After purchasing a run-down barn with planning permission in place, the new owners quickly realised that renovating the existing frame wasn’t going to be possible and they would have to start from scratch. Keen to replicate the look and feel of the original barn, the couple turned to Welsh Oak Frame, which has a wealth of experience designing traditional, post and beam style oak-frames for self-build homes.
As well as wanting their new home to have an open-plan feel, the couple wanted the oak frame to be prominent throughout the property and for other materials, such as glass and slate, to be used in abundance to soften the effect. Planning permission had to be obtained for the new structure, which stipulated that the height of the new house must not exceed that of the original barn. As a result, Welsh Oak Frame built into the roof to make the most of the available space.
Outside, the team also designed and provided the oak frame for a traditional, two-bay garage with accommodation above, which includes a sitting room with space to sleep, a small kitchen area and a bathroom.
Rebecca Pritchard, Welsh Oak Frame’s Marketing Manager, says: “At Welsh Oak Frame, we pride ourselves on ensuring our designs blend beautifully with their surroundings and this stunning home is a great example of just that. The oak really does provide the perfect frame from which to enjoy the breath-taking views from the front of the house.”
Welsh Oak Frame’s General Manager Mark Jones, who is currently in the process of building his own dream, oak-frame home with his wife, shares his advice on some of the things self-builders should consider:
• Find and purchase the plot of land you intend to build on before designing your home. While you may have a set idea of the style you’d like, the individual site will often dictate certain elements as will the local planning department.
• Make sure you’ve done your sums and know how you will fund your project, especially if things go over budget, which they can have a tendency to do. If you are selling your existing home to help finance your self-build, know where you are going to live while your project progresses.
• Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder so if you intend to sell your property some time in the future, it is worth being mindful of anything that might put off potential buyers. However, if (like us) you’re planning for this to be your home for life, then it makes sense to make it as personal as you like and really ensure it has everything you want.
• While it’s not a good idea to make major alterations to your original plans mid build, don’t be afraid to make small changes and modify them along the way to make sure your home works exactly as you’d like it to.
• As well as the aesthetic design of your house, make sure you also take into account how you want it to function. For many people, myself included, making sure the property is as low maintenance as possible is very important. The thermal efficiency and air tightness of the house played a big part in our design and we were also keen to incorporate large, open spaces rather than small, awkwardly shaped areas that would be more difficult to clean.
• The self-build journey can at times make you feel as though you’re on an emotional rollercoaster as you experience various highs and lows – this is entirely normal and something most people will experience!