Timber Frame Can Slash Global Fossil Fuel Use

A recent study published by scientists at Yale University has discovered wood based construction uses far less energy than concrete or steel construction.

It is reported that over 1.5 billion tonnes of wood is globally harvested each year, a huge amount of this is then inefficiently burned. The study reports that turning some of this waste harvested wood into new buildings would reduce global CO2 and fossil fuel usage.

Scientists from Yale and the University of Washington found that increasing the amount of wood harvested from 20% to 34% of the amount of wood grown annually, and using it efficiently in new products would have a number of positive effects, including:

  • Between 14% and 31% of global CO2 emissions could be avoided by preventing emissions related to steel and concrete; by storing CO2 in the cellulose and lignin of wood products; and other factors.
  • About 12% to 19% of annual global fossil fuel consumption would be saved including savings achieved because scrap wood and unsellable materials could be burned for energy, replacing fossil fuel consumption.

“Forests contain a lot of diversity which can be maintained by harvesting some of the forest growth,” said Professor Chadwick Oliver, lead author of the study. “This harvested wood will save fossil fuel and CO2 and provide jobs — giving local people more reason to keep the forests.”

You can read the full report here

If you have a project and would like more information on how you could help save the planet, call us on 0114 2611150.

Timber Frame Contemporary Home in England

Oakworth Timber Frame Home

Posted in Self Build, Timber Frame | Comments Off

Oakworth Homes – Commercial Development Projects

Oakworth Homes are well known for being one of the leading timber frame companies in the UK for the manufacture, supply, delivery and erection of our timber frames for domestic dwellings, predominantly for our self-build clients.

However, we are also heavily involved with commercial timber framed projects, where we work closely with our developer clients and project architects, to design, engineer, manufacture and erect our timber frame structures, also incorporating our steelwork engineering, as required.

We have recently completed erecting our timber frame structure for a 5 storey apartment building in Coulsdon. Our timber frame was erected onto a concrete / steel ground floor structure, which will have commercial use and our timber frame has created the apartments above, with balcony areas, structural openings to allow large, glazed elements to be introduced and also structural decks to accommodate outdoor space for the top floor penthouses.

Projects we are currently involved with, in the development / engineering stages, include:

-          A 6 storey apartment building that we will shortly be erecting in London.

-          A project in Sutton, where we are identifying an engineered frame solution, to allow new apartments to be created on top of an existing, 3 storey building.

-          A scheme to create 2 large penthouses with generous outdoor decked areas, onto an existing 6 storey apartment building in central London

-          A project to create a 4 storey apartment building in Essex, from a structure which was formally a multi-storey car park!

So if you have a commercial development project in mind, contact us at Oakworth and we can bring our extensive, engineering solution knowledge to your scheme.

(Blog by  Graham Hughes, Oakworth Homes Ltd)


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Building Your Own Self Build Property

Building your own home is a dream for many, but the process of finding a plot, commissioning an architect and choosing a builder can prove daunting at first. Before you even consider the physical aspects of the build project however, the big question you need to ask is can I afford it and how do I fund it..?

Unless you’re a cashed up buyer, you will need a mortgage to fund your self-build. Whilst many mainstream mortgage lenders are currently shunning the self build market, finding finance is not as hard as it might first appear.

Finding a lender with self build mortgage product

Self-build is still considered a niche market for lenders and many have stopped lending on self build projects in recent years due to lack of demand. (This is odd in itself since over 11,000 self build homes were constructed in 2012 – more than any of the national house builders..!)

Deals are available from lenders such as Norwich & Peterborough, Saffron Building Society, BM Solutions and The Leeds Building Society. Deposits, rates and terms vary depending on planning permissions and the stage of the building so shop around.

There are additional items you will need to provide over and above the usual information, such as a copy of your planning permission and plans of the house so the lender can value the ‘end product’.

When applying for a self-build mortgage, your current mortgage or rent commitments will need to be taken into account by a lender when deciding how much you can borrow for your project. The way affordability is assessed depends on the lender.

