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This exciting, remarkable, contemporary structure is described as a ‘tree house’ although it is not strictly so, as it is accessible from the ground and is entirely self supporting. The client’s brief was to create a structure which felt like a tree house and allowed them to be at tree canopy height to enjoy the wildlife from the balcony; the effect that the client wished for was achieved by cantilevering the whole building, creating a free standing tree house.
Timber had to be selected that was very high grade to withstand the pressure placed upon it. At the prow like end of the build the large sliding doors face out towards the tree canopy giving an uninterrupted view from a perspective usually only seen by the plentiful wildlife.
At Carpenter Oak we thrive on challenging new designs – have you got some ideas but not sure what’s possible? With us anything’s achievable, give us a call to discuss your plans and we’ll make them a reality.
This was a very challenging site to work on. A steep slope strewn with large granite boulders often found in this part of the world really tested the team of carpenters at Carpenter Oak. Ordinarily the posts supporting the frame would be constructed in concrete, as some were in this build, but some utilised the granite boulders. This involved surveying the site and then cutting each of the eight posts to ensure it was the right length. It was not possible to bring a crane to the site due to the many trees, so timbers were hand trolleyed to the upper platform and then dropped down through the platform to the ground below.
The frame was constructed from Douglas Fir and braced with a complex web of steel cables which strengthen the frame without adding bulk, the bright open plan living space above would not have been possible without this type of construction.
The frame was constructed at the yard and much of the steel framework was fitted there too which aided a smooth and problem free frame erection on site. The cladding on the outside of the frame was Western Red Cedar - read more about cladding 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.
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.