvery grey. Depending on your preference, the original, lighter colour can be retained if the wood is treated or sealed before it is exposed to the elements. One thing to be mindful of is once you start to treat the frame this will require ongoing maintenance yearly.

We would always recommend that you choose a test area first to make sure you are happy with the end result.

Will the oak move over time?

It is vital to remember that oak is an organic material and will settle in its own unique way – as the oak releases its moisture and dries it changes the way it looks and characteristics. The more it dries the lighter and stronger it gets. The way our buildings are designed means that as the timber dries the joints lock together to increase that strength. As the frame settles it will create its own unique splits or shakes which are normal and part of the settling process, more importantly part it really shows off the charm of an organic structure.

Case Study – Two Bay Oak Framed Garage

Our client required a bespoke oak framed garage with tiled roof to suit their planning permission requirements.

Located in the county of Nottinghamshire West Midlands Oak manufactured and installed this stunning Two Bay Oak Framed Garage.

We were also responsible for all groundwork’s which involved 9 x Pile Drive at 4metres in depth below ground, finished with a grid system and shingles to create the garage flooring. Strict guidelines were also in place to ensure the protection of all tree roots in the given area.

The frame was manufactured and installed following strict planning permission guidelines to also use Marley Red Lincoln Pan Tiles to finish the roof.

This two Bay Oak Frame Garage measures 6000mm x 5500mm with catslide to the spec below.

All support posts, eaves beams, tie beams, sole plates, curved braces and stud work in oak with traditional mortice/tenon joints and 19mm kiln dried solid oak dowels. 

  • Ring beam and all support posts manufactured from 150 x 150mm approx. oak beams 
  • Walls manufactured from 100mm x 75mm Oak Studding to form a hardwood frame and completed with 200mm (180mm cover) LARCH feather edged boarding 
  • Straight Gable roof constructed from stress tested C24 timber complete with Red Lincoln pan tiles to finish

Are you interested in an Oak Frame Garage for your house? 

Create a Beautiful Oak Framed Garage To Your Exact Specifications & Allow West Midlands Oak To Guide You Effortlessly Through The Process.

Get a quote by filling in the form on our contact page and we’ll get back to you with complimentary guidance on your project.

Creating The Perfect Oak Porch

At West Midlands Oak our Oak porches range from simple, open or glazed entrance ways, to luxury bespoke welcome areas that will add serious kerb appeal to your property. Our craftsmanship is what always sets our oak porches apart.

You can enquire with us today to see some of our oak porch designs and features, and treat these as a basis on which to develop your own ideas for a bespoke oak porch. We can work from photographs of porches you have seen, or hand sketches done by yourself but are also happy to work from your architect’s porch drawings.

Take these three steps to start your bespoke oak porch journey:

  • Get in touch to see some of our most popular oak porch designs or sketch your own ideas.
  • Confirm the dimensions and design of your porch by chatting to us.
  • Once you are happy with price and design for your porch, you can place an order and we will produce a 3D drawing of the oak porch, confirming the dimensions and relative positioning.

Find out More About Oak Porches

Visit the oak porch gallery – https://wmoakframe.com/oak-framed-porches/

Relax under a Bespoke Oak Gazebo

Our solid oak gazebos are decorative, sturdy, durable structures that will give you a tranquil covered area in your garden. They are also becoming more affordable than ever and finding their way into residential properties, providing gardens up and down the country with a touch of luxury.

We offer various sizes and shapes and with every frame being bespoke. There is nothing we can’t do when it comes to making your garden that extra bit special. From square, rectangular, and round with the most popular sizes being three or four metres square and over three metres tall, an oak gazebo in your garden is a serious focal point.

When it comes to roofing, we would always say cedar shingles are the most popular covering, complementing the natural colour of the oak with a material that will also weather to the seasoned silver-grey over time. It’s not uncommon for us to also use slate if you’d like to match tiling on a nearby building. 

So, if you’re looking for an impressive structure in your garden to fit any sized space you may have available, consider a solid oak gazebo.

Does my Oak Garage need Planning Permission?

At West Midlands Oak we would always recommend checking with your local authorities planning department before starting any building works, this post is intended as a rough guide only.

Planning rules for garages relate to the size and position of the building in relation to your property and those around it.

In most cases, oak garages and similar buildings can be built without the need for planning permission. This is because they can fall within the parameters of what is known as permitted development.

Permitted development or planning permission outbuildings can be considered to be permitted development, subject to them meeting a list of conditions which include:

  • Must be single-storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of 4 metres.
  • They are more than 2.5m from any boundaries.
  • At least half of the original garden area remains uncovered.
  • No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation of the original house.
  • To be permitted development, any new building must not itself be a separate self – contained living accommodation. If a building is going to be used as self-contained, living accommodation – planning permission will most likely be required.

When considering or designing a garage or outbuilding it is important to consider all factors including the process of gaining planning permission for buildings which may be marginally outside the permitted development conditions.

If you’re looking to start your oak journey today get in touch and we can help provide detailed guidance and support on an individual basis, to help you make an informed decision about any building you may wish to erect

Case Study – 6 Bay Oak Framed Garage

This recent brief was simple, a six-bay oak garage, all open with a personnel door to the side and feature circular window.

A couple of designs were suggested as we wanted to add our very own twist to this garage making it stand out even more in its already rich surroundings, creating this 3D rendering to give the client peace of mind about what to expect at the finish.

With the design confirmed, contract placed and deposit paid we pushed on with the groundwork’s four weeks later. A concrete base was laid and power floated, then the plinth was built that we use on most of our garage buildings for a base upon that the oak frame would sit.

A few days later the Oak frame was delivered to site and the main frame erected over that week. As we progressed, the stud walls, ridge board and rafters were fitted. Then the weatherboard, waterproof membrane and battens to the roof were constructed, followed by the slate roof covering.

We designed, manufactured and built this Oak Framed Garage, and this project has really added to the overall feel of this already beautiful estate.

After a tidy up the garage is now ready to use and will stand tall in its surroundings like the oak trees it stemmed from for many years to come.

Using only the highest quality oak, we can create anything from a simple shelter to an expansive workshop or garage. Take a look at a small selection of the oak framed garages we’ve produced for satisfied clients over the last few years.

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