A well appointed oak frame house in Kent

Oak Frame Building Costs

Area: Kent
House Type: Four bedroom manor house
House Size: 550m2

An impressive traditionally English oak house with extensive gardens 

I first met Martin and Tracey in October of 2005. Martin had bought a plot of land in the Kent countryside with an old 1950’s bungalow on it, which he aimed to knock down so that he could build a new oak framed house. Martin and Tracey had been to one of our open days at Bill and Gill Wade’s, and decided that they would like to build a traditional style manor house.

I travelled down to Kent and met Martin and Tracey at their little cottage and went through the Oakwrights book, picking out ideas for the style and layout of their new home. With the general idea of the style of house in place I introduced Martin to John Williams, one of our architectural designers. John then worked with Martin to produce a design that would suit the requirements of Martin and Tracey’s young family.


Making way for a new oak home

We are involved in many projects where an existing house which is really beyond economical renovation is demolished to make way for a new home. With Martin this was the case, where we were looking to demolish a bungalow and replace with a small oak frame manor house. The planners were not too happy with the proposed increase to the ridge height of our initial design, which was for a full two storey house when the original dwelling was a dormer bungalow. John Williams consulted with the planners and adjusted the ridge height of the design and consequently the planning consent was gained. In many ways the reduction in ridge height has resulted in a much more interesting house with the change in levels of the roof line.

The Oakwrights oak frame 

We are finding that the planning process is becoming ever more drawn out and our architect designers have to work harder than ever to gain the best possible planning consents for our clients. The build started on site in late 2006 and the Oakwrights oak frame arrived on site on a cold February morning. Saso and his team put the frame up and then the build progressed towards completion. I have kept in touch with Martin and Tracey and I visited them in December of 2009. The build had turned out even better than I had anticipated and it was obvious that it would be a great house to get some professional pictures of. On a sunny summer’s evening I met up with one of our photographers to take some evening shots and then we returned on the following morning for the full shoot. As you can see, the main body of the house is a storey and a half with three large bedrooms on the first floor. There is a large vaulted hall way with arch brace trusses sweeping up from a full two storey glazed window that looks out over the rear gardens.

The ground floor of the house is built with brick externally and has oak framing dropping down to the floor on some internal partitions. You enter the house through a brick porch with dragon beams and jetties over. This gives a striking entrance to the house as you walk over the glazed panel in the floor that allows you to look down into the wine cellar below, and then move through to the vaulted dining hall. On the ground floor there is a sitting room, large office, dining entrance hall, WC, utility room, kitchen and large vaulted family room.

The vaulted family room and kitchen are the main focal points of the house, and where the family spend most of their time. The kitchen, which is set below the bedrooms, opens out into a large open space that has two feature arch brace trusses. In turn this opens onto the rear patio offering easy access to the garden at any time. The house has extensive gardens which are laid out as a traditional English garden, and as you will see from the photographs look wonderful. The trees in the outlying areas give a great place for the children to play and have adventures.

Inside the oak manor house 

There is also a full-size basement below the house that has a full suite as a guest bedroom area. Also, there is a luxurious home cinema room, gymnasium, children’s play room, a sitting and entertaining area plus a wine cellar. On the first floor, one wing is completely given over to the master bedroom, dressing room and en-suite. The master bedroom has large French doors opening out onto a covered balcony with wonderful views up the garden to the woods beyond. The master bedroom has an arch brace feature truss positioned directly above the bed. From the master bedroom, you can drink your Sunday morning cup of tea looking out onto your gardens. The master bedroom en-suite is pure luxury with an oversized his and hers bath and large tiled shower cubicle set within the vaulted oak roof space.The vaulted landing has a large void overlooking the dining hall and fire place below, and over the front porch is the family bathroom. The right hand wing of the house has two bedrooms which are the children’s bedrooms. One is set for a little boy and one for a little girl. Naturally, the little girl’s bedroom has the en-suite.

From the pictures, you will see that Tracey’s eye for detail and decoration has given this traditional oak framed house an open and more contemporary look to the interior. While traditional looking, the house boasts a host of modern features running from the geothermal heating system, the advanced lighting system the cutting edge cinema room, to glazing in the dining hall that becomes opaque at the touch of a switch.


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