Carpenter Oak - The Professional Timber Framing Company
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The Carpenter Oak Show Barn, Devon

Would you like to build a barn? Experience the quality and unique feel of an oak framed building – visit the Carpenter Oak Show Barn in the heart of rural Devon and discover for yourself.

Carpenter Oak understands that building your home will be one of the most important decisions you will ever make, and we can help you through your journey by providing friendly, expert advice.

Set in the beautiful South Devon countryside, the show barn offers you the opportunity to discover the exceptional standard and charm of a Carpenter Oak self build barn. The Show Barn demonstrates simple sustainable technology achieving optimum insulation and utilising low energy lighting. The green oak frame features a number of truss styles, a fully glazed gable end, compact elegant kitchen and an oak ladder up to a mezzanine gallery.

Book a visit to the show barn to get the ball rolling (it doesn’t matter what stage your plans are at) or take a look at the other show houses if you’d like to see something a little different.


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Green Oak Truss Frame with Exposed Rafters and Glazed Roof Section
Book a visit to our show barn, or explore the other show houses available to view

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Book Now to see Our Stunning Show Barn

By visiting the barn we will show you the workshops giving you a unique perspective into the world at Carpenter Oak Ltd. You will meet the carpenters, see the freshly cut timbers, and can ask as many questions as you like...

Whilst visiting our show barn we are often able to show you our Carpenters in action in the workshops, what better way to show you the care and expertise which is devoted to every piece of timber.

Give us a quick call before coming to ensure one of our team is available to show you around, and we’ll make sure you get the most out of your visit: +44 (0)1803732900.

Keep up to date on our regular Open Days at the Show Barn and Show Home, by signing up to our newsletter on the contact us page. Here you can also order a copy of our show barn information pack if you’d like to know more about the process of building your own home, from concept to creation. Included are examples of architects plans, how to obtain planning consent, and energy performance information.

If you’re looking for something a little different, take a look at our new contemporary Show Home in Kingskerswell, Devon, only 10 miles from our show barn.

Project DetailsGreen Oak Framed Show Barn Construction Plan
Floor Plans
Show Barn Floor Plans
Green Oak Framed Show Barn Cross Frames Construction Plan
Frame Cross Section
Show Barn Cross Frame
Green Oak Framed Show Barn Construction Drawing Balustrade and Mezzanine Section
Show Barn Elevation
Bickleigh Farm
Devon Oak Framed Barn Conversion Living Room Interior
Read more about this Carpenter Oak Frame B&B, situated in the stunning South Hams countryside...

Make A Day Of It!

Both our Show Barn and Show Home are surrounded by beautiful Devon countryside and towns with plenty to offer. So if you decide to book an appointment to visit us then why not make more of your day and stay longer?

Go to Visit South Devon for more information, and to stay in a stunning cottage with a Carpenter Oak Ltd frame: Stay at Bickleigh Farm

288 Oak Saplings

Planted For This Project

Oak Saplings planted - Carpenter Oak We arrange for 10 oak saplings to be planted for every tree used to build your frame. Read More

How we ensure we’re using sustainable building materials to create your eco friendly buildings
The Beauty of Oak
Hand Cleaved Tapered Pegs and Crafted Oak Post Detail
The significance of this majestic wood in our culture and architecture.
Do you need an architect?
We enjoy working with any architect of your choice, we can also recommend a range of trusted award-winning practices to suit you. Find out more
Map - where we have worked
See where we've worked near you
View our fantastic new interactive map that showcases our work around the country. Check out our new interactive map

General FAQ's

  • How much does a Carpenter Oak frame cost?

    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.

    The cost of building a New Build Oak Frame House or Timber Framed Extension

    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:-

    • Oak Framed Boathouse, Lake Windermere

      Oak Framed Boathouse

      Access:- Difficult access effects the whole build not just the timber frame aspect, but don't panic if your site is tricky as there is usually a solution for the most extreme cases. We love a challenge at Carpenter Oak Ltd.
    • Size - smaller doesn't necessarily mean cheaper!
    • Ground conditions
    • Specification ie Kitchens alone can vary from £1,000 to £100,000.
    • Design and shape. A house designed with a timber frame in mind from the outset will be more efficient to build. Consider this at the planning stage.
    • Complexity of the building and its shape. A 'H' shaped will be more expensive to build than a rectangle.
    • Good information and knowledge from the architect, builder, timber framer and the rest of the team you employ.

    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'.

    • A timber frame can be a simple primary structure or a partial one in a certain area of your house. It can incorporate fully raftered vaulted roof spaces, mezzanine floors, balconies and fully joisted areas, all of which will affect the price of the frame. Areas such as the roof structure can be done in revealed oak frame or can be entirely hidden and done by your builder in softwood. This will affect your overall cost to some extent but will vary the value of our work significantly.
    • The timber frame is just one element of your overall build cost and can typically range from 15% - 30% of the overall figure.
    • All of our frames are unique and so there are no standard price or designs. We do show a variety of designs in our pack however with corresponding frame prices and overall build prices which will help you to get a good sense of the cost. The cost of a frame often ranges from £300 - £500 per square metre.
    • As soon as you have architects drawings, we can offer you an estimate for the manufacture and raising of the frame. We generally offer clients a fixed price.
  • Why choose timber frame homes over a conventional house?

