Oak Frame Homes: 20 Amazing Oak Houses to Inspire Your Project

The natural charm of an oak frame home is difficult to replicate – but what are the design possibilities? Check out Emily Batesmith’s handpicked selection of self built properties that have all made fantastic use of modern oak frame construction to create something special
by Emily Batesmith
6th October 2023

The oak frame construction method provides self builders with an opportunity to create an efficient and sustainable home brimming with charm and character.

Oak frame is often used alongside other construction methods such as structural insulated panels (SIPs) or brick and block, and is frequently combined with a masonry facade for effect. The frame is manufactured off-site, meaning its construction time tends to be shorter than other building methods – normally two to three weeks with good weather and site conditions. This process means that budgets in other areas can be cut down significantly, especially on project management and contractors, for instance.

Trusses not only play an important role in the overall composition of the home – supporting the roof and distributing the weight of the building – but they are also one of the most attractive features of building with oak frame. Keeping the structure exposed and incorporating it into the overall design scheme can yield really impressive results.

These modern oak homes have used the build system in fantastic ways, incorporating the exposed trusses and open-plan areas to make light-filled and spacious homes.

Essential Advice: Building an Oak Frame Home: a Self Builder’s Complete Guide

1. Oak Frame and SIPs Barn-Style Home

When their rear garden was deemed suitable for development via the council’s local housing need assessment, Tony and Jo Hogg had a choice to make: sell up, or build on it themselves. The couple chose the latter – attracted by the opportunity to design and construct a barn-style home that would meet their tastes and requirements.

Oak Frame and SIPs Barn-Style Home

Photo: Colin Poole

The brand new, efficient home has been constructed with a mix of oak frame and SIPs, featuring a design that blends the traditional style of oak with a bright, contemporary and open-feeling scheme.

2. Striking Oak Passivhaus

Andrew and Linda Bennett moved to Worcestershire (where Linda is originally from) to fulfil their dream of running a B&B. They decided to self-build after they couldn’t find quite what they wanted on the market, using Oakwrights to design and build the property.

oak frame passive house

Photo: Mark Bolton

Externally, there are two south-facing gable ends, with oak balconies adding to the character but also visually making up for any design restrictions on having too many projecting elements. Heat loss is still minimised, but there’s also a sense of three-dimensionality to the design, with visual interest also provided by the contrasting materials palette of cedar weatherboarding, rustic roof tiles and brick, alongside the oak.

3. Bespoke and Efficient Oak Frame Self Build

What could have been a barn conversion project evolved into a knock down and self build, offering Deirdre and David Rook the beautiful oak frame home they’d long dreamt of. The one-and-a-half storey dwelling is complete with charming dormers and a traditional, light-filled interior scheme.

Bespoke and Efficient Oak Frame Self Build

Photo: Guilford Photographer

4. Modern Oak Home Designed to Withstand Flooding

In 1999, Rachel and Darren Luke bought a plot of land in Worcestershire with a 1980s house on it. This would become their temporary abode while they saved up the funds to develop their dream property.

The site benefited from seven acres of land, plus fantastic views of the sprawling countryside. However, they faced complications due to the historical ponds located on their land and the potential of flooding and subsidence.

Modern Oak Home Designed to Withstand Flooding

The couple’s forever home was completed in 2017 to the highest of standards. The property features an open-plan living space, large kitchen and separate living room. A contemporary oak and glass staircase leads to the spacious landing and onwards to three large ensuite bedrooms, all of which enjoy stunning outdoor vistas.

5. Oak Frame Countryside Self Build

Based on a plot in rural Anglesey with countryside and sea views, this new build had to blend with the landscape. Welsh Oak Frame built the frame over three weeks, whilst a skilled stonemason worked for around a year installing local limestone cladding – an important material choice to fit in with the rough cast and stone houses in the area.

Oak Frame Countryside Self Build

Photo: Nikhilesh Haval

Since the plot slopes steeply, the house was built over three levels with a small lean-to on the side to accommodate the ensuite to the downstairs bedroom, essential for futureproofing.

