Frequently asked questions about building with oak

The tradition of oak building in the UK is a long one and people love its rich character and versatility. It can be used in both traditional and contemporary homes and yet there are still many misconceptions surrounding oak. Here are some of the questions people ask about before choosing oak frames:

Is it difficult to get insurance for oak-framed houses? Is there a higher risk of fire?

There is no increased risk of fire with an oak-framed building. Every house or building must adhere to the same Building Regulations whether they are constructed with timber, bricks or oak. The rumours about problems with fire risk and insurance date back to the Eighties when regulations weren’t as strict and there was a problem with softwood construction.
Oak is highly fire resistant and, in a fire, the outside of the wood will char and protect the inner core. Using a reputable oak supplier means that there should be no problem whatsoever with finding insurance.

Image credit

Is oak more expensive?

Building with oak doesn’t have to be expensive. It depends on the amount of oak you use, and you can mix it with other types of timber to keep the cost down. Perhaps you can introduce a little of the warmth of oak by adding traditional oak beams in the living room and different wood in the rest of the house. Choosing Bespoke Oak Frames for a porch or carport is another economic way to enjoy the look and feel of this popular wood. For more information, visit

If you suffer from allergies, are there any benefits to building with oak?

Oak frames contain no chemicals or preservatives so can be used in any area of the home, including as a flooring option.

Is building with oak energy efficient and sustainable?

Oak is both sustainable and has a low environmental impact. The brilliant thing about oak is that it’s carbon neutral, meaning the emissions created by preparing, transporting and constructing oak is offset by how long the oak frames last.

Image credit

Can you add an oak frame extension to a brick house?

Of course you can. An oak extension is in no way different to any other type of extension and adds huge amounts of charm and character to a property.

There is a rumour that green oak frames can shrink and move. Is this true?

Green oak is used sometimes as it contains a high moisture content, making the timber easier to cut to exact shapes and sizes. When oak frames are first fitted, it’s good for them to move a little as they settle. Q. We’ve heard that green oak frames move and shrink, is this a problem?
A. We build in green oak because of the high moisture content, which makes the timbers easier to cut and shape to exact sizes. We want the oak timbers to move a little when they’re first fitted to allow them to settle into place. Over time, oak will season and shrink back, causing the joints to tighten and improve the overall structural strength of the frames.