Preparing a budget

The bank will want to know how much you estimate the project will cost and the more professionally this is presented the better – Consider appointing a Quantity Surveyor to justify the project costs. You will also need to factor in the cost of living somewhere else whilst the build is underway.

On average, lenders will currently lend you 75% of the current land value and then 75% of the build cost.

Put your information pack together

A lender will want to see detailed plans for the property, a projection of costs and planning permission details.

You will have to be clear on everything including the people and materials being used. Factors such as build type, construction method, materials, location, and schedule of costs will all impact which lenders will lend and how much.

Consider how the draw down payments will be structured

Lenders typically release the build money for a self-build project over six or seven stages, starting once the foundations are poured. The lender may also appoint an Architect or Surveyor to inspect each stage before releasing each stage payment.

This process protects a lender by ensuring each stage is completed to a satisfactory standard. The inspections and extra administration make self-build loans more expensive than a conventional mortgage, but the also give you peace of mind that each stage is being built correctly!

Funds are generally released in arrears however some deals offer advance payments where the money is released before each stage. Once a stage is complete and signed off by a Valuer, the funds for the next stage are released.

Some lenders will not lend until the property is watertight, while others may be happy just want to see the foundations built. Some may also place restrictions on doing the work yourself and make you use a professional or certified a contractor.

Lenders support modern timber frame construction, but if you’re intending to use an unconventional product, check with your lender fist as they may not support it.

Some lenders will give money on an interest only basis, which tends to help those on a tighter budget.

Change your mortgage product once the project is complete

The initial mortgage rate during the build is often higher than the rate for conventional mortgage products, but you may be able to switch to a lower rate once the property is built and the lender has done a final valuation. You may also be asked to go onto a repayment mortgage too, if the initial loan was interest only.

The team at Oakworth Homes has the ability to help you with your grand design from inception to completion.  Form finding a plot through our network of contacts, to designing your dream home in our design office. We can even point you in the right direction to secure funding through our network of contacts in the self build mortgage lending industry – Give us a call today..!


Blog by Nick Franks – Oakworth Homes Ltd


Posted in Self Build | Comments Off

The Three Little Pigs

The three little pigs…

Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Each of these little pigs wanted to build their own self build home. The first self building little pig decided to build his house of straw. The second self building little pig decided to build his house with an Oakworth Timber frame. The third self building little pig decided to build his house with bricks and blocks.

Along came a hungry wolf, who fancied a pork sandwich. As the wolf walked along he found the first little pig who had locked himself inside his straw house. The wolf called to the self building little pig, “come out or I’ll huff and puff and blow your house down”. The little self builder didn’t come out so the wolf huffed and puffed and blew the house down. Thankfully the little pig was able to run down the road to the second little self builder pig’s house.

Unable to find the first little pig in the remains of straw house, the wolf carried on walking down the road towards the Oakworth timber frame house.
When he arrived the wolf called to the self building little pigs, “come out or I’ll huff and puff and blow your house down”. The little self builder pigs remained inside, so the wolf huffed and puffed and….nothing happened.
Again he huffed and puffed and again nothing happened. Aren’t they clever little pigs!

Disappointed at this, the wolf decided to walk on down the road towards the third little self building pig’s house.
When he arrived he found the third little pig was building in bricks and blocks and hadn’t even finished building the walls because it just takes a lot longer to build. The hungry wolf climbed over the walls and ate the poor little pig!

The moral of the story? There’s a lot less risk if you build with an Oakworth timber frame structure!

For more information about how you could be a clever little pig, please give us a call on 0114 2611150.

Blog written by Louise Capper – Oakworth Homes Ltd

Posted in Oakworth News, Self Build, Timber Frame | Comments Off

Self Building for First Time Buyers?

As a general rule, the client base for the architectural department at Oakworth consists of self-builders or small developers looking to build anywhere from one to eight properties. Consequently the opportunity to develop a site of up to fifteen properties, is a relatively unusual prospect and inspires new thought processes and challenges.