6. Oak Farmhouse with Upturned Boat Roof

A striking upturned, copper-clad boat is the centrepiece of this oak home in Devon. The home is arranged in an L-shape, with a thick stone-faced exterior that’s been intentionally designed to ensure the home fits beautifully into its surroundings.

Oak Farmhouse with Upturned Boat Roof

Wow-factor glazed gables allow light to flood the interior, and double-height bedrooms create a luxurious space to relax. Oak trusses add character to the home’s inside – these span the upper hall and add plenty of design interest to the rooms.

7. Wow-Factor Exposed Oak Trusses

Winner of the Best Oak Home the 2021 Build It Awards, Andy and Sue Perrin had their hearts set on an oak frame to give their new conversion project a boost of architectural wow-factor.

“Right from our first sight of the barn, standing in the mud looking up at the leaky tin roof and moss-covered walls, a feature oak frame was always at the centre of our vision for what the building would become,” says Andy.

Wow-Factor Exposed Oak Trusses

The couple chose Carpenter Oak for the building’s structure, and the meticulously planned project includes impressive features such as a criss-cross, diagonal roof beam in the central bay, complex dragon-tie corners and a beautiful lighting scheme to set the frame off.

8. Oak Home With Wow Factor Glazing

Glass reaches right up into the ceiling of the second storey in this striking oak home by Oakwrights. The design creates a modern look, paired with the stone exterior. Inside, all that glass works to frame the beautiful surrounding countryside vistas. Oak beams on the ceilings bring a heritage edge and character to the interiors.

Oak Home With Wow Factor Glazing

More Inspiration: Oak Frame Truss Types & Design Ideas

9. Contemporary Cottage-Style Home

Welsh Oak Frame’s WF57 design inspired this cottage-style home, with its oak porch and dormer windows. But the homeowners were keen on a modern feel inside.

So they chose to have the skeleton of the oak on display without all the ribs, for a more Scandinavian edge. The oak frame was infilled with structural insulated panels (SIPs) and the house is heated by a ground source heat pump.

10. Traditional Style Home with Masonry Facade

After struggling to find land to self build on, Janet and Richard Deacon stumbled across a tired 1950s house in surrey. The couple knocked the home down, making room for their own own light-filled and open-plan oak frame self build home.

Traditional Style Home with Masonry Facade

Photo: Simon Kennedy

After visiting an Oakwrights show home, the couple fell in love with the charm they could create with the combination of exposed oak slings and and an open-plan layout. They consulted Darren Blackwell from Oakland Vale – an independent architectural designer – to help turn their ambitious plans into a practical reality. “Darren was very good,” says Richard.

The finished home boasts a glorious central glazed atrium, with wow factor oak trusses exposed around the interior. To stay in-keeping with the rest of the street, the Deacons chose handcrafted bricks from York Handmade, which add a beautifully familiar touch to the striking home.

Read More: Open Plan Living Ideas – Kitchen, Living & Dining Rooms

11. Traditional Oak Build With a Modern Edge

The classical farmhouse design has been reimagined in this 329m2 self build project in Herefordshire by Border Oak. Externally, exposed oak framing with rendered infill features above areas of brickwork. The weatherboarded annex to the side that houses an office.

Traditional Oak Build With a Modern Edge
Traditional Oak Build With a Modern Edge

In the kitchen, the oak is relatively pared back to create a clean yet characterful look.

12. Upside-Down Living

Built into the sloped landscape, this home benefits from views of the beautiful surrounding South Hams area of Devon.

Upside-Down Living

The front door leads into the upper storey, where the living spaces benefit from rooflights and an amazing outlook through ample glass, including a glazed gable.

The exposed wood frame by Carpenter Oak is the design focal point inside, reaching up in the vaulted ceiling and framing the glazing overhead.

