A 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

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 show home in Hereford, 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 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 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. 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 along with 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 three bedrooms and two 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 en-suites as well as a family bathroom.
Double-height spaces, complemented by full-height glazing, were created through vaulted ceilings to give the feeling of light and space, while the post and beam oak frame creates 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.

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

Peter

Peter and Jan's open-plan layout makes the very most of their spectacular sea views

Building with sustainability in mind

The house was fully encapsulated with our WrightWall Natural encapsulation system which is prefabricated 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, so the time required on-site was considerably reduced. 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.

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A stunning oak frame holiday home in North Wales

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