There were planning obstacles to begin with, their proposed site being in a conservation zone and adjacent to the 12th Century grade II* listed St Laurence’s Church. During the application process, the Bromsgrove planning officer said to the Miall’s that they would have thrown out anything less exciting than the proposed plans.
The final approved plans were for a curved, one storey open plan living room, with two storeys that would be bedrooms and service rooms.
Once the frame was under construction, they visited the Devon workshops to see their frame being made and meet the carpentry team. Once our carpenters are assigned a project, they work on it from the first cuts to raising the frame on site.
‘The frame was a variation on a radiating plan of posts with ‘tree braces.’ All the horizontal plates had to be cut as accurately as possible to a fixed radius and then connected in their length. This required sourcing many through and through (including bark) sections and using 1:1 templates to see which radius worked best with which slab. We had to reject at least 6 pieces for lack of sufficient curve. It was a time consuming process but resulted in a fabulous outcome for Chris and Stephanie.‘ – Paul Kirkup, Frame Designer
The Miall’s oak frame came in at £35k, with the total build cost coming in at £630k. There were some complications in getting services connected, locating sewers that were far deeper than the records suggested, plus some extra glazing, oak detailing and external works, all around an unconventional curve. Ultimately they only exceeded their original budget by 10%
‘When the team came to install the frame I was able to take some time off work and we watched the whole process – from the tricky unloading and maneouvering to get the frame on site, to a topping out ceremony held two days later. Our favourite things about the house are the light, the combination of oak, brick and tile, but especially the view up through a row of clerestory windows into the tree canopy.’ – Chris Miall, client