As the housing market slowly starts to twitch again, the issue of providing affordable housing with lasting sustainability in both fabric and running efficiency, looms ever prominent. As a first-time buyer myself, it also seems to me that the opportunities for young (or not so young in my case) people to buy their own preferred type of home with appropriate mortgage options are still not as freely available as the media would make out.

When a site capable of accommodating up to fifteen new homes, in an area with good service, community and transport links comes our way, it would be a wasted opportunity not to attempt to help this element of the market as much as we can.

We are looking into a variety of two bedroomed houses in semi-detached, terraced and/or quad arrangements with the modest first-time buyer in mind. Our aim is to create a development of good quality, comfortable and well thought out homes for the area, to suit young buyers and families alike.

Please call us on 0114 2611150 for more information…

Everyone has to start somewhere; why not a home to be proud of.

Blog written by Emma Forrest – Oakworth Homes Ltd


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Depth of Expertise at Oakworth

At the beginning of last month Oakworth were approached by one of our clients who had ordered a Timber Frame to be delivered within in that month.

Our client became had increasingly frustrated by the types of quotes for their foundations. Every quote they had received had a different way of giving the numbers. They asked us to suggest a way to help them.

Our MD John Capper and our Architect, Emma Forrest got together and helped prepare them a specification.

Now all the foundation companies were quoting for all the same work and all the same products that had to be used.

From this, a proper comparison could be made and a true price agreed. It is always a good idea to get a specification done for all the work you are to do; it becomes a much easier task to make the comparisons.

It also becomes a record of what you calculate you have to spend at each stage and then a true record of what was actually spent. You can sit in comfort and plan an estimate of the whole build out by putting your guide price at each item. Then, when the work is done, you can put in the actual price and see if you are on or off target before it gets out of control.

It is so important to monitor and manage progress. The problem areas, such as foundations, which are notorious for being over budget, can be shown and then be allowed for, in the overall budget.

A blank Specification for the whole build can be found from downloads on the internet or by appointing a Quantity Surveyor but you must have a plan to work to.

We at Oakworth Homes would be delighted to offer advice on this subject. This will enable you to deal with these specialist trades with confidence by having an idea of what they should be charging before you meet them.

All this support and more can be given when you order your frame from Oakworth Homes, to find put more please contact our team on 0114 2611150.

(Blog written by Jeff Franks – Oakworth Homes Ltd)


Posted in Oakworth News | Comments Off

Macmillan Big Coffee Morning

Last week I arranged a coffee morning at Oakworth Homes to raise money for the fantastic charity MacMillan Cancer Trust. I asked each department to bring cakes, cookies, chocolate or other goodies to share at the coffee morning.

The morning of the event I dressed all the room with balloons, banners and cakes. I have attached a few pictures to show the successful event.

It was a fabulous morning, all staff gathered and participated in the event, therefore we had lots of scrumptious cakes! All staff made generous donations which made the event an even bigger success.

The event only lasted 1 hour but in that hour we didn’t just donate we also took the time to remember those we had lost or celebrated the ones who had been cared for. This was a truly memorable day for all involved.

We raised a total amount of £128.50!


(Blog by Lisa Sheppard – Oakworth Homes Ltd)


Posted in Oakworth News | Comments Off

Oakworth’s Latest Successful Self-Build Project – Isle of Anglesey

Some 12 months ago, Oakworth Homes Ltd was approached by a self-build client, looking to build his new, 3,100ft2 home on the Isle of Anglesey.

We were competing against a number of timber-frame competitors and we duly submitted our detailed specification and quotation for the project.

In the following months and whilst still in the competitive quotation stage,  we were in regular contact with the client, to allow us to understand his specific requirements and to also help and advise on any aspects where we could. This included guidance on:

-          The overall build / project sequencing, as the client wanted to self-manage the project with his father

-          The detail of how other build elements, such as roofing, windows, blockwork etc. co-ordinate and integrate with our timber-frame

-          The various options for achieving different u-values and their related cost implications

-          The implications of the different 1st floor, under floor heating system options being considered and how we could accommodate each one.

-          Achieving enhanced aesthetics within the finished house, with options for aspects such as vaulted ceilings etc.

