Oak Framing is a traditional way of building found across the country and in recent years has found a resurgence of popularity. Oak framed buildings are created for new builds, extensions, garages and outbuildings, offering home owners the opportunity to create a beautiful, striking design inside and out. Oak is a renewable, natural material, it is tactile and beautiful, blends wonderfully with other building materials, especially glass, and sits very well with older properties, either in contemporary or traditional designs.
In 2013 I designed two Oak framed projects, the first of which was recently completed. The property, near Charfield in South Gloucestershire, originally dates from 1679, mainly updated in its current form in 1802. It overlooks a Grade One listed church, and beautiful Gloucestershire countryside to the front. While it is not listed, it is surrounded by listed buildings, so a high degree of sensitivity in its design was required. The cottage had a small lean to structure already present when the owners bought it, which served a small porch to the side door, and in which the owners had a small bistro sized table and chairs from which to enjoy the views. The lean to was not insulated and was showing many signs of dilapidation; water leaking in when it was raining was becoming a problem!
The owners decided to replace it with a larger room, which would serve as a dining room, and wanted lots of glazing so as to enjoy their views and their beautiful cottage garden which is to the side of this space. They liked oak framed designs, and wanted some impartial advice on what style would suit their cottage the best. I looked at a gable ended design, an orangery style, and a half hipped style, and also helped the owners decide on the best size and layout for the room. We also looked at the driveway area in front of the Orangery, redesigning the steps and access ways, and working to reveal the stone plinth which the original cottage was built with, which had been partially disguised by a concrete path at an earlier date. They opted for the simple gable ended design and ACHD then submitted plans and gained planning permission, and then Building Control consent.
The work has just finished, and the finished Oak Frame extension looks brilliant. The room is light and bright, in contrast to the thick walled cosiness of the original cottage. The oak is beautiful, warm and solid. The owner chose some travertine flooring which is perfectly chosen with the same warm tones of the oak, and underfloor heating makes it, quite literally, warm. Double doors lead out to the garden, and the large expanse of glazing really captures a beautiful view.