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Thinking about Oak for your construction project? Good choice! As a timber species, Oak is one of the most well-known, mostly thanks to its beautiful appearance and strength. But above all else, what really sets Oak apart from other timber choices is its great durability, ensuring that the homes, pubs and other buildings you design will last for tens or even hundreds of years to come.

How Durable Are Oak Frame Buildings?

Oak is an extremely strong, hard timber which is a great choice in terms of longevity. If you construct and maintain your timber frame correctly, putting in the effort of upkeep, your Oak beams could last for hundreds of years. In fact, it is not unusual for them to stand for at least 200 years.

To give you a little taste of how long timber frames can last, some of the most famous, old Oak buildings still standing in the UK include:

  • Westminster Hall (Oak ceiling, 14th century), London, UK
  • Chester Rows (13th century), Chester, UK

There are plenty more out there! Just head to any old town in the country and you are bound to find Oak framed buildings dating back hundreds of years.

Westminster Hall oak framed building

Chester Rows Oak Frames

Why is Oak So Durable?

Oak’s durability is down to a number of factors. First is its strength and ability to withstand high loads, ensuring it can take the weight of your building without splintering or breaking. It is also naturally very resistant to rot and insect infestation, reducing the chance of problems which would lead to the breaking down of the wood. A stable, tough timber, it is a great choice for timber frame homes.

How to Treat External Oak Beams

Within the walls of your home, the Oak beams which make up the timber frame are going to last longer. Without exposure to the elements and less chance of getting damp or damaged, the timber is in an ideal spot to stand for hundreds of years. Outside, though, it is a little trickier.

If you have external Oak beams, it is crucial you maintain them to avoid losing your wood to rot, infestations and general deterioration.

Note that if you spot signs of rot or infestation, it is always best to call in a professional. They can tell you more about whether the issue is contained to a small area, and implement techniques to save the rest of your structure.

General upkeep can also be done by a professional, though you can take a DIY approach if you would rather. Start by cleaning the wood gently and removing any paint before applying a fungicidal treatment to any blackening patches. Add a protective treatment suitable for external use, and finish with any stains or paints you might like to apply.

Source Sustainable Oak at EcoChoice

At EcoChoice, we supply Oak suitable for timber frames and beams. Sourced from responsibly managed, FSC-certified forests, it is the eco-conscious choice for your building project and one which will stand the test of time. To learn more or start your order, feel free to get in touch with our team today and we will be happy to help.

Images: Mike HigginsonGimasJSvideos / Shutterstock.com

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Internal oak beams

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