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We are delighted to offer potential clients the opportunity to view our show home and experience a Carpenter Oak timber frame for themselves – arrange an appointment to view Orchard House.
Although rooted in tradition, oak framed buildings do not have to be stuck in the past. With the advance of modern building materials such as Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), solar photovoltaic panels, triple glazing and steel, the potential to create almost any desired shape and space in one’s new home has been unlocked.
Mr Manning tapped into this potential, conceiving a vision of a home that centred around oak as a material but not as the main emphasis. He imagined a home that showcased other materials such as steel and glass, and a home that was sophisticated in its energy usage, heating and insulation.
With a design brief to create a simple, flexible and elegant family house capable of future adaptations with minimal fuss, Mike Hope from Roderick James Architects LLP worked closely with Carpenter Oak and the client to build a unique contemporary timber frame structure which would be aesthetically impressive but also a highly efficient low energy home using cutting edge construction methods.
MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation / Heat Recovery) is used very effectively in this extremely well-insulated home resulting in extremely low running costs.
Carpenter Oak Ltd also built the staircase using laminated kiln dried oak and stainless steel. One side of the stair hung from the floor above increasing the usable space downstairs and giving the stairs an impression of lightness.
The contemporary oak frame was utilised adeptly and intentionally kept to a minimum, with no diagonal bracing, bottom plates, joists or top plates. Instead the frame sits inside a SIPS panel shell, with the oak frame inboard of the walls rising up to support the roof. The three main cross frames are the main feature of the home with the main post slanting inwards to create large ‘A’ frames. Dramatically ending two feet above the finished floor, the posts then land on large stainless steel feet which continue at an angle into the floor.
Throughout the build the clients wrote an honest account of their project in a blog which invites you to view the progress of the build including build photos, plans and budget giving projected and actual costs; this is a valuable resource that would be vital to anyone taking on a similar project.
In December 2012 Orchard House won Best use of SIPS award and was also featured in 3 short articles in Devon Life magazine.
The traditional mortise and tenon joint in fact is sparsely found in this home, instead replacing it for stainless steel flitch plates which are then bolted to the adjoining timbers leaving aesthetically pleasing ‘pig nut’ bolt heads exposed.
The result is a dramatic and exciting interior space within a simple, no-nonsense building that encourages one to look and investigate its construction further. It is perfect marriage of old and new, hi-tech and low-tech, a vision of building that looks to the future but does not forget its past.
If you're considering a self build timber frame project then come take a look at our show house or show barn...
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.