Designing an Oak Frame Home – What Does the Process Look Like?

Oakwrights’ head of architecture, Helen Needham, talks us through the oak frame design process with a real-life example of an award-winning home
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by Oakwrights
28th June 2024

My role as the architect for your project is to bring your vision to life. I garner a brief from you, from simple discussions about your likes and dislikes, through to poring over your hand-drawn sketches and Pinterest boards that illustrate the kind of home that you’re after.

Impressive entrance halls, showing the full height of the building, the beautiful post-and-beam frame and oak trusses combined with expanses of face glazing (like in Philip and Judi’s home, see below), are an incredibly popular feature.

Designing for Planning Approval

We create an initial concept sketch based on your brief and will propose a fee for the design and submission of planning documents. A well-conceived architectural design provides the kind of clarity and detail needed for a planning application. This should demonstrate adherence to regulations to give the reassurance and evidence that helps to streamline the planning approval process.

Additionally, considerations such as energy efficiency and community impact demonstrate foresight and responsible development. Once planning is approved, a second, more technical design stage creating Building Regulations drawings is required both by councils and to flesh out the project specification.

CASE STUDY Award-winning oak home

Self builders Philip and Judi had spoken to three architectural firms before meeting Helen at a show. “We had a great conversation and I arranged a visit to their site. They were after a home to replace a derelict Lancashire long house situated within an area of outstanding natural beauty, but wanted it to look like it had always been there,” says Helen.

Their main design priorities were gathering natural warmth and light from the sun, maximising the views and creating a large entrance hall at the heart of the home. “Designing the house was the most enjoyable part of the whole journey,” says Philip.

“Winning the 2022 Build It Award for Best Oak Frame Home was the icing on the cake.” You can meet Helen and the team at the Oakwrights open day at Philip and Judi’s home on 19th & 20th July 2024.

Encapsulation Design

The vast majority of our clients use our WrightWall and WrightRoof closed panel systems. These work together to create an extremely high-performance and energy-efficient home surpassing the standards required, using industry-leading technology in the workshops and design studios where they are created.

The oak frame and encapsulation design process includes a 3D virtual walk through of your entire home, where you work with the design team to check the position of the oak, windows and doors. You can envisage the flow around your home, see the truss designs in your vaulted ceilings and check that your beloved pieces of furniture fit – all before any wood goes into production.

Design Costs

Choosing one of our existing models and tweaking it to suit your lifestyle is one of the most cost-effective ways to design your home. This can come in at less than £3,000, including planning submission, but excluding any surveys and reports you may require and the council fees. The design costs for a bespoke oak frame home can range anywhere from £6,000 up to £15,000.

Helen Needham is head of architecture at Oakwrights. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, Oakwrights has built over 2,000 oak frame homes across the UK. Our in-house architectural design team are the first experts that you will work with during your self build journey.

They have a wide range of experience in all styles of homes, from clean lined contemporary builds to more traditional country cottages, farm and manor houses.For more information about designing your dream oak home, call 01432 353353 or visit Oakwrights’ website.

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