At the appropriate time for the client, we arranged an ‘around the table’ meeting, to review and discuss the details and to carry out a site visit.

This meeting brought to light that we were not the ‘cheapest’ on paper, but at the same time allowed us to demonstrate that we were also offering a higher quality of specification, with elements such as Egger Weyroc protect floor decking with its 42 day BBA certification for exposure to the elements; engineered I-joists rather than timber joists, as I-joists offer a far greater stability and won’t twist / warp over time which would result in movement creaking floors. Their pre-cut knock holes also make it easier and more cost effective for the electric / plumbing 1st fix works.

The quality of service offered by Oakworth, combined with the quality of our timber-frame specification, allowed us to be successful, as the client was looking for a high level of real ‘value for money’, rather than a ‘cheap quote’!



We have recently completed the very successful timber-frame build for our client, whom we continue to support, with advice and assistance on his material purchases as his project progresses.

Blog written by Graham Hughes – Oakworth Homes Ltd















Our client has kindly emailed us, stating “… in appointing Oakworth Homes to deliver you your timber frame home, it will soon become apparent that you are being supported by a dedicated team that can assist you with other areas and it takes the time to address the finer details of the project which perhaps you have not even considered …… We would not hesitate in recommending Oakworth Homes, indeed we already have. It is an extremely efficient and professional company that will go to great lengths to deliver what you want. Oakworth Homes definitely provide you with a professional service and product at a competitive rate.”


Posted in Oakworth News, Timber Frame | Comments Off

Homebuilding and Renovation Show Harrogate 2013

Every Year Oakworth exhibits at the Homebuilding and Renovation Shows in Birmingham and Harrogate. After the success of building a full Timber Frame structure in the NEC Birmingham exhibition hall in March this year. And having just a 2 day time span, with over 9000 visitors through our Show Home it’s clear to say that the show was a great achievement! Plans are now underway for our Show Home 2014.

We are now planning this year’s next show at Harrogate. This is a chance to talk to our Business Development Managers and discuss your up and coming projects whether you are a self builder or developer. For those who are returning to see us, this will give you a chance to see the finished product of the house we ‘borrowed’ from one of our clients to use for the show in March this year.

But, if you are eager to get the ‘ball rolling’ for your dream home or project then please feel free to contact us on 0114 2611150 and we are more than happy  to visit you in the comfort of your own home. We offer a range of services from design and planning stage, supply, right through to choosing your roof tiles…

Hope to see you all at the Harrogate show – 1st – 3rd November 2013.

(Blog By Emma Holden – Oakworth Homes Ltd)


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Our Growth over 6 Years….

I joined Oakworth Homes 6 years ago.  It is memorable in more than one way.  The 25th of June 2006 was not only my first day at a new company it was my daughter’s 12th birthday, today she is 18!!! How time flies.  The other memorable point about that day was the horrendous floods around the country.  The surrounding area was completely waterlogged with a lake where the car park had been!

On joining the Oakworth Homes team, I was part of a small family business consisting of  1 Production Operative in the factory, 1 Factory manager, The managing director, his wife in accounts, his father as Site Manager and myself to carry out reception and admin duties.  Since that time we have grown beyond recognition. We have moved to a larger factory in Handsworth, Sheffield, our employees are currently 25 and I have attended 2 large NEC Shows over the past 2 years which showcased our  ability to create a high spec timber framed solution to your building requirements.

My role has now progressed to Office Manager, which consists of overseeing reception and the admin team.  The bustling reception is a hive of activity each day with all visitors, self builders and developers welcomed as a ‘friends we have not already met’ attitude.  We are proud of our customer service and ability to deal with all queries great or small.

I’m confident I will be writing greater blogs in the future with the introduction of other services including offering self builders and developers a full turnkey option where upon we undertake the complete build, we are now also promoting to source and supply our customers the building materials for their project as well as supplying local building companies and merchants.

If you have a project in mind and would like more information of our services, please contact us on 0114 2611150.

(Blog written by Angela Garnett – Oakworth Homes Ltd)


Posted in Oakworth News | Comments Off