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Here at Carpenter Oak we like to think that no site is too challenging. From accessing remote islands via landing craft to moving timber down steep riverside sites we know that stunning locations for houses can be in unusual places.
This oak timber frame new build is located on a steep slope that sharply drops down to a tributary, a dramatic spot with stunning views. The first challenge for the build was cutting into the slope, which dynamite proved to be pretty effective at. Once the site was prepared for us the actual frame raising was business as usual, it was in transporting the timber down the slope that the fun laid!
If you have a sloping site, or are interested in one, then post and beam construction is particularly accommodating to this, and we have years of experience in working with vertically challenging spaces.
For a great introduction to building on a slope you can read further here.
The riverside house is a great example of a timber frame designed to take full advantage of stunning views. The light filled top floor with a height giving vaulted roof is used as the living area and master bedroom, which all open out onto an oak timber frame balcony that looks across the valley. The frame uses an arch base truss, Seagull House style, and the inspiration for it came from a combination of visiting other timber frame houses and harnessing the views that the site gives. The timeless oak timber frame compliments the reclaimed materials used in the rest of the building, such as the granite used for the ground level cavity walls and the Delabole slate roof, allowing the building to seamlessly blend into the bucolic surroundings.
For more inspiration and to see other unusual places we’ve taken timber frames to click here.
Budget considerations are of course one of the primary factors for anyone undertaking an oak frame self build project whether it's a new build oak frame or a timber frame extension. 'How much will it cost?' is therefore a question which will be asked over and over and will almost certainly form a central thread of your project.
Overall build costs for a complete new build oak house typically vary from £1,500 to £2,000+ per square metre (referring to the useable area of the lower and upper floors added together) i.e. for a two storey property times the area by 2. We would suggest that you budget from £1,200- £1,800 per sqm (or £120-£180 per sqft).
For extensions we would suggest budgeting from £2,000 per square metre - don't forget to add VAT (for UK customers). It is worth noting that guide price is for a complete build based on a contractor doing the work with the timber frame is usually a 20-30% proportion.
If you intend to self build then expect to budget toward the lower end of the scale (although of course it may take longer!). There are several caveats with this guide price including the following key considerations:-
At every stage your decisions will affect the overall costs, from the complexity of the design to the level of finish. Engaging an architect will almost certainly save you money in the long run. Getting advice from us on the timber frame concept prior to going in for planning will minimise the risk of sending your architect 'back to the drawing board'.
We are happy to discuss your ideas with you at an early stage and can offer you advice along the way. It is helpful for you to build a scrapbook (you could use Pinterest) of your ideas and wishes – this makes your brief to us and your architect much clearer. Once you have a plot in mind we would encourage you to come and see us in the show barn at our yard to discuss your ideas in more depth and help you establish a concept design and rough costs.
You can meet with one of our frame designers and an architect if required (Roderick James Architects offer a free initial consultation). We can offer you an estimate for your budget costings at that stage based on a timber frame sketch scheme. You will then be in a position to draw up a planning application, knowing that you will be able to achieve what you want with the frame. We can offer you an accurate estimate based on a timber frame sketch scheme once you have architects drawings. Once your planning application has been approved we can get going on a detailed frame design for you.
As in most walks of life, if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.
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.
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.
We regularly build oak frames for inclusion in renovations and barn conversions. A timber oak frame structure is ideal if the existing building is in structurally poor condition. The oak frame can slot into the fabric of the building to then carry the new roof etc.
You will need to find a builder to undertake the project as a whole but we are happy to design and build a frame for you or to give your builder dimensions. We can deliver this to site either as a kit or with the carpenters who made the frame, dependent on the size.
Yes. If you are looking for a complete build or ‘Turnkey’ service, we can offer a solution to include each stage of the process, from the feasibility assessment, design, management and construction, right through to completion. We pride ourselves on being adaptable as every client is different. We can offer a number of routes for you and your project, depending on how involved you want to get. We aim to understand your particular situation and respond to deliver what you need. For many people that means us working as a contractor alongside your architect and builder, for others, involvement at each stage or a self build project. Get in touch to find out which route would suit your project best and we can deliver a range of options from a finished frame to a finished house, ready for you to move into.
Yes. We design and build a wide variety of timber frame extensions which form a significant portion of our work. A timber frame is often the perfect solution to your need to extend or renovate and can be tailored to your particular situation giving you an oak beam WOW factor to your home. Whether small or large, single or two storey pitched roof or lean-to, solid roof or fully glazed, or if its a substantial 2 storey extension to double the size of your property. We have created numerous oak extensions, timber framed conservatories, oak framed garden rooms or oak orangeries. Take a look at our timber frame extensions case studies.
Whether you would like minimal oak, a feature oak truss, or maybe you are looking for a traditional style or a contemporary twist. We can build virtually anything you require to a range of budgets - talk to us to discuss your plans.
Yes. We design and build a wide variety of timber frame garages and stables and can build virtually anything you require. Garages are something we frequently supply to clients either as a frame, kit or a complete build.
We would work with you to arrive at a design which exactly suits your needs rather than you compromising on a 'off the shelf' design. There is a huge variation on the spec of an oak timber framed garage with many cheaper products only using oak for show!
In relation to new build projects, if a garage or outbuildings are built as part of a new build, at the same time, they have not been subject to VAT in our experience.