Oak Frame FAQs


Please feel free to give Sackville Oak Frames a call to discuss your oak framed building project or any ideas you may have. We welcome you to our oak framing yard, situated in the middle of the woods in the Weald of Kent, to go through all your plans, ideas and mood boards (we love Pinterest too!).

There is always someone on the end of the phone or here in person to welcome you, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We understand what a huge undertaking it is to ‘build the dream’ and we hope our website gives you a thorough understanding of the services Sackville Oak Frames offer and how we can help you, but we also know you will still have lots of questions buzzing around.

We have put together some of our frequently asked questions in our ‘Oak Frame FAQs’ from both potential and existing clients in the hope that these may give you a bit more insight into our oak framed buildings and also answer any further questions you may have.

Q: What services do Sackville Oak Frames offer?

Sackville Oak Frames specialise in structural oak work and will undertake all work associated with the design, fabrication and install of an oak frame. We will also consult, from day one, with architects, engineers and all appointed contractors to ensure the project runs smoothly.

Q: Do Sackville Oak Frames carry out groundworks & finishing?

Over the years we have stuck to what we do best and appoint other trades for other specialised elements of a build project.

We have a vast network of reliable and quality tradesmen who we can recommend and work along side for all the various elements of a building, project depending on scale.

Q: We have a plot of land, what do we need to do now?

Whilst we encourage the use of architects, we also like to be involved as early as possible in the design stages to aid and potentially inform the design based around workable frame layouts.

Q: We are after an oak framed extension and our property is listed, is this a problem?

Absolutely not; we work on Listed properties most of the time, providing that Listed Building Consent and Planning Permission has been obtained.

We have a wealth of experience and are happy to advise our clients on proposals prior to consent be obtained, however, we also feel strongly that Listed and Planning require careful handling by professionals who are more familiar with local and regional policies.

We have an excellent network of specialists in both fields and can advise on the best steps to take with your project.

Q: Can Sackville Oak Frames provide all the design work or can we instruct our own architect?

We normally advise the use of an architect, however, depending of the scale of your project (a simple extension or garden room) we can provide you with drawings for planning purposes.

We are very happy to work with any architect you appoint or we can recommend architects that we have both previous and existing working relationships with.

Q: Can you recommend contractors for groundworks & the rest of our building works?

Absolutely! We have built up a large network of contractors, tradesmen and craftsmen over the years and can recommend people that we trust and who are appropriate to the scale of the job.

Q: We have planning & we’re ready to go, what do you need to start our project?

We will need a set of the finalised drawings; from these we will work up a set of framing drawings and cross check these with all parties concerned. At this stage we would require a deposit and framing would then commence in our yard.

Moving forward

If the quotation is agreeable and you are willing to move forwards we would ask for a 10% deposit to be made in order for us to book you into our schedule and finalise the drawings. Following the completion of the drawings, structural calculations and agreement by all parties we would ask for a further payment of 60% to be made. Following this payment all of the oak will be ordered form the sawmill and the framing process will begin in our yard.

The remaining 30% due is payable once all installation is complete and you are satisfied with all work undertaken by Sackville Oak Frames.

Payment Structure

We ask for the following:

  • 10% to book a slot in our schedule
  • 60% on drawing sign off, with all parties & commencing framing in our yard
  • 30% On-Site Completion

Q: Where are Sackville Oak Frames made?

Sackville Oak Frames are made in our framing yard in Kent. The framing yard is nestled in the woods right in the middle of the High Weald. The frames are made in their entirety here and then transported to site as a finished kit.

Clients and contractors are welcome anytime throughout the framing process, in fact, visits are encouraged, for you to see your frame ‘come to life’.

Q: We are so excited, how long does it take Sackville Oak Frames to build our oak frame?

An oak frame can take anywhere from 4 to 16 weeks to construct on the workshop floor depending on the size and complexity of the frame. Our framing schedule and booking lead times vary throughout the year, but average 6 to 8 weeks.

Q: Will I need to treat my oak frame for wood worm or any other issues?

The many issues that arrive with old oak frames such as damp, rot and worm are not normally associated with modern frames.

The best form of treatment is prevention; for worm that means removing their food source, such as the sap wood. All of the beams we use run through our hands and are visually checked for sap wood which is removed with a draw knife in the framing process.

Damp and rot issues are addressed through modern building techniques. Generally we advise that all exposed oak is not treated as it survives better if it can breathe; oak contains a very high level of tannin which is a good natural insecticide and preservative.


Q: We’ve noticed some cracks in our green oak frame, is this normal?

Don’t panic, this is completely normal!

All oak frames move as they dry, distortions in the lateral or tangential planes will occur. Overall settlement will also occur in some cases, resulting with shrinkage, distortion, surface checking or even large fissures, these however, are not usually of any structural concern.

Green oak can have a moisture content of up to 85%. When this moisture content is compared to the average outdoor moisture content of 20% and indoor moisture content as low as 8%, the green oak will (through a moisture inversion) need to establish a moisture equilibrium. This process of moisture release, between the inside of the oak beam and it’s external surroundings, generates shrinking and in some cases cell collapse as the excess moisture in the beam is released.

Q: Can you explain your glazing system?

We use a direct glazing system that has been developed and tested over the past ten years.

The Sackville Oak Frame system allows the frame to shrink and move, without causing leaks between the glazed units and the frame, whilst also reducing the chances of any pressure being applied to the glazed units as the oak moves. We use toughened double glazed units with a thermal rating that is above requirements. These units are incredibly strong and most importantly, they have some flexibility.

Our system of direct glazing involves the glazed unit being fitted to the external face of the oak frame. Using EDPM tape, the unit overlaps the oak frame and is held in place with an oak cover strip. These cover strips are cut from air-dried, quarter sawn stock.

Q: Can you give me a guide price for the complete building cost of my oak frame?

We are often asked how much an oak frame will cost will cost based on very limited information and very rough ideas. It is difficult to assess immediately what a frame will cost and more over what an entire build project will cost. Please get in touch to discuss your project, so we can put a quotation together for you.

For more information, visit Pricing an Oak Frame.

Get in touch today to see how we can help you on your project.

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