Meet our oak frame self-builder homeowners | Part 3

From initial client discussions which transform into approved oak frame designs, through to our workshops, on-site construction and all the vital departments in-between; here at Oakwrights our teams work together, sharing their specialist expertise, to ensure every oak frame home, extension and outbuilding meets our clients’ exact needs and will last a lifetime.

In fact, members of our teams are so passionate about oak as a natural construction material and the amazing benefits a frame provides, they have self-built their homes with oak too! So, if you have a vision in mind for your future oak frame project and/or you are researching the best self-build route for you, we would like to introduce you to our three-part Q&A series, where you will read first-hand experiences from the following oak frame homeowners: Charlie Mills – our Managing Director, Rupert Osborn – one of our Business Development Managers and Iain Hendry – our Scottish Project Manager.

Iain and his family designed and built their dream oak frame home and a complementary room above garage in Scotland. In Part 3 below, Iain answers a handful of key self-build questions based on his family’s home building journey…

An exterior image of Iain's oak frame home, designed to meet their needs and complement the local vernacular

Q: Which self-build route did you choose, and why was this route right for you?

A: We self-managed the build of our home. Having built and renovated a few homes in my time, I was able to employ the very best trades directly and negotiate the best product rates from suppliers. This allowed us to incorporate some quality products into our new home that were competitively priced.

If I didn’t have the experience, a good Project Manager is worth their weight in gold!


Q: Why did you choose to frame your home with oak?

A: Oak creates such a fabulous look and special ambience within a home: an investment that is worth every penny!

The garden area presents the perfect space for each family member to make the most of during the warmer months

Q: How did you finance your build?

A: Handelsbanken Bank agreed the facility, and this was then drawn down in tranches to cover the build schedule. Lenders need to be reassured that you know what you are doing, therefore a clear cash flow that has been priced out accurately over the build with a percentage contingency is paramount.


Q: Did you face any challenges during your home building journey? If so, how did you overcome them?

A: Planning can be a real challenge when it comes to timelines, however, a good architectural design that is sympathetic to the local vernacular will help. Thankfully our local planner loves oak!

Site challenges can be minimised by ensuring clear timelines for trades and materials, and communication is king. Having a good team around you, from design to management and contractors, will pay dividends.

The oak radiates warmth and helps to create a peaceful ambience in their master bedroom

Q: What three pieces of advice would you offer to someone planning a self-build project?


1. Take time to carefully consider every aspect of your oak framed home design, and engage with an Architect who is familiar with oak before you start, as it can be tricky trying to incorporate a frame into a home that has not been designed for one! Make any changes you have during this phase too and not when your home is under construction.

2. Have the right site team around you to ensure transparency, good organisation and communication through all channels.

3. Funding: always have a contingency allowance, and ensure your lender is on side with your schedule of payments for your build from day one.


To read our Q&A’s with Charlie and Rupert, simply follow the links below!

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