A stunning oak frame holiday home in North Wales

Project overview:

Area: Abersoch
House Type: Contemporary home
House Size: 298m2
Build Route: Oakwrights and self-managed
Build Time: 01 Oct 2013 – 06 Oct 2014
Build Cost: £600,000

When the opportunity arose to buy an uninspiring bungalow with planning permission approved for its replacement (in a location just metres from the beach in the popular north-Wales resort of Abersoch), Peter and Jan couldn’t resist. Having spent many years visiting and staying near to this pretty town, the site offered them the chance to create a unique holiday home very close to its centre, but still with those all-important views.

Although the approved drawings they inherited with the site didn’t match Peter and Jan’s design brief and vision for their project, what they did do was establish a number of very positive principals: the replacement of a bungalow with a two storey house; the repositioning of the building on the site up to the ‘building line’ created by the neighbouring properties; and the addition of a separate garage at a lower level with a terraced garden on top.


Choosing to build with oak

It was the couple’s desire to create a striking, contemporary house that had a homely feel to it while sitting sympathetically in its location and maximising the impact of the fantastic sea views. Their desire for an oak frame holiday home was born out of love for the oak frame orangery at their farmhouse.

After visiting our workshops and Herefordshire show home, The Woodhouse, Peter and Jan appointed us to be their oak frame partner. Working with John Williams, one of our Regional Architectural Designers, their dreams became a reality.

Weatherboarding and a render finish seamlessly blends Peter and Jan's holiday home into the local vernacular

Key design features

Having purchased the site with planning permission already in place, it was decided that while starting afresh with the design allowed new opportunities to be explored, Peter, Jan and John were aware the principals approved in the earlier scheme had been hard-won. With this in mind, the changes John suggested were carefully justified; a modest increase to the overall roof height could be achieved with no negative impact, if we revised the layout of gables, moving them away from positions close to neighbouring boundaries. Large areas of glazing could also be incorporated by carefully choosing positions and using designs that didn’t impact on neighbourly privacy.

For Peter and Jan, it was important the new house had a bright, welcoming and generous feel; perfect for relaxed family holidays as well as partying with friends. To comply with the planning constraints, they chose to clad the house externally with a mixture of white render and timber boarding beneath slate roofing. Internally, they wanted a post and beam-style oak frame to create impact, incorporating features such as vaulted ceilings, galleried landings and a defined but open-plan layout.

The open-plan layout of this home design makes the very most of their spectacular sea views

Glazing was paramount to helping capture the sea views. Given these were only available from the north side of the house, it was also important to bring sunlight in from the south. By designing an open-plan living area, and combining this with a vaulted entrance hall and kitchen area along with two storey windows and rooflights on the south side of the house, dynamic sunlight can penetrate right across the ground floor of the building.

The double-height rooms downstairs, complemented by full-height glazing, were created through vaulted ceilings to give the feeling of light and space, while the oak frame provides a warm and homely feel. Despite these high spaces, Peter and Jan could still have three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the first floor, in addition to the two bedrooms on the ground floor. Upstairs, a master bedroom rightly commands the best views through its glazed Juliet balcony, while the two other well-proportioned bedrooms are both served by en-suites as well as a family bathroom.

“This type of oak frame construction lends itself nicely to a modern interior as it shows the bare minimum of the frame, pared-back unlike a more traditional style oak frame that leaves much more on show,” explains John.

We really did enjoy this project. The builder, Oakwrights and John were all brilliant.


Building with sustainability in mind

The house was fully encased by our WrightWall Natural encapsulation system which is prefabricated in our Herefordshire workshop and forms the walls, floor and roof construction. This was delivered to Peter and Jan’s site with all vapour control layers and counter batten system already in place, reducing the time required on-site considerably. The floor system fits together with the walls like cassettes, meaning their oak frame is fully insulated leading to high levels of thermal efficiency and airtightness.

Sitting within the white rendered houses stretching around the bay, Peter and Jan’s holiday home stands proud as an elegant landmark for other residents and holiday-makers to see.


Would you like to learn more about Peter and Jan’s architectural design and planning permission process? Please see a link to their planning consent story, written by John Williams, below.

Architecture, Contemporary home
11 Jan 2020

Planning consent for an oak frame holiday home in North Wales

Read more

A stunning oak frame holiday home in North Wales

Download floorplans