Oak frame home whole front perspective

The Difference Between A Timber Frame House & An Oak Frame House

By | Build process, Design

Timber Frame Or Oak Frame?

The wonderful thing about an oak frame is that it can be incorporated into almost any form of house construction, including timber frame, to bring a warmth and character unachievable in any other way.

Including oak frame into your timber frame house doesn’t need to be an all or nothing decision. The use of elements of oak frame in key areas can add a wow factor to the hallway, master bedroom or living area.

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The Complete Oak Home offer something rather different, not oak frame manufacturers but oak frame experts who design & build oak frame homes. 

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE

The one thing that has enabled us to progress is I believe finding a company that is prepared to partner with us from the very beginning and take us through planning, design/costing, tendering and build through to completion (or to any stage along the way). The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us. 

M SMITH - KEARY

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

Timber Frame, Oak Frame, Panelised or Stick Frame; Which Is Which?

Oak frame is a structural frame that is visible inside the house (and occasionally outside), it’s made of large section oak and is chosen for the warm and characterful aesthetic it brings to the house.

Panelised systems are made from small section (150mm x 50mm) softwood and sheet timber (like ply wood) that make up the walls of a house. They encapsulate the insulation, they can be pre-fabricated off site or fabricated on site. In an oak framed house they are often used to wrap around the oak frame to create the walls.

Panelised systems also come either open or closed. An open system doesn’t have the inner board fitted so that insulation can be installed on site. A closed system does have the inner board fitted and the insulation, vapour barriers and membranes are installed in the factory.

Stick frame is often used when referring to a panelised system that is fabricated on site.

People tend to use Timber frame as a generic term to refer to any of the above.

Timber Frame Systems

Timber framed systems have earned a rightful reputation as an economic and fast form of construction.

Having been fabricated off site, from drawings provided by the designer, panelised systems or kits arrive on site once the ground work is complete. This enables the self-builder to get wind and weather tight quickly.

If we’ve designed oak frame into your house we’ll ensure that it works seamlessly with the timber frame.

Timber frame kits come in all sorts of guises, open panel, closed panel, structural, non-structural, pre-fabricated or on site fabrication. The one best suited to your project will depend on a plethora of options, how much insulation you want, what type of insulation you want, which offers the most efficient solution, site conditions, access and so on.

When you’re working with us we’ll talk you through the options and help you make an informed choice.

How Much Will A Timber Frame House Cost Me?

One of the first things you are likely to want to know is how much an oak timber frame house is likely to cost you. Because of the nature of self-building a new house you won’t be able to get a fixed price on day one. It is an iterative process that should run alongside the development of the design for your house. However you’ll need to know if your project and budget are feasible and we can certainly give you some guidance.

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION
Oak frame home sketch

Launching Our Self-Build Video Series

By | Are we the right fit?, Build process, Contract, Costs, Design, FAQs, News, Planning, Risks, Value, Videos

Creating the Self-Build Video Series

 

We have created a how to build a house course for our clients. Many clients come to us completely in the dark about the whole process of building a house. They often find that a lot of resources out there are unreliable, outdated, and not realistic. We are completely committed to providing our clients with plenty of help and thoughts this would be the perfect time to create a video series giving them all the information they need through their home-building journey.

Our main objective that we wanted to achieve through this project was to provide solid and easy to understand information and to be a company which our clients would come to for self-build resources.

We set out to plan out the content we wanted to include for our viewers. Using our road map as a guidance, download here for FREE (link Road Map freebie), we listed the process which a typical client goes through to get their dream home. We then broke it down into 9 separate topics as follows:

  • Design and Build Process
  • Project Appraisal
  • Up To Planning
  • The Planning Process
  • The Construction Package
  • Value Engineering
  • Tender Vs Negotiated Process
  • Build Contract
  • The Role of a Contract Administration

Everything you need to kick-start your turnkey bespoke home project.

Why we created it

The aim of creating this video was to give people information they may not already have. We want our viewers to be confident they know what is involved in the process of building a house, including the risks and pitfalls. There’s a huge misconception from builders about what goes on behind the scenes who often make the process sound very straight forward, quick, and often refer to unrealistic costs. Sadly, that’s not always the case. We go above and beyond to make sure you’re leaving your screen with confidence of how to build a house. We give you an accurate portrayal of all the different steps involved, and guidance and advice to make sure you’re working towards a realistic time and budget.

 

How we created it

Although we have used our own resources before this for creating videos for our Youtube channel, we concluded that this was to be more successful with a professional videographer who could provide the equipment as well as the editing skills. We felt this would be more suitable for what we were envisioning for the videos. Green Kiwi Productions was recommended to us and, after looking at their work and discussing their offerings, we felt confident they could deliver what we were looking for. They offered a very casual approach to presenting the videos which was exactly what we were after.

