16 Jan 2020

Devising deadlines and designs for your oak-frame project

In this article, Darren Hook, Director of English Heritage Buildings, discusses why planning is essential to ensuring a successful build.

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When it comes to planning applications, new research has suggested 26% of all planning permission applications get rejected, setting many people back months. To ensure that planning permission is granted and keep a project on track, there are a number of important decisions to make within the planning stages. Making all decisions – from budgeting to materials used – early ensures the success of any build.

Preparation is key

While planning permission is essential for any new build, it can be a lengthy process, with approval taking up to eight weeks. It is advised that these applications are submitted as early as possible in order to ensure the build is not delayed. A delay in planning permission can result in build times being drawn out and essentially impacting the whole project. To ensure your build is kept to a tight deadline, developing a timeline from the start is crucial. You will be able to grasp an understanding of when things will need scheduling. A timeline also gives you the chance to consider how your budget will be affected, as delays can cause further charges for extra labour, storage and equipment.

At English Heritage Buildings, we recognise the importance of specialist opinions when it comes to planning a build. We have an expert planning partner with years of experience – and a 95% success rate on first-time planning applications – whose services are available to all clients.

Quality design

One factor which the timings and the budget of the project entirely rely on is the design. When applying for planning permission, you should have your design specifically drawn out with all aspects of it being carefully considered. Primarily, the material used for the build will affect your choice of design features inside and out, as well as timing. Once this decision has been made, you can begin to figure out how you would like the building to look as a whole, from large glass windows to exterior cladding and roofing options.

Oak frames have many advantages from a design point of view. For example, as a structural frame, it doesn’t require load-bearing walls, allowing for larger open spaces. English Heritage Buildings only work using green oak – as quality is guaranteed. The material dries out over time, which then supports and stabilises the strength of the overall structure, meaning the property has an unparalleled lifespan compared to brick or steel and can be erected substantially quicker. It is also a sustainable and durable building material with a number of eco-benefits. This was one of the deciding factors for a recent client when building their two-bay garage, as they wanted to use the building to store cars over winter. The natural insulation properties of green oak mean that the garage maintains a constant temperature throughout the year, which reduces the need for additional heating or extra care of the vehicles during the colder months.

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