A Berkshire House Warming
One Thursday evening in late August I had the pleasure of being invited to a house warming evening at the home of David and Dawn Howard, who we built an oak frame for late last year.
Front view of house with fully face glazed gable
Front side elevation showing barn hips and painted windows complimenting the oak weatherboarding
The house sits on a gently sloping site from front to rear. David has taken advantage of the slope to create a large deck to the rear of the house which gives an elevated entertainment area overlooking the main garden. On the evening of the house warming, this space came into its own: with the guests leaning back against the hand rail, glass of wine in hand, admiring the oak frame.
The evening was warm and dry with the sun just trying to shine through. David and Dawn were playing hosts to all the building team involved in their self-build, plus neighbours and friends. The house was full, the food was lovely and the wine flowed. It was good to talk with Andy the main contractor and his building team who I must say have carried the project through to a very high standard of finish. It is always the quality of the building work around our oak frame that really makes the very best projects.
The deck at the rear of the house has given instant finish and a fantastic party area with obligatory hot tub
The grey Lindab guttering compliments the muted green of the main windows and doors which again blend well with the handmade brick, clay plain tiles and oak weatherboarding. With all well finished projects it is all about the finer details. David chose to use Flemish bond on the brickwork which was also enhanced by the use of double struck pointing. All the soffit and barge boards are oak, which while giving a quality look will also give great longevity with no maintenance required.
The grey lindab zinc coated guttering, that sits alongside the oak soffit and barge rafters, gives both colour and a product that will last and retain its looks
Natural materials all combining to give an immediate settled look to the house
Internally, Dawn has applied good taste and style to the décor and furnishings. Considering that David and Dawn only moved in a few weeks ago, the interior already looks settled. Based around three principal bays, the design layout is for four bedrooms with a family bathroom; with en-suite and dressing room to the principal bedroom. David and Dawn have actually chosen at present to just complete two large bedrooms each with an en-suite. These two large bedrooms really show the oak frame off to great effect.
The front of the house sits level and faces onto a private lane. The three principal bays of the house are shown externally by two large dormer windows and a wing with full face glazing. To the front and rear it is the oak framed porch that hints at the full post and beam oak frame lying within. Overall, externally, it is the use of natural materials which will gently mellow and allow the house to settle into its surroundings which give a warm and comfortable feeling to the Howards home.
Master bedroom with arch brace truss and glazed gable
Master bedroom en-suite
The master bedroom is fully vaulted with an arch brace truss and fully glazed gable looking out over farm land beyond. Leading off the master bedroom is an en-suite fully tiled, creating a wet room area. The ground floor of the house consists of a large sitting room leading onto a rear entrance hall, TV room snug, large kitchen dining area, utility room and a downstairs WC.
Dining area looking through to kitchen
The kitchen dining area is spacious and open plan with full glazing to the front of the house. Dawn has chosen a country style painted kitchen with marble worktops and an Esse range cooker. The space between the kitchen and dining area is defined by the oak floor beam above.
Sitting room looking out onto front lawn
I really enjoyed my evening with David, Dawn and all the building team. It is great to see the finished product having been able to follow the story from first meeting through planning to a beautiful country home.
The sitting room has a full post and beam frame including an oak floor set. The inset fire place with wood burner is framed by two oak posts and an oak beam creating the mantle. The inset fireplace is faced with the same handmade bricks as are used externally.
Recessed fireplace with wood burner and pet fox
You can read the full planning consent story for David & Dawn’s home by clicking here.