Their next step was to visit the Devon Yard. ‘We watched the craftspeople hand-turn a massive piece of oak and knock out the mortice joints with their chisels and mallets. We knew about the precision of factory-cut oak frames, but our eyes were opened to this completely traditional way of working, and we were hooked.’ Ian Richardson
Ian and Sue’s plot was rural and surrounded by flat, open landscape that would suit a sensitively finished building with an agricultural aesthetic on the exterior.
Carpenter Oak recommended architect Jock Clark to turn the couple’s design into a full two-storey, half hipped oak frame with a central spine wall to support the first floor.
The frame design allowed for a large expanse of open plan layout on the ground floor, with a generous kitchen and living room opening out onto the front gardens through full height glazing.
Due to the span of the timbers, all the 9m tie beams and floor beams would use lightning bolt scarf joints to resist the spread of the roof, absorbing the tension and creating a structurally strong solution.
Once the frame was made, our team spent a week on-site erecting the frame, followed by Glosford SIPs, then A.H Willis to finish the build. Carpenter Oak have since returned to the site to erect an oak frame garage alongside the house.
The external balcony and rain porch add an interesting twist to the structure, whilst the half hipped roof and cladding help it to sit perfectly into its rural setting.
In 2019, Shepherd’s House was shortlisted in the Build It Awards for Best Oak Frame.
Photography by Alistair Nicholls, for Build It Magazine.