Garden room to grand design
There are many different oak truss styles with impressive spans and intricate detailing, beautifully sweeping curved timbers, both robust and elegant forms and limitless shapes and sizes. We provide a complete design and advice service covering every aspect of your oak frame construction and are keen to be involved at the earliest stages. We are happy to work with your chosen architect or equally we can recommend experts who are well versed on green oak construction and timber buildings. We can help to guide you through the building warrant and planning stages.
We produce full working drawings and 3D models to aid a quick transfer of information and ideas that are so often key to a successful build. This also allows us to give our clients realistic representations of how their oak frame will ultimately appear and the wide range of design and detailing options available to them.
Visit a previous build
O ur customers are the most important judges of our services. We are lucky enough to have the ability to take prospective clients to a completed build. This not only provides a real world case study for the prospective client, but also often acts as a springboard for ideas.
Hearing first hand from someone about living in their oak framed build. How they heat and light their building. What if anything would they have done differently? If you are feeling nervous about commiting to a project and to working with Alba. We have found that this is a literal panacea for your worries.
Your oak frame
The timber arrives in our yard with a band-sawn finish, rough and undulating. Depending upon the desired finish the the timber is then planed, jointed and ‘dry’ fitted in our workshop in preparation for transport and erection on site.
The timber is planed to remove saw marks and other surface blemishes giving a smooth finish and exposing the true beauty of the wood. Two options to clean the frame are recommended here.
The first is to sand blast the frame. Sand blasting an already planed frame gives a smoother, finer finish to the timber than blasting a rough-sawn frame. Sand blasting will thoroughly scour the timber leaving a fairly coarse finish. The process removes the softer summer growth rings to reveal the harder winter growth. Of utmost importance here is the use of a non-ferrous material such as crushed glass or olivine.
The second option is to clean the frame with oxalic acid at a suitable point in the build. This generally occurs near completion once the walls have been plastered. This method maintains a very smooth and clean finish.
As an alternative, the frame can be sanded and oiled in our workshops prior to erection on site providing a protective and durable finish.
Glazing options for oak an frame
The relationship between a natural product like green oak that will shrink and move as it dries out and a rigid and unforgiving material like glass has in the past proved problematic. We now offer two different methods of glazing oak frames that are both time tested and offer high levels of performance in keeping the weather out.
The double glazed units are fitted on to the outside face of the oak frame, resting on batons. Seasoned Oak cover boards are then fixed over the glass and batons with rubberised gaskets on both sides of the glass to soak up movement in the timbers. Screw holes are then plugged to provide a seamless finish.
As the name suggests this method involves cutting a rebate in the external face of the oak frame. This step is carried out while the frame is laid out in the workshop. Once erected the double glazed units are placed in to the rebates using a system of soft rubber packers and a wide bead of silicone to take any movement in the timber. Units are fixed with security glazing tape and a seasoned oak bead to give a clean and steady finish.
Both systems are highly effective and price comparable. This really comes down to an aesthetic choice between the two completed finishes.
Installation and seasoning
As it seasons, green oak will start to show splits and shakes inherent in the timber which lends so much character to the frames. Although by no means a way of stopping this process oiling an oak frame will slow the rate at which the timber dries out reducing the effects, and of course provides a finish of a different tone and sheen to wood left in its natural state. This involves each individual being timber oiled with at least two coats in our workshops prior to raising. This protects the frames from water staining prior to the roof going on.
We will then return to site to clean and re-oil the frame at an agreed time generally nearing completion.
Of course there are many different products on the market offering a wide range of finishes. We are happy to recommend, advise and provide samples.
Being extremely durable oak can be left untreated externally to turn a beautiful silvery grey, blending into its surroundings. Generally speaking this would apply to exposed oak elements such as verandas, balconies and external oak cladding with much of a modern oak frame exposed only internally.
if you are considering an oak frame