Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of timber do use?

  1. Oak is the ideal native timber for traditional jointed timberwork.  I have also timber framed in other timbers including elm, pine and douglas fir

  2. I generally use unseasoned oak, also known as ‘green’ oak, for most frames because it is attractive, strong and durable.  For these reasons green oak has always been the predominant timber for framing in north-west Europe.  Finding good quality home grown oak in Ireland takes time and care but the results are always worthwhile.

Are there problems with shrinkage?

  1. Timber shrinks across its width but not along its length.  Traditional drawpegged jointing methods are best because they will help to take up the shrinkage at the joints.  I always tell clients to expect some shrinkage checking in timber surfaces.

Why do you plane and oil the oakwork?

  1. Sandblasting is commonly used to clean timber frames in the UK but this is very expensive in Ireland and also can be problematic.  Blasting has to be done on-site causing disruption and mess; it can turn surfaces into driftwood; and with the wrong medium it can dis-colour the timber.

  2. Planing requires skill and care but produces a finer result and a surface which is far easier to clean.  Oiling the oak brings out the grain and character revealed by the planing and protects the surfaces from rain and marking during delivery and raising. 

  3. Overall, a better looking frame at less cost.

How much does an oak frame cost?

  1. This is a tough question to answer as the cost is not directly related to the square footage that a frame covers. 

  2. The frame cost is related to the amount of timber, the number of joints, decorative features and the complexity of the frame.

  3. I am always happy to give a quick preliminary oak frame design with an estimated costing for your project.

How much oak frame is suitable for a house.

  1. You can can create a striking feature in a large room with just a pair of trusses with purlins and windbraces.  Or you can make a fully oak framed extension or series of rooms.  Timbers can be unadorned or highly decorated.

  2. The best advice is to place crafted structural oak timber-work where it looks best.  Lofted spaces and ‘cathedral ceilings’ are excellent areas for oak work because the timbers can define the space and the jointing shows the craft work that went into making it.

Clougheast Castle, Co. Wexford castle roof by Woodwrights

Near Templemore, Co. Lois,  King Post kitchen roof by Woodwrights