FAQs

How are your oak buildings different from others?
There are a number of ways to tell the difference:

  • We build entirely in oak, unlike the many oak frame companies that use softwood wherever possible to reduce cost. This is a false economy: the softwood is not as durable as oak and does not look anywhere near as good. Also, oak, unlike softwood, does not require chemical timber treatment.
  • Another big difference is that we use traditional jointing methods such as mortice and tenon joints, and handmade tapered cleft oak draw pegs. Traditional joints get stronger as the oak dries out, the pegs acting in a way that pulls the joints together. These techniques are proven over centuries of use. There is no reason to change them – unless, of course, you are looking for a cheap alternative to the real thing.
  • We also use the right size of timber for your structure. Some manufacturers size the timber based on the smallest timbers technically required, to keep costs down while still meeting the specification. The result is that the proportions don’t look right. We care about the look as much as the durability.

The reasons we go to all this trouble are simple: your Hartwood oak building will last for generations and its look will improve with age.

Do you only build traditional oak buildings?
We create classic oak buildings using traditional methods. The style of the building can be traditional or contemporary.

Am I restricted to garages and garden rooms?
Not at all. Oak-framed garages and garden rooms are two of our most popular types of building, but we have also built many oak barns, annexes, pavilions, garden offices, games rooms, changing rooms for swimming pools and tennis courts, orangeries, oak conservatories, and various garden structures including bridges, pergolas, rose arbours and summer houses. If you have an idea for an oak structure, let us know and we’ll tell you if we can build it for you.

What size are your oak buildings?
We do not impose any standard building size. We can construct any building of any size within the limits imposed by your budget, planning constraints and the size of the timbers available. We can also advise you on suitable and practical dimensions for certain types of structure.

Can you manage the planning application for us?
We can give you full plans, technical calculations and design statements, and submit the planning application on your behalf, including applications for listed buildings.

Do you take care of everything?
We can do as much or as little as you wish. We can provide you with an oak frame only or we can give you a complete service that includes planning, building control and creating the completed building.

What is your operating area?
We have sent frames to France, Holland and even the USA and Canada but this is unusual. For ‘oak-frame only’ we can deliver and erect anywhere in the country. For complete buildings our area of operations is central southern England.

How long will it take?
This is, for any builder, the most difficult question to answer. All projects are different and there is a vast range of potential problems that can arise during a contract.
As an example, given good weather and no interruptions, a three-bay oak garage under a clay peg tiled roof will take a total of around six weeks to complete.