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Yew Tree Farm

Previous owners had obtained planning permission and made a start on the groundworks before giving up on the project and selling up.

We arranged a site meeting, discussed various options, and quickly settled on the outline of a design which we then firmed up with some detailed frame drawings. Open plan downstairs with oak joists and stairwell, raised collar trusses on the first floor with central purlin, ridge and wind bracing.

The drawings were signed off by Nick and Mary, we ordered the oak, and set to work in the workshop when the next slot became available.

Issues we had to contend with on this project were: a wonky old building to connect to, a less then perfectly level base, difficult access for the crane, and not enough room for a wraparound scaffold.

What we didn’t have to worry about was the weather (it was perfect!) and Nick and Mary’s unbeatable hospitality. I should perhaps explain that they are fully committed smallholders with sheep, geese, chickens, polytunnels, bees, smokehouse and probably multiple other bits I didn’t notice or can’t remember. Suffice to say our pack lunch boxes were soon kicking around redundantly as we tucked in to a multitude of delectable home made, home produced goodies. Future clients be warned – Nick and Mary have raised the bar! We were even sent on out way with a further hamper of loveliness.

The raising was a reminder of how lucky we are to do this kind of work, and a pleasure from start to finish. Yes, hard work, but hugely rewarding to see a project through from start to finish. Making stuff is good!
Thanks to Nick for taking and donating most of the photos

Project Summary

Brief

  • Two storey extension to an old farm
  • 100m2
  • Clients looking for a compelling oak frame design
  • Oak floor joists, raised collar trusses, central feature truss with arch collar bracing
  • Open plan living space with master bedroom and ensuite bathroom upstairs
  • Insulation and studwork within the oak frame to maximise internal space

Timings

  • Workshop – four weeks
  • On site – one day
Jun-16-20 a las 1:40 pm . Comments Off on Yew Tree Farm

Morehouse Farm

Architects Johnson Design Partnership ltd approached us for help in delivering a flat-roofed extension within a budget and tight timescale. Complex and precise detailing was required to ensure an accurate connection to the existing building, and to accommodate the extensive modern glazing units.

We designed the oak frame in close collaboration with the architect and structural engineer, and then worked with the main contractor to deliver the structural frame. We were also responsible for supplying the bespoke stainless steel post pedestals.

It’s an exciting new space that opens up the ground floor kitchen dining area, and looks out over beautiful Shropshire countryside. A wonderful combination of materials and textures – glass, stone, metal and timber

Brief

  • Architect designed contemporary flat roofed extension to old stone cottage
  • Grid structure with stainless steel post pedestals
  • External “brise soleil”
  • Extensive wraparound glazing

Timings

  • Workshop – three weeks
  • On site – two days
Jun-16-20 a las 1:40 pm . Comments Off on Morehouse Farm

Field Farm

Tim and Cindy live on an old previously restored farm near Whitchurch and by chance discovered the remains of an old stone spiral staircase under the vegetable patch in front of their gable end.

Intrigued and baffled, after much research, they deduced that their old farmhouse must have had an additional bay with a cellar that had disappeared mysteriously over time.

A keen architectural historian, Tim set about redesigning the missing wing of the house (no mean feat as the building was listed) and eventually obtained planning permission.

We were approached to see if we could help with the timber frame and leapt at the challenge. Tim had a clear idea of the frame design, but just needed it drawn up and fabricated.

The period details include a double-jettied gable with intricately carved bressumer mouldings, oriel window and bargeboards.

As with most of our frames, we try and do as much as possible in the workshop, although in this case more time than usual was spent on site, ensuring that the old, connected with the new as sensitively as possible.

The clients were really delighted with the result (so were we!) and we think you might struggle to identify the join…

Project Summary

Brief

  • Traditional three-storey extension to an old timber framed farmhouse
  • Client was looking for an exact match of style with brick infill panels
  • Period details – double jettied gable frame with intricate mouldings
  • Seamless connection to an existing building
  • Hand carved bressumer beams

Timings

  • Workshop – six weeks
  • On site – two days
Jun-16-20 a las 1:39 pm . Comments Off on Field Farm

Broadford Extension

An experienced structural engineer with a burgeoning interest in oak frames, Donald set about designing a modern timber framed extension that would complement the character of the old stone cottage and give them all enough room to live in.

Through a combination of tenacity and skilful negotiation, Donald was able to persuade the Planners to double the original footprint of the cottage rather than the standard 50% imposed on most extensions. This turned out to be a victory for common sense when starting from such a small base.

Donald’s design featured clever use of space and a glazed oak link from one building to the other. The one and a half storey extension features interrupted tie beam trusses to allow passage between bays on the upper storey.

The resultant wedged dovetail joints provide an attractive finished carpentry detail although their main job is to stop the roof from spreading! As the frame dries out over time, these wedges will need to be tapped in to keep the joint tight.

Donald’s attention to detail is legendary and the completion of groundworks synchronised perfectly with the projected raising date and to top it off little Stanley was born in time to take it all in.

Friends and family were recruited to help with the raising and so on a beautiful summer’s day, the frame went up without a hitch and Donald and Sarah were finally able to stand back and admire what they had been planning for so long.

