As you may be aware from my last blog the lead up to the Carpenter Oak glazing team’s arrival was a challenging time. It was a huge relief to have Carpenter Oak back on site. With the constant winter rain and gales the thin plastic sheeting covering the frame and window openings was wearing fast and requiring constant maintenance.

north elevation with glazed gable and weather wrapping

The gentleman carpenters from Carpenter Oak started to prepare the frame for the glazing. The site was very muddy, but ground was claimed back with scrap boards and pallets to make it a little easier to work. The days were very short too with darkness closing in as early as four in the afternoon. Despite all of this the carpenters remained enthusiastic and positive about the job. It made a real difference and the care and attention to detail was evident from the start.

Glazing directly to an oak frame is not an easy process. The finished product (that I am sure you will agree looks fantastic) hides the complex underpinnings and detailing. The reason for this is that glass is relatively inflexible and of fixed dimensions. However a green oak frame will move and change as it dries over the years. Also wood will expand and contract far more than glass. As well as allowing for movement and drying of the oak frame, the glazing system needs to keep out the weather and maintain airtightness.

before the oak cover boards went on to the glazing on the oak frame home

The glazing was fitted then covered with a cover-board system

The basic principle is that the glazing is fitted over the outside face of the oak frame with an oak cover-board system over the top. This gives the appearance of the glazing being rebated directly into the frame but avoids the inherent problems of that method. Behind the oak cover-boards wood packers, silicon, foam, EDPM seals and lead drips combine to allow movement without affecting the glazing.

glazing panels with stepped leg

The panels feature a stepped leg outer glazing pane

This design provides multiple lines of defence to water penetration and clever run-off channels. Glazing panels feature a stepped leg outer glazing pane that provides a drip detail at the bottom of each unit. The oak cover-boards are premium quality air-dried oak specially prepared to Carpenter Oak’s specification.

I commissioned Carpenter Oak for both the green oak frame and fixed glazing system. This meant that the cover-boards were cut and prepared to match the green oak frame precisely at the workshops in Devon at the same time as the main frame was manufactured. Needless to say I am very pleased with the quality of the finish. The fixed oak glazing looks fantastic and is one of the best features of the house that I know I will enjoy for years to come.

glazed barn style room on oak frame home
barn room interior with glazing

The plan now –if the weather allows – is to complete the woodwork and cladding externally, but also to start on first fix internally. The western red cedar cladding and the removal of the remaining scaffolding will bring the external works on the house near to completion.

It is approaching a year since we first broke ground and there is still some way to go, but despite this I remain excited, determined and focused on the project. Onwards we go…

  • Tyrone Morgan

    It’s worth noting the importance of the glazing system Joe refers to in his blog in regards to Oak frame buildings.
    My architect failed to adequately design such a system for my Oak frame and I have had serious water ingress problems since.
    I believed my building warranty (provided by a well known and well advertised policy company in this magazine) would cover me for design defect, but the only feedback I got was to accept that oak frames move and that is why your windows will leak.
    After the event nobody wants to acknowledge responsibility and you could be (as I am) looking at a large cost to re-mediate such an issue.
    The moral of the story is don’t rely on your warranty to cover you in the event of architectural incompetence and don’t expect any of the incoming trades to tell you the design wont work either.
    Could be worth the magazine doing a regular column on potential mishaps such as this, that self builders should be aware of.
    Glad to hear your build will be watertight Joe, good luck with the rest of it.

  • Joe Shimbart

    Thanks Tyrone as you say fixed oak glazing needs to be done right or can be a disaster it is not a cheap process due to the huge amount of work involved and use of top quality materials but must be done this way. Hope you managed to get yours sorted in the end. Joe

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