An oak framed 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 Turner. 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.

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.

 

Words from homeowner, Louisa Turner:

 

A garage with multiple purposes

We knew the type of build we wanted to construct, and like the house renovations, we spent time considering the ways in which this outbuilding could meet our needs. Building a two-bay, timber framed garage was our starting point, however, it was important for our new space to serve other purposes. 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:

We adapted the footprint of a standard two-bay garage to include three carefully considered spaces. The first was my eagerly anticipated potting shed. 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. We chose to replace our original wood shed with an open-sided wood store on the left-hand side of the garage. I 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 our grandchildren’s outdoor toys.

 

It had to be oak

Our decision to build with oak was not only to remain in-keeping with the traditional look of our home but also because the sustainability of this natural material was important to both Johnathan and I. So, we approached Oakwrights to firstly support with obtaining planning permission. 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.

Once planning was approved, our single storey garage kit arrived ready for us to put together. This included the frame, weatherboarding, studwork panels and rafters. I also opted for oak joinery. Alongside the doors, I chose flush casement windows for my potting shed to give the feeling of an indoor-outdoor environment.

Within the space of three months, our 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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