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Taking two years to design, two years to work though planning and three years to build, this very contemporary douglas fir frame went up in 10 days and according to homeowner Amanda Barrington was “fabulous, perfect and with no alterations needed”.
Amanda lived on-site in a caravan for 18 months and really gained an understanding of the site, the undulating design of the house was inspired by the shape of the hills it sits within. The cladding was chosen to reflect the different colours of the leaves in the surrounding trees through the changing seasons. The house was designed by Hugh Wray McCann of Roderick James Architects and is a contemporary frame constructed in Douglas fir with nine curved roofs, sandwiched posts, stainless steel bow string trusses and multiple floor levels. It took two years to complete, consisting of three interlinked structures of differing heights, whose gently curving roofs are planted with spring-flowering pink and white sedum, an effective and eco friendly form of insulation. The Western Red Cedar clad exterior will mellow and silver over time, further integrating the house into its woodland setting. The completed build measures 3000 square feet.
As a property consultant Amanda knew exactly what she wanted and how to ask for it Amanda’s Property Consultancy Page has some great tips for anyone considering a contemporary build on a sensitive site; see the selection below for more information on her journey to completion.
"I really like how precise and committed Carpenter Oak staff are, what they do really comes from the heart: in their work with their clients and their carpentry, I wouldn't work with another timber framer."Amanda Barrington
What can we say… you are all an amazing group of people and a fantastic company. We have been made speechless by the frame it is just an amazing piece of design, and put together as if it was a piece of lego! I can imagine how much hard work, thought and effort must have gone into creating such a masterpiece. Thank you, thank you and thank you again for making it so problem free and creating our dream into reality.
The house comprises a sitting room, reception room, dining room, gallery, kitchen room, gallery, four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Large, energy-efficient hardwood windows let in plenty of light with almost no heat loss; banks of glazed doors open onto the garden on three sides. Collected rainwater is used to supplement the water supply and all timbers used in the building come from sustainable sources.
Inside, the curved ceilings enhance the sense of space with pale wood floors and plain white blinds throughout, heightening the impression. Modern furnishings in natural shades and simple shapes dominate, creating a cool, calm atmosphere.
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.
Yes! We are happy for you to visit and look around. You can book in here to see the Show Barn or Show House. Or, pick up the phone and talk to us. Generally, our advice would be to wait until you have a plot and an idea of what you are wanting to build but we are very willing to talk through plans for a plot at any time.
At that stage you can meet with one of our frame designers, and a free consultation with one of the architects if you would like. You will get far more from your visit if you do this – it is a chance to really talk through the design, layout, style, costs, materials, options with everyone in one place. We look forward to meeting you!
We have two show houses for you to visit - read more about the different options.
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.