Consulting four different oak frame companies to show them a selection of their builds, the couple viewed more than 10 properties, getting a feel for what each company could offer.
The couple consequently chose Carpenter Oak to design, make and raise the frame. They wanted to make the most of the natural beauty of the oak frame, and was looking to steer away from the contemporary aesthetic. “One of the reasons we chose Carpenter Oak is that I didn’t want the house to look too angular. I really liked the curved beams that we’d seen in their houses. That really appealed to us; it softens everything,” Amanda Sheppard.
The double-height drawing room was the starting point for the couple’s ideas for the whole house; everything else would grow from this. While the single-height living areas provides a more intimate space, and features bifold doors to make the most of the outdoor space and sunsets over the fields, the vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom allows the green oak frame to take centre stage. With windows on two sides, plus an oak frame balcony, the room gives wide views of the surrounding countryside.
Architect Jason Jackson helped the Sheppards to adjust their plans to include an oak frame, but their passion for the project and natural project managing skills really allowed the process to work effectively in delivering what the couple wanted to achieve. The plans attached to the original planning consent couldn’t be built in oak frame. “We are specialists in oak frame projects, but one of our first jobs is to explain to clients that a true frame dictates the plans — not the other way round. They took some convincing to rip up their plans and start again, but Colin is a great project manager and quickly got his head around the new approach. Even more impressively, Colin learnt to use Google SketchUp modelling programme to help visualise the finished building. A huge amount of the credit must go to Colin and Amanda for the beautiful results.”