    Barn Interior with Exposed Common Rafters and roof lighting in Green Oak Timber Framed Barn Conversion in Devon by Carpenter Oak Ltd Devon

    Image courtesy of Natalie Fenwick

    Bespoke, hand crafted and uniquely designed, an exposed timber frame offers the character, beauty and aesthetic that many people crave in their home and which is missing from so many modern buildings. Timber frame homes are designed to be entirely self-supporting, removing the need for interior walls. This allows for magnificent cathedral-style roof spaces which are uninterrupted by ceilings, with open plan living for a light and spacious feel. Wood’s eco-friendliness is three fold: Our frames are traditionally hand-crafted, which reduces the carbon impact of construction; wood is a highly sustainable building material as it soaks up CO2 while growing, and the wood we use is from fast-growing PEFC certified forests which increase in size by 1.5% every year. Far from cutting down forests, buy a Carpenter Oak frame and you’ll be contributing to them. Additionally, for every tree used in your project, we’ll donate a further 10 oak saplings for planting in the UK, something we have been doing for over a quarter of a century. We take pride in the skill and craftsmanship which goes into each and every frame, but this doesn’t mean we’re stuck in the dark-ages! Indeed far from it: we thrive on pushing the boundaries of timber frame design, with many of our contemporary cutting edge projects winning awards. Your timber frame can be finished in any material, to blend in to any environment and suit your local planning requirements, the finishes available meet and exceed modern building regulations. The frame is built in our workshops meaning no disruption on site until it is ready to be raised, which usually takes our team 5 days in total on site, leaving you the skeleton which can be closed in and watertight within days. Timber frames are adaptable and flexible - they can be easily ‘bolted’ onto with an extension at a later date, the only limit is your imagination.
  • What is Carpenter Oak Ltd?


    Devon (UK) based award winning specialists in the design, construction and raising of oak timber framed buildings. We have a dedicated team of Project Managers, Frame designers and Carpenters who work closely with clients and architects to deliver a wide variety of bespoke oak frame projects across the UK, Europe and beyond.

    We celebrate the beauty and joy of timber frames in many different styles and raise over 60 frames a year for inclusion within schemes ranging from oak sunroom extensions to extensive high-end architectural oak houses.

    We love wood, we love design and we love a challenge.

  • Do you offer a ‘Turnkey’ (complete build) solution ?

    Cabin with Lake View constructed from Douglas Fir Timber with Western Red Shingles by Carpenter Oak Ltd Devon

    Image courtesy of Michael Harris

    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.

    Find out more about Carpenter Oak's Complete Build solution
    Click here to visit our 'What We Do' page.

  • Do you do renovations or conversions?

    Oak Framed Stone Barn Conversion with River View in DevonWe 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.

  • Do you make timber framed garages?

    Double Bay Oak Frame Garage with Vertical Timber CladdingOak Frame Garage with Dome Thatched RoofYes. 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.

    Contact us  to find out more.

  • Do you do oak extensions?

    Dining Room Interior of Green Oak Timber Framed Extension in Esher SurreyYes. 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.

  • What is ‘green oak’?

    'Green Oak' is a term used to describe the unseasoned, freshly sawn oak which is used for timber framing. It is not a reference to the colour of the Oak, but rather to the fact that it is recently cut. It implies a moisture content of between 30%-80%
  • Why use ‘green oak’?

    Just to clear it up from the start Green refers to the amount of moisture in the timber rather than the colour!

    Large section ('heavy') timber framing has a style and rawness of its very own which is everything to do with the material. Its style, rhythm and methods have developed hand in hand with the use of timber in its unseasoned state. Any potential problems that the shrinkage and movement of the timber could create are designed out at the detailing stage, creating modern buildings which retain all of the beauty and stature of their historic predecessors whilst meeting and exceeding our stringent modern standards of weathertightness, airtightness and insulation.

    Oak has always been used by timber framers in its 'green' state for a variety of very good reasons:

    • pencil-marking-on-timber-in-yardIt is far easier to cut and shape.
    • Seasoned beams deform significantly and develop splits, shakes and checks. This makes it far more difficult and time consuming to mark out and frame accurately.
    • Storing timber is very expensive and time consuming and the resultant seasoned material can be anything from 2 to 5 times the price.
    • Oak in fact takes several years to get anywhere near being dry and so after a year when it is cut, it is still wet to the touch. Even large section beams which are sold as seasoned or 'air-dry' are very far from being dry inside and will still undergo significant movement and shaking afterwards.

    Worried about movement, cracking, treatment? See our oak page to find out more.

  • Do you do timber frame glass roofs?

    oak-framed-roof-lantern-glazing-public-build-brockwood-park-schoolYes we do, timber frame roof lights, single and multiple panels, lanterns and conservatories - see our glazing page for more information, as well as some examples of our past extensions.

    Alternatively contact us to discuss your plans.

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