Carpenter Oak - The Professional Timber Framing Company
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Your Award Winning Timber Frame Company

Whether this is your first timber framed building project, or you’re a self-build guru, or perhaps you are looking to work with us as a developer or an architect – Carpenter Oak Ltd are your award winning timber frame company, with over 25 years experience hand crafting projects of all sizes. We pride ourselves on the highest quality carpentry out there, and enjoy working with you to make your project as smooth and easy as possible. Sculpting timber frames is a way of life for our carpenters, they are renowned for their skill and dedication which is recognisable in every beam and post they produce. Their craft is coupled with organised and friendly office people to provide the ultimate team in timber framing.

Why Choose Us?

We pride ourselves on being adaptable as every client, every project, is different. We aim to understand your particular situation and respond to deliver what you need:

  • We can work as a contractor alongside your architect and builder to design and build a timber frame.

  • Alternatively we can put together a team to offer a package of the timber frame, SIPS, glazing and joinery which essentially leaves you a watertight structure on site to be completed by you or your builder.

Want to know more? Get in touch to discuss which options interest and suit you.

Meet the Team
Tim Simpson - Manager at Carpenter Oak Ltd Cornwall Framing Yard
The Carpenter Oak Ltd team is central to what makes working with us so special - you won't find a...
Choosing an Architect
We welcome the opportunity to work with any architect of your choice, however if you need a recommendation then we...
Our Craft
Carpentry Tools in the workshop
Much of our work is rooted in traditional pegged mortice and tenon jointing techniques...
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

Your Questions Answered...

  • How long does it take to build a timber frame house or extension?

    Once you have found a site it can take around a year to draw up a design, obtain planning permission, then work up a detailed design and get through Building Regulation approval. In the case of extensions it will still take 4 to 8 months to get the stage of being able to start construction. It can then take from 3 months to construct on site (dependant on size of the project and building team). If you keep in close communication with us and give us the go ahead promptly our design process can continue alongside the architects work on the design. Our construction time is around 10-12 weeks from having signed off drawings to being on site. However, one of the major advantages of timber frame is that the carpentry can be taking place in our workshops while your builder is starting on site and getting the groundworks done. Once they are ready, the really exciting part comes next: raising the frame! This only takes a week or less, allowing you to push straight on with wrapping the structure with SIPs, straw-bale, or brick and block, and getting the roof on – you will be watertight very soon afterwards.
  • 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.
  • Why should I choose Carpenter Oak Ltd?

    Here at Carpenter Oak we live and breathe timber framed buildings, large and small, and we love a challenge. We create truly unique frames that respond to your brief giving you a bespoke 'made to measure' and personalised solution to your brief and budget. Carpenter Oak is the most established and experienced timber framer with a yard in Cornwall, Devon and Scotland - we are well placed to supply design and timber framing services across the UK and beyond.   Carpenter Oak holds dear several important factors:-  

    Our People

      • Our team of 25 long serving and highly trained timber frame carpenters who build and raise the frames are widely regarded as being the best in the business.
      • The carpenters who cut the frame will take it to site - project ownership throughout. This maintains high standards where it matters most while giving variety to the working week.
      • We have 4 full time frame designers. 3 office based, 1 Cornwall based. This gives us the time to get involved in each project and help spot and solve potential problems early on while working with your architect.

    Our Craft and Materials

    • We do not use large 'soulless' CNC machines, but favour a hand crafted approach which enables us to work in a variety of styles and with the most challenging designs – we work in Oak, Douglas Fir, Larch, Chestnut Glu-Lam, in contemporary, quirky and cutting-edge styles as well as in more established traditional designs.
    • We have spent 20+years developing a relationship with our preferred sawmill. They know our exacting standards for all our timber. Other sawmills cannot match this service.
    • We really care about where our materials come from and invest in their sustainable management through our saplings programme in the UK.
    • We do not compromise on timber quality, why should we? This can mean that we are a little more expensive than some BUT not every time!
    • Air dried brace stock. Bought in at least 12 months before we need it to minimise the shrinkage of timber on critical (aesthetic and structural) elements.

    Our service

    • We are able to make it easy for you by being approachable, knowledgeable and professional. Whether it is a oak frame and glazing service, complete build or an oak and SIPS wrap service you need we can help get you there easily.
    • We are large enough to have capacity yet small enough to be versatile and flexible which is important when your timescale is quite tight!
    • We have a experienced team of designers, carpenters and office staff. Everybody in senior roles has been a carpenter with vast experience of timber framing on the workshop floor. It would seem obvious for a carpentry firm but this is rare.
    • We thrive on the differences between each and every one of our projects, overcoming the challenges of the build (access, design and budget constraints) while developing a strong rapport with our customers.
    • We carry out approximately 60 projects a year ensuring a personal service - whatever the size of the build.
    • Most of all without exception throughout the team of people that work here, we love what we do!
     

    Call us to talk through your ideas or project:- 01803 732900

    What our customers say about us:-
  • Do Carpenter Oak Ltd supply architects or architectural services?

    Yes. We can recommend specialists timber framing architects across the UK and abroad. See which architects we've worked with in the past or contact us to find out more information.
  • Are Carpenter Oak’s frames made by hand?

    tools-and-tea2 We only use handheld tools and power tools (such as chain morticers, circular saws and drill) to cut and shape the timber. We are adaptable – we design and build bespoke frames (not repeat designs), often incorporate large beautiful curves within them and utilise a huge variety of structural framing techniques. Skilled carpenters adept in all the techniques and who can use their judgement in the selection of every timber and the cutting of every joint are therefore critical. The same carpentry team carries their understanding of the frame right through to seeing it raised on site. We do not use large automated 'Hundegger' CNC machines to cut whole frames. We don’t believe in this way of doing things for a number of reasons: Hundeggers reduce your options – they only handle planed timber and give the finished frames a homogenised look (check the curved braces), they can't cope with large curved timbers such as slings and curved ties and, since the programming of the machines is so time consuming in relation to the cutting time, they are ideally suited to repeat designs.
  • 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 only work with Roderick James Architects?

    We have established a long standing relationship with Roderick James Architects, which makes for a smooth and efficient service. However we work with many other architects - around 50% of our work is with RJA – and we welcome the opportunity to work with any professional of your choice. Contact us to discuss which of the many architects we've worked with could suit your project.