In true self-build spirit Donald has been juggling the rest of the build with his day job and anticipates moving in at Easter (at least that’s what Sarah thinks…)

Project Summary

Brief

  • Contemporary two storey extension with link to old stone cottage
  • Creative use of space to double the footprint
  • Glazed oak link, interrupted tie beam trusses with wedged dovetail joints

Timings

  • Workshop – four weeks
  • On site – one day
Jun-16-20 a las 1:39 pm . Comments Off on Broadford Extension

Brecon Hipped Roof Extension

While planning an extension to comprise of a sunroom with glazed bifolding doors, Grant was keen to research the possibility of incorporating a feature oak roof structure.

With this in mind Grant and Dewi visited Castle Ring Oak Frame where they were impressed with the vaulted ceilings on show in our home. Various design options were discussed, with Grant eventually coming down in favour of three feature trusses with a hipped roof and dragon ties. Common rafters with painted softwood sarking and external insulation would maximise the feeling of space and expose the dramatic roof structure from below.

A careful site survey was necessary to tie the new frame to the existing house, and the oak frame had to be designed to partially sit on a steel girder over the bifolding doors whilst allowing sufficient headroom. These problems were soon overcome and work could begin on the frame allowing Dewi to do his bit and prepare the blockwork. The frame was mocked up in the workshop to ensure no nasty surprises on site and within 3 weeks was ready for transportation into the Welsh hills.

The frame went up like a dream with the help of Grant’s brother operating the telehandler, and I think we even managed to impress Dewi! He just couldn’t believe how quickly and accurately it all went together. Dewi continued with the build and took it to completion. Take a look at the results.

Project Summary

Brief

  • 30m2 extension
  • Design and supply of a feature oak roof to a small modern bungalow extension
  • Working with a client who was open to all design options
  • Showing what is possible in a small space

Timings

  • Workshop – two weeks
  • On site – one day
Jun-16-20 a las 1:35 pm . Comments Off on Brecon Hipped Roof Extension

Auld Cummerton

Carole had come across an article in Homebuilding and Renovating magazine in a B&B up in the Highlands of Scotland, and was taken by the story about how we had built our house and wanted to see if there was any way we could erect a timber frame for a future project of theirs in Aberdeenshire.

At the time, the timber of choice was to be larch or douglas fir. We corresponded for a while and then Bruce and Carole popped in to see us on a trip down south and we were able to show them at first hand the kind of work we do.

Eventually, 7 years down the line on Tuesday of this week, we put their oak frame up (choice of timber had changed) in the heart of the Cairngorms national park, and so fulfilled Carole’s dream.

The journey through planning, not to mention the 450 miles up to Scotland, was a long one, but plans were finally approved and we designed and fabricated the simple single storey frame which was to create an extension to their vernacular stone longbarn – essentially an open plan kitchen, dining area as a counterpoint to the cosy stone crofters cottage that they had already restored.

As is sometimes the case with geographically distant projects, our first trip to site can be when we actually turn up with the frame. This is obviously fraught with all sorts of potential pratfalls regarding access, scaffolding, groundworks etc which could potentially scupper the raising. Turning up in Scotland and being unable to raise the structure would have made for a much shorter blog though

As it was, we set off at the crack of dawn on Monday morning having loaded the lorry, only to receive a call from the crane company within the first hour of our journey to say that high winds were forecast in the Cairngorms the following day and that they were pulling out. B*!x$? Not only were we faced with not being able to put the frame up, but there was also the distinct possibility now that we wouldn’t even be able to get the oak off the lorry…

Thankfully, we no longer have to correspond with letters, so emails and phone calls were sent from the M6 motorway to Bruce up in Scotland. Within an hour he had organised for a telehandler and operator to be on site for the following day, and Sylvan and I could settle back into the monotony of our long road trip. Skip forward numerous service station stops and we veered off into the magical landscape of the Cairngorms national park, traversing heather and granite, mountain and moor.

Carole and Bruce hosted us on our weary arrival with a sumptuous meal and a warm welcome. The morning of the raising broke with clear skies and almost no wind! Maybe the crane company just didn’t fancy the job…

Perfect conditions and the most breathtaking backdrop which took in Lochnagar, a mythical mountain rising to nearly 4000ft and part of the Balmoral estate, meant that the raising zipped along effortlessly.

By mid morning bait (or “fly” as they call it in Aberdeenshire) the jowled posts and wallplates were in place, by lunchtime we had assembled and installed the four trusses with curved collars, and by mid afternoon (tea and Battenburg cake, Balmoral style) we had dropped in the purlins, ridges and wind braces.

What a truly amazing experience and thanks to Bruce for mucking in cheerfully with the raising and for Gary and his telehandler for providing expert lifting: calm and assured, just how we like it. Most of all, thanks to Carole for finding that magazine all those years ago and for sticking to her dream.

Cairngorms extension Castle Ring Oak Frame
Contemporary extension Castle Ring Oak Frame Cairngorms

Project Summary

Brief

  • 60m2 single storey annexe to an old Scottish croft
  • Beautiful yet simple frame to stand up to the wild Scottish weather
  • Queen post trusses with curved raised collar
  • Internal oak frame with softwood stud external envelope
  • Local timber cladding and tin roof

Timings

  • Workshop – three weeks
  • On site – one day
Jun-16-20 a las 1:34 pm . Comments Off on Auld Cummerton
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  • Do you want a quick quote?
    Or to discuss your project?

    If you're considering an oak framed building (or larch, or douglas fir), let's talk. We'll gladly put together an outline quote (completely free, with no strings attached). And we need very little information from you to do so.
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