Carpenter Oak - The Professional Timber Framing Company

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Carpenter Oak Ltd – The Experts In Timber Frames

We have been turning our clients’ timber frame dreams into reality since 1987. Since then we have completed a range of award winning projects, from the largest publicly accessible oak frame building in the UK to a timber frame swimming pool in Russia, with numerous bespoke oak frame houses, oak conservatories and timber frame extensions along the way. You may have seen us on Channel 4’s Grand Designs or Building the Dream.

Our dedicated and professional team of project managers, frame designers, and carpenters are as passionate about your timber frame creation as you are. Come and visit our Framing Yard in the beautiful South Devon countryside where you can see timber framing in action, meet the team and talk to an architect in our timber frame show barn, or visit our state of the art contemporary oak frame show house. You don’t need to have a plot to talk to us - we are here to help and guide you at every stage from dream to reality, and we understand the process can be daunting at first!

Visit our Show Homes
We have two inspiring oak spaces for you to visit and explore. Perhaps our traditional barn or our contemporary show...
Timeless: A short film
A short film Timeless by Carpenter Oak Ltd. A quick view into the world of a timber frame project.
News

About Carpenter Oak

  • At Carpenter Oak we carefully manage every stage your frame goes through. From designing your frame with you, to...
  • We have won a lot of awards in our 25 years of creating timber frames and our original work...
  • We choose the best quality timber we can lay our hands on, grown  in lots of space in good...
  • Whatever your dream, we can help make it a reality, have a look at our case studies and see...
  • Our business is as good as our people, we are experts in oak frame houses with years of experience...
architect drawing 314x200
Do you need an architect?
We enjoy working with any architect of your choice, we can also recommend a range of trusted award-winning practices to suit you. Find out more
Map - where we have worked
See where we've worked near you
View our fantastic new interactive map that showcases our work around the country. Check out our new interactive map
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About Carpenter Oak

Want to know more about us?

  • What is Carpenter Oak Ltd?

    pegs-in-oak-showbarn

    Devon (UK) based award winning specialists in the design, construction and raising of oak timber framed buildings. We have a dedicated team of Project Managers, Frame designers and Carpenters who work closely with clients and architects to deliver a wide variety of bespoke oak frame projects across the UK, Europe and beyond.

    We celebrate the beauty and joy of timber frames in many different styles and raise over 60 frames a year for inclusion within schemes ranging from oak sunroom extensions to extensive high-end architectural oak houses.

    We love wood, we love design and we love a challenge.

  • Why should I choose Carpenter Oak Ltd?

    Here at Carpenter Oak we live and breathe timber framed buildings, large, small and love a challenge. We create truly unique frames that respond to your brief giving you a bespoke 'made to measure' and personalised solution to your brief and budget. Carpenter Oak is the most established and experienced timber framer with a yard in Cornwall/ Devon and Scotland we are well placed to supply design and timber framing services across the UK and beyond.   Carpenter Oak hold dear several important factors:-  

    Our People

      • Our team of 20 long serving and highly trained timber frame carpenters who build and raise the frames are widely regarded as being the best in the business.
      • The carpenters who cut the frame will take it to site - project ownership throughout. This maintains high standards where it matters most while giving a variety to the working week.
      • We have 4 full time frame designers. 3 office based, 1 Cornwall based. This gives us the time to get involved in each project and help spot and solve potential problems early on while working with your architect.

    Our Craft and Materials

    • We do not use large 'soulless' CNC machines, but favour a hand crafted approach which enables us to work in a variety of styles and with the most challenging designs – we work in Oak, Douglas Fir, Larch, Chestnut Glu-Lam, in contemporary, quirky and cutting-edge styles as well as in more established traditional designs.
    • We have spent 20+years developing a relationship with our preferred sawmill. They know our exacting standards for all our timber. Other sawmills cannot match this service.
    • We really care about where our materials come from and invest in their sustainable management through our saplings programme in the UK.
    • We do not compromise on timber quality, why should we? This can mean that we are a little more expensive than some BUT not every time!
    • Air dried brace stock. Bought in at least 12months before we need it to minimise the shrinkage of timber on critical (aesthetic and structural) elements

    Our service

    • We are able to make it easy for you by being approachable, knowledgeable and professional. Whether it is a oak frame and glazing service, complete build or an oak and SIPS wrap service you need we can help get you there easily.
    • We are large enough to have capacity yet small enough to be versatile and flexible which is important when your timescale is quite tight!
    • We have a experienced team of designers, carpenters and office staff. Everybody in senior roles has been a carpenter with vast experience of timber framing on the workshop floor. It would seem obvious for a carpentry firm but this is rare.
    • We thrive on the differences between each and every one of our projects, over coming the challenges of the build (access, design and budget constraints) while developing a strong rapport with our customers .
    • We carried out approximately 60 projects a year ensuring a personal service - what ever the size of the build.
    • Most of all without exception through out the team of people that work here, we love what we do!
     

