Welsh Oak Frame heighway

When Raymond and Wendy Heighway decided to retire, they began their search for their forever home in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where they lived and loved. However, finding the perfect house with the views that they craved proved challenging.

After six months, they came across and purchased a run-down bungalow on a stunning plot with fantastic views. The idea was to demolish the old bungalow and start again.

Being in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the design needed to meet certain criteria including the need for it to not obstruct the view. The design features an upside down layout, with the living spaces on the first floor and the bedrooms downstairs in the basement, creating more internal space without building upwards. This floorplan means the living room and kitchen benefits from unobstructed valley views. The two storey design is sunk into the sloping site. Large volumes of glazing over the stairwell steers natural light into the basement.

The couple were drawn to the homely feel an oak frame provided and felt it would be more in keeping with the natural surroundings. The couple settled with Welsh Oak Frame as their oak frame provider. “They offered quality oak and brilliant customer service,” says Raymond. When designing the oak frame, Welsh Oak Frame maximised the spans between the oak trusses, to minimise the number needed. The large spans, with no timber posts intruding into the space, allow for easy circulation and maximum sight lines.

The main open-plan living space is defined by its vaulted ceiling and beautiful exposed beams. The entrance features an oak frame porch, with traditional mortice and tenon joints bringing rural character to the property.

“The house was designed especially for us, so seeing it for the first time was very special” Wendy says. “We love admiring the view and seeing the seasons as they change”.

“It’s a fantastic social space, especially at Christmas time,” Raymond said. ‘The oak instantly gives the design a homely feel.”

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