THE OAKWRIGHTS GREEN OAK FRAME
The main frame of the house was designed, manufactured and erected by T. J. Crump Oakwrights of Hereford – with 262 pieces of green oak delivered on two lorries and craned into position before being pegged together in the traditional way. The house is made up from 23 separate frames, which took just four days to complete before the structure was ‘topped out’ with a branch from one of the Simmons’ own oak trees.
“With the frame protected from the elements we became the proud owners of a window-less wooden box, gift wrapped in paper, ” says Alistair. “Some of the neighbours commented on how dark it must be in the house with the lack of windows, and others thought that it must have been a planning restriction! ” It was February 2006 before the window openings were cut in, and Sharon and Alistair chose bespoke idigbo hardwood windows and doors made locally in a small joinery shop just three miles from the site. Their handmade clay plain roof tiles cost £450 per thousand and were supplied pre-blended so they could be fitted straight out of the delivery crates.
TIMBER FRAME DESIGN
The 275m2 house has been designed to resemble a traditional one-and-a-half storey oak frame timber clad post and beam ‘barn’, with high vaulted ceilings in the first floor rooms, and a predominantly open plan ground floor layout, which is ideal for a couple who have four young children to watch over.
Now the family are happily ensconced in their new five bedroom home, which boasts underfloor heating, creamy travertine flooring and pale golden oak timbers which are exposed throughout the property to maximum effect – highlighted against the off-white paintwork of the walls.
“When we first sat down with our pad of graph paper and sketched out ideas for a house we couldn’t have guessed that it would turn out like this, ” admits Sharon. “It really has exceeded our expectations and, although we still have a few things to finish off, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel after so many years of waiting and hard work. ”