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At Stour Valley Oak, we pride ourselves on offering great customer service; our friendly, honest and knowledgeable team always strive to answer queries as quickly and thoroughly as possible. To give you more information on the products and services we offer, here are answers to the questions that we get asked most frequently. If you can’t find the answer you need then please get in touch – our expert team are always happy to help. 


Q. Where can I go to view your products? 

A. We have one of our most popular cartlodges displayed at Ridgeons in Sudbury. You can pop along anytime during store opening hours to see it and get a feel for the craftsmanship and quality that goes into our oak frames. If you’d like one of our team to meet you there, give us a call. Click here for more information.  


Q. Can you design a cartlodge especially for me? 

A. Absolutely! At Stour Valley Oak our team of design and planning experts can take your ideas and turn them into reality, creating a bespoke cartlodge or oak framed building that’s tailored specifically to suit you and your property. To find out more about our bespoke frames, click here


Q. Is the entire frame of each cartlodge made from oak? 

A. Yes. At Stour Valley Oak, quality is of the upmost importance to us, so we only use oak for the entire frame of each cartlodge. We never cut corners and will only use the finest timber, expertly crafted by our master carpenters, giving you a strong, durable and beautiful structure that will stand the test of time. For more information on the oak we use, click here


Q. I want something other than a cartlodge, what are my options? 

A. At Stour Valley Oak, we’re experts in planning and design, so we can create a timber frame to meet your specifications, whether that be an orangery, a garden room or something completely unique to you. Take a look at our gallery to see some of our previous projects


Q. Where do you source your oak from? 

A. The vast majority of our oak comes from a PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) accredited sawmill in Brienne-Le-Chateau, France; sourced through our timber merchant. You can find out more about the oak we use here


Q. Do you deliver to my area? 

A. We work within a 50 mile radius of our Sudbury office and workshop (CO10). Keeping our business local means we can always use our own trusted craftsmen and prepare all our timber in our own local workshop, ensuring the quality and high levels of service that our customers expect. However, we’d always advise that you give us a call to discuss your requirements, as we can sometimes negotiate requests from slightly further afield. 


Our supply-only kits are delivered free of charge with our 50 mile radius, but can be delivered further afield at an additional cost. 


Q. Can I request slight modifications to your cartlodge designs? 
A. Of course! All our cartlodges and oak framed buildings are crafted in our local workshop by our in-house team of craftsmen, so we can modify any of our products to fit your space and meet your needs. We find our customers sometimes need slight adaptations such as a little less height in order to adhere to planning permission, or a little more width in order to store a certain vehicle. Whatever you’re requirements, we can tailor a frame to suit your needs. Check out our product pages to see our full range of cartlodges and we’ll be happy to help you plan any necessary modifications. 
Q. What kind of base do I need for my building? 

A. It’s integral that any oak framed building is built upon strong foundations that will provide a firm, level base and elevate it above ground level. At Stour Valley Oak, we carry out all necessary groundworks; our expert team will assess your plot and devise the best footings for your build. For more information about groundworks and foundations, click here


Q. What is the difference between planning permission and building regulations? 

A. In short, planning permission deals with the exterior appearance of a proposed building and the impact it will have on the environment and neighbouring properties, while building regulations address the construction details. You can find lots more information on our planning pages


Q. Do I need planning permission and building regulations approval? 

A. In many cases our cartlodges and timber framed structures will be exempt from requiring planning permission and building regulations as they often meet certain exemption criteria, however we would always recommend seeking guidance from your local authority. Where approval is required, our team of experts can submit your application for you and work with your local planning department to ensure your structure meets all necessary regulations. Click here for further information


Q. What delivery access do you need? 

A. Our timber frames are delivered on flatbed trucks with either a moffet or grab arm, so adequate access to site is needed. As part of our site visit to you, our experts will review access to your site, and if direct access is not possible, we can often suggest alternative solutions and deal with most issues. 

For self-build kits, if you predict that delivery access is going to be an issue, please let us know and we can agree a place as close as possible to your site, where we can safely deliver the materials to you. 


Q. I am replacing an old building. Will Stour Valley Oak dismantle and take it away? 

A. As a licensed waste carrier this is something we can do; our fully comprehensive service means our construction team can clear and prepare your site for you. Requirements and costs can be discussed in more detail following a site visit. 


Q. What are the timescales involved?  
A. There is no set timescale for constructing a cartlodge or an oak framed building as each project is individual and will require different levels of planning, preparation and construction. However, we usually advise that planning takes between 10-12 weeks. A simple cartlodge construction can often be completed in a week, but you’ll need to consider additional time for more complex builds, ground works, site preparation and finishing. A site visit will determine a more accurate timeframe for your project. 

Q. Is it possible for you to visit my home and give advice?  
A. Yes, we usually begin with a consultation over the phone, then following this with a site visit, which will allow us to discuss your deign brief with you in more detail and assess any constraints and groundwork requirements. 


Q. What does a supply-only kit include? 
A. Our supply only kits (constructed using traditional mortice and tenon joints, with associated pegs) include all the timber members needed to construct a full oak frame, including granite staddle stones, oak pegs and steel pins. All our supply-only kits are crafted in our local workshop and timbers are numbered for ease of construction. For more detailed information, see our self-build kit page

Q. Am I capable of building my own frame? 
A. We often find that our supply-only kits are purchased by customers who already have a team of contractors on site, or are purchased directly by tradesmen for a project. In order to build your own frame we would recommend that you’d need to be competent in construction. Don’t forget there are other processes involved too, such as groundworks, foundations and finishing. You can find more information about our supply-only kits here

Q. What do I need to do to maintain my cartlodge? 

Testament to its natural resilience, oak is often used as the material of choice in harsh external conditions because of it’s natural preservation properties. Simply put, oak gets better with age and needs no treatment at all. 

Depending on your choice of cladding, some maintenance may be required, for example featheredge boards will need to be treated with either stain or paint. Guidance can be given on an individual basis depending on the type and finish of materials used. 

Q. What happens if I want to return my oak frame? 
A. As our frames are created to individual specifications, we are unable to accept returns. Please be assured however that we will always strive to work with you and resolve any issues that may occur. See our Terms & Conditions for more detail. (Link to terms) 


Q. How do I place my order? 

A. If you’d like to place an order or discuss your project with our expert team, give us a call on 01787 281739 or use our contact form

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