Read More: Rooflights and Overhead Glazing: Design Ideas and Advice

13. Award Winning Oak Frame Home in Cheshire

Royan and Helen Anthony created this striking self build home with Welsh Oak Frame, who helped bring their goals of a low-maintenence and characterful home to life.

Award Winning Oak Frame Home in Cheshire

Photo: Nikhilesh Haval

Their new oak home was ready for them to move into 15 months after starting on site – and they’re thrilled with the results. “Building in oak was the perfect solution for us,” says Royan. “We have the convenience of modern living alongside the character of oak.”

14. Woodland Oak Frame Annexe

The rural setting for this timber-clad home by Oakmasters creates a picturesque backdrop. The Sussex self build has wide spans of exposed oak frame inside, and upstairs the bedrooms fit neatly into the trusses.

Woodland Oak Frame Annexe

The deliberately simple design has character and style, with the finished property measuring 84m2.

15. Oak and Brick Blend Home

This large oak frame and SIPs home in Dorset is by Westwind Oak Buildings. The property has a contemporary look, using a mix of timber and brick cladding externally.

A curved glazed entrance brings a modern edge, alongside ample other glass elements throughout. Inside, the oak frame creates a cosy and characterful setting.

Oak and Brick Blend Home
Oak and Brick Blend Home

16. Oak Frame Arts & Crafts Style Home

Dennis had always been interested in property and knew his practical skills would match up to the job of project managing a self build. Him and his wife, Rita, began the journey and were looking for opportunities to create their own home, but they found the plot search a little underwhelming.

Oak Frame Arts & Crafts Style Home

However, they soon found a neglected tile-hung property in a glorious position within the South Downs National Park. They submitted a planning application to create a replacement dwelling on the site, which was authorised thanks to their plans to use vernacular materials including flint, brick and oak.

They chose to engage Border Oak for the frame, SIPs (structural insulated panels) encapsulation and timber roof construction, as the firm offered a fixed price contract using their own project manager, which was an attractive proposition.

17. Handcrafted Oak Details

This 250m2 four-bedroom home by Castle Ring Oak Frame features as many sinuous and curvy features as was possible. There are extensive oak joists and rafters, spectacular vaulted ceilings, a mezzanine and void.

Handcrafted Oak Details

The softwood stud wall envelope is insulated with Warmcel, and the building benefits from a cost-effective ground source heat pump. The exterior cladding was milled from locally sourced larch.

More Inspiration: Cladding Ideas: How to Mix Different Types of Wall Cladding

18. Barn-Inspired Oak Frame Home

Taking inspiration from a barn conversion, the design of this self built home in Buckinghamshire by Welsh Oak Frame includes larch timber cladding and dormer windows.

Barn-Inspired Oak Frame Home

The front door is surrounded by oak and glass, reaching up into a vaulted apex. The striking entrance sets the tone for the contemporary interiors, which feature oak throughout.

19. Oak Frame Self Build Annexe

This oak home is a substantial annexe, evolved from a concept for a completely separate dwelling. Steve and Janine Carney set out to build an oak frame home for themselves, however, “the planners refused our application to build an oak frame house in our garden, but allowed us to build a self-contained annexe attached to our home,” explains Steve.

“The design is pretty much the same, but it’s crazy as the annexe is 433m2 and nearly twice the size of the original house plan that was rejected.”

Oak Frame Self Build Annexe

Photo: Nikhilesh Haval

The exterior of the property comprises sandstone, brick and timber, which helps keep the character in line with that of the original property. The roofline is also couple of metres lower than the main house, making sure it doesn’t dominate the original structure.

20. Cottage-Style Oak Frame Home

The Holdens created this one-and-a-half storey self build with the help of Welsh Oak Frame, featuring charming dormers with a brick, oak and render exterior.

Cottage-Style Oak Frame Home

Photo: Nikhilesh Haval

The couple sold up their previous home to finance the build and it’s left them mortgage free, coming in at a total cost of £415,000. This comprised £165,000 for the plot and just £250,000 for the construction.

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