    Call us to talk through your ideas or project:- 01803 732900

    What our customers say about us:-
  • Where do you work?

    We take on oak frame house or extension projects in all corners of the UK, Ireland & the Channel islands as well as Europe and beyond (in the last 5 years we have sent frames and raising teams to France, Germany, Cyprus, Holland & Russia.) See our case studies pages for examples of our work and check out the international projects page too! We would love to hear from you wherever you are. See where we have worked near you - click here
  • When can I talk to you about my ideas?

    We encourage you to talk to us at an early stage. We welcome hearing about your ideas and plans and can offer you advice along the way. Obviously we hope to be able to build you an oak frame when your new build or extension comes to fruition and if you include us in discussions about design and site particulars at an early stage it will enable your architect to understand the requirements of the timber frame and incorporate them into the overall design early on. This is likely to save you money, time and hassle in the long run.
  • How affordable is a Carpenter Oak timber frame?

    We are proud of our product, service and materials, and provide great value for money.

    kitchen-interior-oak-framed-extension-inglisIt would be understandable to assume that being a sizeable company we are therefore more expensive but this would be a mistake - we put a great deal of effort into ensuring we are competitive without compromise! We build and raise in excess of 50 frames a year. We are experts in timber framing and can offer you the assurance of a fully insured highly skilled team, with the economies offered by our size.

    Crucially by choosing Carpenter Oak Ltd, you are choosing a whole team – a client manager to facilitate the initial stages of your enquiry and and ensure your requirements are fully understood, the Frame Designer who works intensively with you and your architect to interpret your brief and develop a detailed design which fits into your overall building, the Project Management team who oversee the making and raising of your frame and a team of skilled Timber Framers who undertake the workshop carpentry and raising. Each step is crucial and we have a vey committed, skilled and experienced team. Meet the team here. 

     As in most walks of life,  if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.
    You get what you pay for and if price is the only factor which drives you then you will always find someone who is willing to cut corners and do things cheaper. We are confident in our competitiveness and can say with some experience that there will be a reason for a substantially lower price even if it is not obvious to you. This can mean that things have been left out of the price (a common tactic) or it can mean that the service you would receive in terms of project management and design support and guidance is not as complete which can simply increase your costs elsewhere. It can mean a lesser grade of materials, less time spent on the craftsmanship or cheaper less skilled labour.
    We are different and instead pursue excellence – we look to be the best at what we do whilst maintaining affordability, accurate and realistic pricing – we seek the trust and loyalty of our clients as this is the basis of positive working relationships which last beyond the raising of the frame.
    We highly value our reputation and this can only be built on getting things right with you, our client.
    We could save thousands of £'s by compromising on the quality of our materials but we never would. See our materials page.

  • Are Carpenter Oak’s frames made by hand?

    tools-and-tea2

    We only use handheld tools and power tools (such as chain morticers, circular saws and drill) to cut and shape the timber.

    We are adaptable – we design and build bespoke frames (not repeat designs), often incorporate large beautiful curves within them and utilise a huge variety of structural framing techniques. Skilled carpenters adept in all the techniques and who can use their judgement in the selection of every timber and the cutting of every joint are therefore critical. The same carpentry team carries their understanding of the frame right through to seeing it raised on site.

    We do not use large automated 'Hundegger' CNC machines to cut whole frames. We don’t believe in this way of doing things for a number of reasons: Hundeggers reduce your options – they only handle planed timber and give the finished frames a homogenised look (check the curved braces), they cant cope with large curved timbers such as slings and curved ties and, since the programming of the machines is so time consuming in relation to the cutting time, they are ideally suited to repeat designs.

     
  • Will oak ever run out?

    LeLoup-sawmill-8Is using oak sustainable? All of the timber we use is from sustainably managed forests (PEFC certified) and there is a plentiful supply. The total quantity of Oak we use as a company in one year re-grows in the forests of France within 24 hours. Moreover, the use of timber in construction encourages further planting and management and increases the value of our woodlands and forests; it forms an important part of the investment in our sustainable natural resources and protection of our environment.
    Carpenter Oak Ltd are investing into the natural resources of the UK. For each oak tree used in a project we will donate 10 oak saplings to an organised planting scheme in the UK. Investing in our future.
  • Where does your oak come from?

    All of our Oak is from sustainably managed woodlands located around a single sawmill in Normandy, France (PEFC certifified). When this mill is unable to fulfil our order we divert to an alternative mill in Germany. The mills have access to a plentiful supply of exceptionally well managed and very high quality timber.

    Why not use UK sourced oak, I hear you ask?  Sadly, the lack of investment and good timber management for hardwoods in this country over many years means our domestic supplies are generally of a lower quality, inconsistent supply and can be more expensive. Although the situation will gradually change, it means that currently continental Oak is the best option for our framing. Carpenter Oak Ltd are investing in the future of UK woodlands.

    For every tree used in a project we will donate 10 Oak saplings to an organised planting scheme in the UK

    Douglas Fir and Larch all comes from sustainably managed UK forests.

    Read more about our Materials

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