We hope your questions are answered in this page. If they’re not please contact us. We’ll be happy to help.
Why use Black Sheep Timber Framing?
Because we believe that our experience, dedication to quality, and pride in our work speaks for itself. We want to make the process as trouble free and enjoyable as we can for you. We are happy to show you round previous projects, and the fact that our clients are willing to let you into their homes speaks volumes. They often do a better job of selling us than we do.
Do I need an Architect?
In the majority of cases yes, though how much involvement your architect has is to some extent up to you. They will understand the planning and building regulations, and will know the kind of detail relevant to your area which will increase your chances of succesful permissions without the need for costly re-drafts and submissions. We can recommend architects with whom we work, and understand building in timber.
Do you only build full house frames?
No. Increasingly we are asked to build green oak extensions, conservatories and garden rooms. The introduction of one or more feature trusses can transform the look and feel of your existing home, and needn’t cost the earth.
How much does it cost?
To a certain extent that’s up to you. A very simole green oak framed building can be on a par with concrete block and softwood roof. The more elaborate the framing becomes, the greater the cost.
How long does it take to build?
This will depend greatly on the size and complexity of the frame. Most of the construction time is in our yard, whilst erection is often surprisingly quick. On receipt of an order you will be given a firm site date, however, please be aware that changes in detailing during production could have an effect on the cost and schedule.
Can I put it up myself?
We can make supply only items and provide detailed drawings and instructions, but it is a task you shouldn’t take on lightly. With more complicated frames we advise against it. We like to be sure the frame is erected by our carpenters to ensure that the engineering and design criteria are strictly adhered to and to make sure everything is up to our exacting standards.
Do I have to use Oak?
No. We build primarily in oak, but you could use other timber such as Chestnut, Douglas Fir or Larch.
How can I be sure the building is structurally sound?
All our frames come with an engineering certificate from an independant engineer. Engineering calculations can also be provided if required.
We have worked on restoration projects where the timbers are in excess of 700 years old and still totally fit for purpose. We use many of the same techniques and jointing practises in our frames. In fact, we have learned a lot through looking at ancient buildings and how they were built.
Should I treat the timber?
No, unless you particularly want a treated look. Oak is naturally very durable and resistant to attack from woodboring beetles.
What will the finish on the timber look like?
We usually suggest sandblasting to remove pencil marks, dirt and other marks that are picked up, this leaves the grain slightly raised and is the most cost effective method. We can provide samples closer to the time.
What about shrinkage and splitting?
Green oak will shrink by 8-10% across the grain, but there’s no significant shrinkage along it’s length. Splits or ‘shakes’ will appear in timbers, depending on it’s dimensions and type of cut. Large timbers such as tie beams and main posts will be boxed and will split, though this will not affect their structural integrity. We take great care to ensure the correct cut of timber is used in the correct location. Like you we have no desire to replace timbers in your finished building.
Will I need to do anything to the frame once it’s up?
We are always asked by clients if they need to tighten things up once we’ve finished. We secure most joints with oak pegs which once driven in require no further attention. Some more complicated dovetailed joints use wedges, and these may need to be tapped in whilst the frame is shrinking and drying.
Can you copy existing timbers and trusses?
Yes, we do it all the time. Supply only or supply and fit.
How far will you travel?
Anywhere. We have built and erected frames all over the UK and as far afield as France, Japan and the USA.
Are you insured?
Yes, we carry full public liability and professional indemnity insurance.