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A striking and unusual design by Living Space Architects for a contemporary extension to an existing house in Cornwall. The cantilevered corner, created using Glulam sections from Sweet Chestnut grown in Britain, allows for uninterrupted views to the sea.
The client’s priority was to frame the beautiful surroundings while using sustainable materials – including the chestnut timber frame which was sourced locally from an FSC certified supplier.
The frame was constructed with a mixture of traditional carpentry joints such as half laps combined with more contemporary bolted shear plate connectors.
“This is a great example of where quality architectural input optimises the outcome for the client, transforming what could have been just an extension into a stand-out feature, truly unique and tailored to the house and its surroundings.”
Glulam is a glued laminated timber product. It is a type of structural timber comprising many layers of timber, in this case chestnut, bonded together with moisture resistant adhesives. Glue-laminated timber can be produced in very deep sections - far larger than could be cut from a tree; this allows glu-lam beams to span very large distances. Chestnut, oak and Douglas Fir glulams have all been used by Carpenter Oak Ltd over the years and are far more attractive than the more standard white-wood glulams used in many commercial projects.
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.