14 Amazing Oak Frame Extensions

Stuck for ideas on how to add space to your home? Take a look at this impressive line-up of oak frame additions, packed with eye-catching ideas for extending
by Anamika Talwaria
25th April 2022

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.

1. Extension with glazed gable

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.

Carpenter Oak extensions

Image credit: Rob Coombes Photography

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.

Border Oak extension

3. Historic farmhouse extension

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.

Oakwrights extension

Image credit: Richard Kiely

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.

Read more: Building a Modern, Energy-Efficient Oak Frame Home

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.

Oakwrights extension interior

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.

Prime Oak extension

5. 17th century cottage extension

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.

Large room with exposed oak beams

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.

More inspiring extensions

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.

Curtis Building extension

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.

Curtis Building extension interior

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.

7. Contemporary glazed extension

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.

The Oak Glasshouse

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:

  1. Make use of expert knowledge
    Oak framing is a specialist skill in terms of design and construction; especially when a new structure is being attached to an existing one. Architect’s drawings have to be turned into buildable plans by the oak frame company. Using an in-house designer with the technical understanding and capability to tie an oak frame extension to the house condenses the process (and costs) and minimises mistakes.
  2. Design is an investment
    It goes without saying the simpler the design, the more affordable the project. However, a show-stopping extension with plenty of exposed oak and glass could transform the enjoyment and experience of your entire home, encouraging you to live there for longer and elevating its value in the process.
  3. Offsite manufacture protects against delays
    An oak frame is crafted in a workshop or factory with all the necessary checks carried out before delivery, so you can be certain the finished structure will be sound. Therefore, the build time on site is quicker than if you were creating a bricks and mortar extension, reducing labour time and the chance of being delayed by poor weather.
  4. Get involved and save money
    For some, building an extension might not be as daunting as a whole house and could be a chance to make significant savings. Organise trades and order materials rather than use a building contractor and take on the less skilled workload yourself. Typically, it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to get the foundations ready for the oak frame to be erected by a team of specialists, supplied or recommended by the oak frame company. The homeowner then picks up the reins again to finish the build.
  5. Look at the bigger picture
    There’s not a lot of point in plonking an oak frame extension onto a house without thinking about how it will flow with other rooms and the garden. To avoid disappointment, factor in costs for the design and build work to improve these connecting areas and showcase the new building to its absolute best.

 

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.

Welsh Oak Frame extension

9. Extending an historic home

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.

Read more: 30 Ways to Save Money on Your Extension Project

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.

Oakmasters extension

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.

Traditional home with oak frame side extension

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.

 

11. Modern bungalow

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.

Oak frame extension on bungalow

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

Oak frame home with exposed beams

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.

Exposed beams in large oak frame extension

 

13. Updating a cottage

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?
Thinking ahead will help you plan a space that’s not only aesthetically stunning but functional, too. Who will use the extension? How will it be used and how do you want to feel when you’re in it? Which part of the house will the addition connect to? What would you like to see when you look out of the windows? For example, opting for large-scale integrated glazing will bring lots of natural light into your new space.

Does an oak frame extension work best with a modern or traditional home?
Both! There are limitless design opportunities with oak. We’ve designed and built everything from traditional frames to stunning contemporary structures integrating steel. Almost anything is possible.

How is the frame built to be thermally efficient and warm?
Oak frames are built with modern methods of construction and insulating external panels to ensure air tightness and a stable internal temperature. Be sure to use an expert designer so that every aspect is fully considered.

What kind of features give an oak extension the wow factor?
Whatever your chosen extension style, ultimately, it’s the oak that brings the wow factor, whether it’s via a dramatic vaulted ceiling, exposed beams or a post that can you run your hand over to appreciate its character and warmth up close. Every post and beam will have its own characteristics and they will only improve with age. Having a unique, handcrafted frame with beautifully integrated glazing is always going to look exceptional.

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.

Rural kitchen

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.

Large traditional red brick home

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.

Oak frame home

Main image: Richard Kiely, Oakwrights
Additional content by Jane Crittenden

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