Oak Extensions Guide: Everything You Need to Know
Contemporary or traditional – no matter the aesthetic you’re looking to achieve with your home extension, oak provides the perfect material to do it with…
Versatile and reliable, oak is a popular construction material for all types of extensions, providing a warm, neutral palette which complements many interior preferences and adds unlimited character to your home.
With the growing popularity of oak-framed house extensions, we’ve created an oak extensions guide, including the what, why, and how of going about extending your home with oak.
Benefits of Oak Extensions
Firstly, why should you consider oak as your construction material? There are many benefits of an oak-frame house extension, including, of course, the beautiful aesthetic it provides.
When sourced sustainably, meaning replacement trees are planted following the harvesting of a tree, oak is a sustainable and eco-friendly material to use, which does not require any environmentally-harmful fabrication processes.
If the oak tree has been allowed to mature for 70-90 years, the carbon will remain locked in the wood for the duration of its lifetime, rather than released into the atmosphere.
The look of oak is a timeless trend – meaning your investment won’t go out of fashion as quickly as it came in. The neutral tones of oak work well with a spectrum of interior designs, so that you can freely update the surrounding areas of your home as time goes on and preferences change.
The warm and welcoming aesthetic of oak is not just conceptual – oak is actually a thermal-efficient material, being naturally insulating due to the air pockets in the material. Further increase the energy-efficiency of your oak frame extension with double or triple glazed units.
Oak is often selected for its strength and durability; oak building components from hundreds of years ago still stand today. The strength of oak means as an extension it is structurally independent, rather than requiring support from your property.
The durability of oak is reinforced by its natural resistance to rot and decay, due to properties in the material which offer increased resistance to water, insects and fungi.
Extending your home with a quality material such as oak can add value to your property; an extension increases the size of your property, can better connect the building with the garden space, and improve the amount of natural lighting into your home. Plus, building in a quality material such as oak adds a luxurious, expensive feel.
Oak Extension Planning Permission
So, what’s the next step? If you’re ready to extend your home with oak, you may be wondering whether you require planning permission for oak extension builds and, if you do, how to apply for it.
Some extensions do require planning permission – this will depend on the size and style of your extension (a single-storey extension has different regulations to two-storey; detached houses and terraced houses also differ) and the requirements of your home or area (such as if it’s a Conservation area).
If your extension falls within the standards for permitted development – generally, if it’s less than 4m in height and covers less than half the width of your property – then you may not need to apply for planning permission. However, it’s best to familiarise yourself with the regulations for permitted development to avoid costly fees if you fail to apply for planning permission!
How to Get Planning Permission
You’ve found out your extension requires planning permission – now what? Use the online Planning Portal to submit your planning permission applications. Your application will then be passed on to your local authority who will review your plans.
Be aware you will have to pay a fee when applying for planning permission.
Do I Need an Architect?
Employing an architect to help you design and build your oak frame extension is always a good idea, though not a necessity. Architects will assist in creating technical drawings required for planning permission applications, as well as providing a professional perspective on your build.
You will also need to work alongside an oak construction company who can ensure the construction of your extension is feasible, meets building regulations and safety standards, and can further build your extension.
Some oak construction companies offer design, manufacture and construction in-house, however others you may need to employ an architect alongside an oak construction company to ensure you're benefiting from expertise at each stage of your extension build.
Oak Extension Cost
Oak is considered a luxury product, meaning it is one of the more expensive materials on the market. The cost of an oak frame extension will be impacted by several factors, including:
- The size of the extension
- The complexity of the build
- The amount of oak used
- The amount and quality of glazing
- Your location
Bear in mind, however, that oak usually offers a quicker construction process than traditional masonry extensions, which can help minimise labour fees.
How Long Do Oak Extensions Last?
If you’re investing in an oak extension, you want to be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth and that your extension will last.
Luckily, oak is known for its durability. If properly constructed and maintained, an oak frame structure can last for around 200 years – so it’s worth partnering with a reputable and knowledgeable oak construction company.
What Can You Do to Maintain Your Oak Extension
Proper maintenance is key to a long-lasting oak-framed house extension. Be aware of conditions which can damage or diminish the integrity of oak; this includes moisture, which can cause fungal infections and weakness in the wood, and of course, fire.
Whilst your oak is fine to remain untreated, especially if it’s a good quality oak, you can apply protective base coats on exterior sections to ensure defence against rainwater.
Shrinkage, splits and cracks appearing in your oak is a natural occurrence as the wood dries and does not signify a weakness in your structure – in fact, the more your oak dries, the stronger it becomes!
With this in mind, oak is a low-maintenance material with many benefits to give – meaning you can enjoy all your new extension has to offer without worry!
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