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How we build our Framebow Houses & Stores

Handcrafted here in our Dorset workshop, we have detailed below the process and the materials used for making all Framebow Housing; from Pet House to Playhouse.

Hopefully this will give you all the information you need about the build standard of our housing range and our adherence to build quality. We deliver throughout the UK via Palletline Transport. With all our timber units you will receive detailed assembly instructions and all the screws or fixings you need. All you require is a fully charged cordless screwdriver and perhaps an extra pair of willing hands.

Also visit our page Framebow - Made in Britain.

However, if you have any further queries please do not hesitate to call on 01300 345 229 or email sales@framebow.co.uk

The Timber & Fixings we use ...

We source only joinery-grade pressure-treated Swedish Redwood Timber from one family Mill in Sweden and bring it direct to our workshop here in Dorset. On arrival it is put 'in stick' to air-dry in lovely Dorset wind and sunshine for a few weeks until it is ready to be crafted into one of our designs. Any plywood used on floors is a hardwood exterior grade ply and is equally carefully sourced and scrutinised for quality. The Resin Coated Board used with our Rabbit Houses has a tough phenolic coating to make cleaning very easy. Our suppliers are PEFC & FSC Certified.

We then weave our workshop magic on the timber to bend it into the shapely curves and arches used in the Framebow designs and, with our special wood-bending techniques, this can take several weeks to achieve.

On leaving the workshop, the roofs of all Framebow Houses are given two coats of a Timber Water Repellent Treatment to ensure weather resistance. We take pride in making sure the timber is finished well, with all corners rounded and sanded. This is important as it prevents the edges of the timber from splitting and the sharp edges harming your pets (and it looks so much nicer too).

For the roofs, depending on model, we use either 19mm or 25mm thick tongue and groove shiplap timber; for the walls we use 19mm tongue and groove cladding. This will make sure they are well insulated and built to last. The frames are either 38mm x 38mm or 38mm x 50mm timber. The floors are 9mm thick coated exterior hardwood plywood.

Equally, all fixings need to be for long life, too. We use stainless steel nails and double plated screws during construction as well as supply these screws and zinc plated bolts when being self-assembled. All furniture, like hinges and turn buttons, are galvanised and the half inch by one inch weldmesh is an18-gauge weldmesh (galvanised after manufacture because this is the best). This is further plastic-coated in green to maintain its good looks and longevity. We use weldmesh on our runs because foxes can chew through old-fashioned softer fencing wires.

By using pressure treated timber we can guarantee the wood against rot and fungal attack for 15 years (under our Fair Care Warranty). We further offer warranty on all our units for two years against manufacturing defects so that if you feel the timber and build quality is not what you expect we will repair, replace or refund without quibble.

Please remember; timber will move, expand and contract throughout the seasons therefore hairline cracks often appear over time. This is not faulty; it is simply how timber behaves. For more information see Caring for Pressure Treated Timber.

Timber Housing aftercare ...

Even with these guarantees you will still need to take care of any timber housing. To this end we recommend an annual application of a timber waterproofing, or Eco-Shield Waterproofing for Timber, for the roof.

We also advise that you should not leave your housing standing in water for any period of time although, to site it on wet grass or earth is perfectly fine, as long as it isn't consistently waterlogged ground.

To keep your chicken coop or pet house in good condition make sure it is cleaned regularly and kept dry inside to prevent mould. All our houses have built in ventilation to ensure a constant circulation of air so that levels of humidity are kept low. Try not to allow dirt to build up in or around the house as this will degrade the timber more quickly and lead to breeding grounds for harmful bacteria.

Curved Runs for Coops, Aviaries and Pet Houses

Framebow Houses all come with integral wire mesh runs to keep your birds and pets secure. These shapely runs are the real feature of our unique designs and special (shh ... secret) methods are used to bend the wood into the arched and curved shapes you see. This method does take several weeks to achieve just the right shape but, we hope you will agree, the result is just gorgeous.

The main timber frames are built with pressure treated 38mm x 50mm timbers to create a rigid unit able to withstand the weather and to keep your pets or hens safe from predators like foxes. Once the timber frame of the run is built, we use a heavy duty European Prime Quality (18g), 1 inch x ½ inch mesh size, plastic-coated green galvanised weldmesh to cover the framework and give a robust, strong run.

Most of our runs are extendable and bolt securely together, some can have added timber cladding to create sheltered areas too. Safety doors are another option you could add to your Framebow House for example, so you can safely enter the run without fear of escapees.

Photo: The Arch Rabbit House.

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