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An oak frame garage in Herefordshire that just keeps giving

Nestled down a single-track country lane, just a stone’s throw away from the city of Hereford, is a beautiful, listed property owned by Johnathan and Louisa. Dating back to the 17th century, you can see the original oak frame that’s seasoned over time with the help of Mother Nature. It’s nature, in fact, that surrounds their property as far as the eye can see; towering chestnut trees surround the garden and a winding stream creates a boundary leading to the River Lugg.

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Choosing to build with oak

Over the past 11 years, the Turner’s have spent time getting to know their property, enhancing certain aspects to create their very own Herefordshire haven. Living where they do, it’s no surprise they love the Great British outdoors. From gardening to harvesting their own vegetables and crafting with their family; Louisa thought how lovely it would be to create an external space that everyone could make use of. So, the idea of their bespoke oak framed outbuilding was born.

The Turner’s decision to build with oak was not only to remain in-keeping with the traditional look of their home but also because the sustainability of this natural material was important to them.

“We approached local oak frame supplier, Oakwrights, to firstly support with obtaining planning permission,” says Louisa. “Their design team worked with us to bring our oak frame vision to life. We’d considered every aspect of our design: from plotting the anticipated footprint of the space, to digging up certain aspects of the garden to pave way for the area and even driving into the proposed garage to ensure the positioning was perfect.”

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Key design features

Johnathan and Louisa knew the type of build they wanted to construct, and like the house renovations, they spent time considering the ways this outbuilding could meet their needs.

“Building a two-bay, timber framed garage was our starting point, however, it was important for our new space to serve other purposes,” explains Louisa. “Our garden housed an old wood shed which we’ve had to reinforce over the years due to its age. In addition, the only realistic area I had to pot my plants was in the greenhouse: fine in the summer months but a lot chillier in the winter! We relied heavily on these two outdoor spaces, so decided to incorporate them into our garage design.” 

Johnathan and Louisa adapted the footprint of our standard two-bay garage to include three carefully considered spaces.

“The first was my eagerly anticipated potting shed,” smiles Louisa. “I wanted this space to be enclosed and positioned at the back of the garage so I could appreciate the views of our vegetable garden and beyond while preparing plants for the months ahead, whatever the weather. The other two spaces evolved either side of the garage due to the overhanging roof design.”

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External features

The Turner’s chose to replace their original wood shed with an open-sided wood store on the left-hand side of the garage. They liked the idea of the stacked wood adding character to the overall rustic look of the garage from the front, while allowing for space behind for a secluded, wooden seating area. To the right of the garage is an area for storage, secured by wooden doors, to stow away garden tools and their grandchildren’s outdoor toys.

Johnathan and Louisa wanted to construct their garage by hand, so once planning permission was approved, their single storey garage kit was delivered to their home. This included the frame, weatherboarding, studwork panels and rafters. The Turner’s also opted for oak joinery, so alongside the doors, Louisa chose flush casement windows for her potting shed to give the feeling of an indoor-outdoor environment. Within the space of three months, Johnathan and Louisa’s bespoke oak framed garage was built.

“We enjoyed the whole self-build process from start to finish, and our bespoke oak frame went together like a dream. Two years on, our outbuilding has formed another purpose: when not in use the parking bays provide a safe play area for our grandchildren, so we can continue to make the most of being outside together as a family, regardless of the Great British weather!”

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