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Nicholas’s project started with the purchase of a closed 17th Century, Grade 2 listed public house, The Fallow Buck. Nicholas was looking to extend the existing oak framed building and make it into a family home. Situated on half an acre, the large two-story extension is a modern concept that complements yet distinguishes itself from the original era.
“Getting the feel and balance right was perhaps the trickiest part”Nicholas, Homeowner
With the existing building in desperate need of renovation, Nicholas wanted to extend the oak frame whilst introducing some large windows to the south and west to flood the space with light. The extension is freestanding and snuggles up to, but does not rely on the original structure for support.
Steeped in history, it was important to design a frame that would complement the existing structure whilst holding true to its modern design.
“The existing Grade 2 listed building was a traditional oak frame building. It sits at the site of one of the gates into what was the Tudors’ hunting grounds of the Royal Chase, Enfield. The association with oaks goes beyond the 1700s when three thousand mature oaks were sold in the annual auction, many for the naval dockyards. Making a connection between the heritage of the site, the existing oak frame and a new oak frame was an obvious one”Nicholas, Homeowner
“Nick was a friendly client who was also running the site. He enjoyed getting involved with the decisions and took us out to the pub one evening.”Matt Qiriaqi, Lead Carpenter
The new, modern extension, blends effortlessly with the existing frame as it has been handcrafted using the same centuries-old techniques. Much of the work at Carpenter Oak is rooted in traditional pegged mortice and tenon jointing techniques. Our carpenters are well versed in complex roofing geometry and are able to undertake highly complex structures with ease, including non-parallel, curved and faceted frames.
Nicholas acted as project manager, visiting the site three times a week. During the frame raising Nicholas was on-site daily, taking great interest in the erection of the frame by the Carpenter Oak team. With the exception of Carpenter Oak, Nicholas employed local tradesmen.
The frame was the most significant element of the build and Nicholas wanted to ensure that the engineering principles and design were appropriate. Nicholas had several iterations of the plans as he worked up to something that fitted the building - both in terms of the build and the style.
“After looking at all the major frame providers, Carpenter Oak was a clear choice. Adam Milton was helpful and friendly and made an effort to understand what I was hoping to achieve. I was sorry not to have the opportunity to accept the invitation to visit Carpenter Oak to see the frame being made. The team that eventually put the frame up were involved in its manufacture and so obviously enjoyed their work.”Nicholas, Homeowner
The project started in April 2016 and was completed in August 2017. The frame took four and a half days to raise, thanks to some significant site preparation.
The local team that followed on from the frame build used Carpenter Oak’s very helpful catalogue of additional build drawings for specifying the external walls and glazing detail.
Nicholas encountered several challenges along the way, some as a result of discovering old elements worthy of preservation beneath some 20th C additions. The result is a high-quality build that retains a huge amount of charm.
“Carpenter Oak were a really professional bunch with good knowledge of the oak and how it would evolve over time. I had no experience of working with Carpenter Oak before this project so I was pleased to be treated with trust and respect despite the fact this was not a complete build nor a huge order.”Nicholas, Homeowner
Nicholas’s new oak frame, complete with softwood rafters and joists cost £53,000 + VAT in 2017. The frame consists of a ground floor kitchen and dining area, family room, utility room and a second-floor bedroom with ensuite bathroom. Carpenter Oak also supplied the porch for the entrance to the building.
The introduction of the open plan oak frame, large glazing and roof lights open up the existing space into the new. Transforming the building by flooding it with natural light and complimenting the original 17th Century Oak frame.
The project ran over budget largely due to increasing the specifications, planning and the Grade 2 listed restrictions. With a love of working with oak, Nicholas would happily consider another project.
“Local residents love the rescue we have performed and everyone wants to see inside!"Nick, Homeowner
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.