May 2017 was when Matt contacted us with a view to providing oak framed elements to his new build family home that was going through the planning process near Newmarket in Suffolk. Despite everything running smoothly and to plan, it has still taken just over a year to be in a position to erect the frames. Building in the UK requires patience and stickability it seems.
We actually finished the oak work just before Christmas and parked the frames until Matt was ready for us.
This year’s prolonged cold spells played havoc with the groundworks and caused lengthy delays, but finally we were able to load up and head East for the raising, hoping that a) the frame had not dried out and moved too much in the intervening 5 months, and that b) we could remember how it all fitted together.
The oak had already been delivered to site earlier in the week and we were able to make a prompt start on Thursday morning with Simon our crane driver from Huntingdon Plant. The oak work consisted of a 2 bay single storey vaulted kitchen/dining room, 2 porches and 3 internal partition wall frames.
By lunchtime on a perfectly clear and baking hot day, we had finished the roof of the main vaulted structure, which meant we could concentrate on the porches and individual frames in time to send the crane home at 4pm having done all the heavy lifting. Matt had decided to temporarily support the porches on blockwork, with a view to propping them at a future date, and building the brickwork up underneath them – a good way to ensure that the brickwork ends up in the right place!
Friday turned out cooler and damp but we still dodged the rain and so were able to enjoy putting the finishing touches to our work with the pressure off – driving in all the hand made pegs, fixing the ridge and purlins down onto the trusses, and fitting the oak common rafters to the 2 porches.
So no, the frame hadn’t moved, and we didn’t forget how it went together. Good luck to Matt as he oversees the rest of the build!
If you're considering an oak framed building (or larch, or douglas fir), let's talk. We'll gladly put together an outline quote (completely free, with no strings attached). And we need very little information from you to do so.
Equally, we're always here, at the end of the phone, to talk through your ideas.