Looking to add space, value and character to your home? Extending with oak frame could be the ideal route. Here’s a hand-picked selection of projects to inspire your next steps.
Set on the banks of the River Dart in Devon, this cottage has been extended with large, open plan kitchen-dining-living room with panoramic views. Due to the site’s gradient, the floorplan is partly elevated with the outlook through the glazed gable end seemingly to project out over the water.
Created by Carpenter Oak, the arch brace frame has hidden steelwork to reinforce the structure and bifold doors open onto a side terrace. Outside is clad in oak, now weathered silver to blend in with the leafy surroundings. Expect to pay from £1,800-£2,500 per m2 of living space.
2. Barn-style green oak extension
The owners of this home wanted to create a multi-functional space large enough for the whole family to gather to cook, eat and socialise with a better connection to the garden. Situated at the rear, the barn-like design features a vaulted ceiling, adding drama and architectural interest to the property.
The green oak frame was handmade by Border Oak in its workshop and erected by hand, then wrapped with an insulated panel system. The self-supporting structure didn’t require a complex or intrusive connection to the house. Prices for a single room extension with a vaulted oak frame start at around £15,000.
The owners of this Cheshire farmhouse decided to extend the living are at the front of their home with a 30m² oak frame garden room. After being inspired by the character of local oak-framed buildings, they went to see Oakwrights.
They were attracted to the company’s method of crafting the oak in a workshop and the face glazing system that allows the use of glass to be maximised without compromising energy efficiency.
Symmetrical windows and oak trusses were an important aspect of the design, as were the traditional double doors that open onto the patio. An inset woodburner and underfloor heating keep the room warm in winter. A similar room would cost around £3,000 per m2.
4. Traditional oak orangery
An impressive orangery has added space and rejuvenated the layout of this Hertfordshire home by providing the missing link to connect the kitchen and living room. An abundance of natural light fills the dining area and spreads throughout the downstairs thanks to a roof lantern and doors on two sides. The flat roof surrounding the lantern is insulated and finished in a subtle grey rolled lead to draw the eye to the wood tones in the oak frame. Projects like this start at £60,000 from Prime Oak.
After their plans to knock down and rebuild a 17th century cottage were rejected by the local authority, Sarah and Guy Bowden turned to specialists Welsh Oak Frame to extend their home instead.
The new additions replace an old lean-to and pigsty. The design combines the best of oak with softwood framing for maximum value for money. Timber and stone cladding provide a traditional touch, while allowing the main heritage building to take precedence.
6. Glazed sunroom
For this project, the homeowners wanted a glazed sunroom accessible from their kitchen and study to use as a relaxing living room. The new addition was positioned to capture views of their garden and the river beyond.
The oak frame allowed large amounts of glazing to be used while the style complements the main grade II listed house, which also feature elements of oak. Contractors C Curtis Building completed the design work was in-house using a 3D model, and the frame manufactured by a German supplier.
It arrived on site already mortised and tenoned and was erected with oak dowels in one-and-a-half days. Similar extensions would cost around £2,500 per m2.
The previous single-storey link and double-storey extension in this Hertfordshire house had a disconnected layout, making rear rooms largely redundant. The homeowners achieved planning to rebuild on the same footprint.
However, they wanted a sense of volume throughout and were also granted permission to add a second storey to the link portion. The result is a large, open-plan living-dining-kitchen area on the ground floor.
Above, there are two bedrooms, including a master bedroom ensuite with a vaulted ceiling and glazed elevation, and upper hallway linking the original house. Expect pay around £2,000 per m2 for a similar design from The Oak Glasshouse Company.
|BUDGETING FOR YOUR OAK EXTENSION
Paul Edmunds, managing director of Welsh Oak Frame explores the ways you can budget for your oak frame extension.
All kinds of factors impact project costs, such as the size of the extension, location, glazing choice, weather conditions and delayed trades, to name just a few. As a rule of thumb, budget around £2,500-£3,000 per m2 (excluding VAT) for your finished extension. You can expect around a third to a half of that total to be the cost of the actual oak frame. Here’s what to bear in mind when budgeting for your extension:
8. Contemporary sunroom for historic cottage
This stone home in the Cotswolds benefits from an unusual garden room design with six angled windows that take in the grounds and countryside views. The new addition extends the kitchen seamlessly into a comfortable seating area, where the homeowners chose to accentuate the volume and drama of the frame with exposed trusses.
The direct glazing system made it possible to create the building’s curved shape with floor-to-ceiling glass, while the solid wall allowed an inset fireplace to be installed for cooler months. Prices from £2,500-£3,000 per m2, Welsh Oak Frame.
Extending this 300-year-old Georgian property in Sussex with a trio of two-storey oak frame gables has doubled its size while remaining sympathetic to the original character. Two of these face the garden and are connected by an oak link, while a new double-height entrance forms a galleried hallway.
There’s also a large kitchen-diner, bedrooms, an office and a gym. Oakmasters made and pre-assembled the frame in its workshop before erecting it on site. Expect to pay from around £300 per m2 for the frame supply only.
10. Contemporary glass link design
A glass link connects old and new in this stunning Border Oak project. The listed Arts & Crafts building needed to be restored, and any additions had to reflect the existing style, without being a pastiche.
Border Oak provided a hand-crafted frame incorporating plenty of glazing to form a visually distinct structure that complements the original house. The result is a light-filled contemporary family home with a characterful new kitchen and dining area.
Downsizing to a small one-bedroom cottage was a challenge for the Fergussons, who chose Oakwrights to deliver this spacious extension, comprising a large kitchen, living room and master bedroom.
They were impressed by the team’s creative flair and collaborative approach to the design phase. High ceilings and large windows have been added for a more contemporary feel, striking a balance with the original building’s traditional charm.
Read more: Planning an Oak Frame Extension
12. Stunning kitchen-diner
English Heritage Buildings created this large open-plan kitchen-diner extension, packed with wow-factor.
The roof lantern is an eye-catching focal feature, a bespoke design for the homeowners, filtering natural light into the new space. They chose a neutral palette and warm wooden furniture to complement the exposed oak beams. The area is now the central hub of their home.
Border Oak were the team behind this modest lean-to extension for a Victorian cottage in a sensitive location – next door to a protected medieval church.
|DESIGNING AN OAK EXTENSION
Luke Copely-Wilkins, managing director of Carpenter Oak explains how to go about designing an oak extension.
What can you achieve in the design of an oak frame extension that you can’t with bricks and mortar?
A bespoke oak frame is not only structural but also visible, so the oak brings character, texture and warmth to a home that improves with age. Vaulted ceilings and exposed beams add character.
What needs to be considered in the design?
Does an oak frame extension work best with a modern or traditional home?
How is the frame built to be thermally efficient and warm?
What kind of features give an oak extension the wow factor?
Access to the heritage property had been identified as a potential issue, so oak frame was seen as the ideal structural system as the beams could be carried through the narrow side passage towards the rear. Two sets of French doors and a row of rooflights have been added to ensure the modernised family home benefits from plenty of sunshine.
14. Building a granny annexe
Welsh Oak Frame designed this two-storey extension for Edouard and Alison Gasquet to be able to better accommodate Alison’s mother, Janet. The addition gives Janet an independent living space, but still blends seamlessly into the original house.
Glazing was restrictedto the rear because of overlooking issues, but full-height windows and a Juliet balcony have been incorporated to maximise light and views over the garden.