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A VILLAGE HOME IN THE WEALD

A VILLAGE HOME CASES STUDY

A GREEN OAK TIMBER FRAMED SELF BUILD

PLANNING A BEAUTIFUL GREEN OAK FRAMED HOUSE

 

“We weren’t looking for a plot at all,” she says, “we just wanted to move house. I have two horses and wanted somewhere with space for them. ”However, having found nothing that caught their eye, the couple decided to view a late-1950s Colt house. “It was awful, made from cheap wood and fibreboard — I hated it,” remembers Sue. “But the view was lovely and there was a beautiful old wall running around it.” With Ian keen to buy the house and its accompanying plot, they decided to give it a go, despite “not being into doing things up”.

Plans were drawn up for an extension to the existing house, which according to Sue was just for “a bigger, uglier house”. However, when the designer suggested they bulldoze the house and start again to save VAT, Ian jumped at the chance. The house that stood on the site had once served as the garden kitchen for the rectory next door and is enclosed by a brick wall built during the Victorian era by the vicar when he retired. Ian was keen on the idea of a timber frame house and having researched several companies, the couple decided that a frame from Oakwrights would be best suited to them. They also chose Oakwrights Architectural Designer Darren Blackwell to design the house, and the Oakwrights Partner Builders in the region Oakland Vale, to project manage the build. See our comprehensive list of partner builders here.

“Darren was able to come up with a design as soon as he saw the plot and we have barely changed anything about it,” says Sue. The new house was designed to sit in the same position as the old one, with the Victorian wall running behind it. Sitting at the top of the sloping plot, the U-shaped house takes full advantage of the rural views and was designed to make the most of the sun as it moves around the building.

TIMBER FRAME BUILDING COSTS

 

Area:

Kent

House Type:

Village Home Collection

House Size:

375m2

Build Route:

Oak Frame Package & Oakland Vale

Finance:

Private

Build Time:

May 2007 - Feb 2008

Frame Cost:

£75,450

Build Cost:

£600,000

Village Home Collection

elevations

floor plans

A VILLAGE HOME IN THE WEALD GALLERY

DESIGN AND PLANNING

 

Unfortunately, the planning process was not to be as straightforward. “Initially we were turned down as the design was said to include ‘too much fenestration, be too imposing, and be seen from the footpath that runs behind the other side of the wall,” says Sue. “However, with the help of a planning consultant, plus backing from the local council, we were able to show – with the use of slides showing images of the old building and the proposed house – that the old house was actually taller than the new one, and plans were finally passed.” 

Despite initially feeling it would be a waste of money to hire a project manager, thinking that the contractors should be able to sort it all out, Sue was persuaded by Ian to hire one. They chose Dave Duggan from Oakwrights Partner Builder, Oakland Vale. “He saved us his fee twice over—he handled everything so well,” Sue concedes.

The old house was bulldozed in just a day and a half, with Sue describing its construction as looking like nothing more than “matchsticks and cardboard”, and work on the new house began in May 2007. 


The Pinks’ new house is three storeys, with a cellar housing Ian’s study and a utility room. On the ground floor, the large kitchen runs almost the entire depth of the house, with wraparound windows to one end where the breakfast area is located, taking full advantage of the views beyond. “I had done a great deal of research into kitchens before the build started,” says Sue. “I approached several companies and told them our budget – £35,000 – but it is amazing how many came back with quotes of up to around £20,000 more than this.” She eventually chose a design from Great British Kitchens, whose quote came in right on budget and matched her brief, with timber-faced units and a slate floor lending a country feel to the room.

THE 'GROT BOX' MIGHT NOT BE THE WAY MOST PEOPLE GO ABOUT DESCRIBING THEIR IDEAL HOME, BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT SUE PINKS SAYS SHE AND HUSBAND IAN BOUGHT BACK IN 2007

village home, an oakwrights case study
village home interior
oakwrights village home

THE TIMBER INTERIOR

 

The kitchen leads into the centre of the house, the dramatic vaulted dining hall, which has access out onto the new terrace. “This is a great space,” says Sue, “but coming up with a lighting design that worked for it was hard. With the help of Dave and our lighting supplier, we now have the huge central chandelier and spotlights which ping light upwards into the vault.” The large living room leads off from the dining hall and features an exposed section of the timber frame, which acts as a partial room divide between the living area and the sunroom. Sue feels that forward planning and organisation were key to the smooth build process for them. “We love living here,” says Sue, “the timber frame is lovely to live with despite the fact that over time it has moved and shrunk – by about 10 percent – meaning we need to fill a few cracks now and then.” 


FITTING IN WITH THE LOCAL DESIGN


Externally, Sue and Ian were keen that the design of the house fitted in with the local style and so have used a combination of machine-made clay tiles with a handmade finish on both the roof and to the first floor, in slightly different shades to add character. Cream render, brickwork and timber windows and doors – all locally sourced – ensure the new house fits in well with its surroundings.

oak home bedroom

A VILLAGE HOME IN THE WEALD GALLERY

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