Stunning oak frame holiday home in North Wales

Oak Frame Building Costs

Area: Abersoch
House Type: Oak frame self-build
Build Route: Oak frame and encapsulation
Build Cost: £600,000

An open plan layout makes the most of the spectacular sea views

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.

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 show home in Hereford, Peter and Jan appointed us to be their oak frame partner. Working with John Williams, our Regional Architectural Designer their dreams became a reality.

Weatherboarding and a render finish seamlessly blends in to the local vernacular

Having purchased the site with planning permission already in place, it was decided that while starting afresh with the design allowed us to explore new opportunities, we were aware that 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 that 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 to use a post-and beam style oak frame throughout to create impact, incorporating features such as vaulted ceilings, galleried landings and a defined, but open-plan style layout.

Glazing was paramount to helping capture the sea views. But 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 layout to the living area, and combining this with a vaulted entrance hall and kitchen area and two-storey windows and roof-lights on the south side of the house, dynamic sunlight can penetrate right across the ground floor of the building.

Despite the double height layout of much of the downstairs space, there was still room to have 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on the first floor. A Master Bedroom rightly commands the best views through its glazed ‘Juliet balcony’, while the other two well-proportioned bedrooms are both served by ensuites as well as a family bathroom.

Double height spaces, complimented by full-height glazing were created through vaulted ceilings to give the feeling of light and space. While the post and beam oak frame gives a warmth and homely feel, “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 Williams.

The house was fully encapsulated with our WrightWall Natural panel system that are prefabricated and form the walls, floor and roof construction. With the panel system delivered to site with all vapour control layers and counter batten system already in place, time onsite was considerably reduced. The floor system fits together with the walls like cassettes meaning the oak frame is fully encapsulated leading to high levels of thermal efficiency.

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

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


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A bespoke holiday home in a seaside location

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