Working alongside Green Kiwi Productions, we discussed various ideas and ways to present this. The key priority was to make it personal and in a casual setting. We wanted to give it a quite informal approach and keep them short and to the point so that our audience would remain captivated and understand the information.

If you haven’t yet discovered our self-build video series but would like to sign up to receive them for free then please click below!

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

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Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

Picture showing rows of lavender in a field with a sunset in th ebackground

Design Features We Love For 2019

By | Design

Design Features We Love For 2019

 

One of the biggest advantages to building your own oak frame home, is being able to design and create a home that suits you and your lifestyle. Another one of our favourite advantages of a self-build project though, is being able to incorporate the latest styles and trends into your new home.

What is better than creating a space that is 100% you, but that is also at the forefront of the latest trends and feels modern and stylish too?

Here are some of the newest home design trends to look out for in 2019:

Oak Frame Homes

Oak frame homes are a growing trend year on year. An oak frame home offers you the beautiful character and personality of an older or more traditional home, but has all the benefits of a brand new build, with a bespoke design tailored exactly for the way you want to live.

Floral Materials

Using floral materials around the house is a big trend for 2019. Floral materials add texture to a space, bringing the outside in, and really harmonising the nature and landscape surrounding a home with the interior decor.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Eco Features

We spoke about this in more detail in our eco friendly design tips post, and we’re seeing more and more people taking an interest in eco design features. Caring about the planet, energy usage and sustainability is becoming extremely popular and making your home more eco-friendly has never been more in vogue.

Bold Colours

Bold colours will be the popular choice of the year, so if you’re looking for a bold statement to bring into your new home, this might be your style. Bold colours such as blue, red, and even black, will add a striking effect to a space. We love seeing people incorporate more dramatic colours into their homes.

Concrete Accents

2018 might have been the year of ‘brass’ but 2019 will be the year of concrete. Concrete creates a real statement in a house and a beautiful contrast by using the right materials to match the concrete effect. The simple yet classic and industrial feel of concrete is what’s making it such a popular choice for 2019. You can bring it into your home in a variety of ways: using concrete kitchen worktops, flooring, or even lighting. 

We are very happy to work with you, or your interior designer if you have one, to incorporate the design features you would like into your scheme. If you’d like to find out how we could work together, please call us on 01249 479891. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

So what is a contract administrator and why would I need one?

By | Design

So what is a contract administrator and why would I need one?

 

Contract administrator. Not the most exciting title and probably one most people have never heard of and have little idea what one does.

But for a self-builder this role is one of the most important for your project and can mean the difference between a build that comes in on time and on budget and one where costs spiral, problems and disputes arise and deadlines slip.

For many people, going ahead with their bespoke home is the culmination of a long-held dream. It may have been years in the planning and a significant financial investment. So why risk something so important? Building your unique home is complex and challenging and can easily go wrong.

So what does a contract administrator do and how do you find one? Put simply, the CA monitors the proper performance of the contract for your build on behalf of you, the client. The CA ensures the fixed price contract is being adhered to; resolve any disputes that might arise and they keep a close eye on the budget. At TCOH, we provide the impartial CA role as part of our turnkey offer to our clients.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

‘Oh I see, a project manager for my build.’

Actually, no. A CA doesn’t project manage. The CA doesn’t arrange supplies or engage contractors. The CA’s role is to act on behalf of the client monitoring the contract and ensuring the build is progressing in accordance with it.

‘I don’t need a CA, I can do that role for myself. What can a contract administrator do that I can’t?’

Having a professional, experienced CA minimises the significant risks of something going wrong that self-builders, particularly those doing a one-off scheme, face. How many times have you watched a TV programme such as Grand Designs and seen a self-build spiral out of control blowing the budget and going way over deadline? It’s easy for things to go wrong even for the most hands-on clients. Your contract administrator is a professional  with the skills, expertise and experience to minimise those risks for you, the client.

The key, core element of the CA’s role is to ensure the contract is giving you, the client, best value for money. We do this by keeping the programme on track and closely monitoring the costs. This means you, the client, can be confident in paying the contractor’s bills as we will have checked everything before issuing a payment certificate confirming it is valid and in line with the contract.

It all sounds obvious but clients can get into difficulties through no fault of their own, often with significant financial implications.

TCOH’s Andy Parker: “This is an extreme example, but it shows what can happen if you don’t have a competent contract administrator on your project. A self-builder we know of paid £100,000 to an off-site sub-contractor to manufacture the panelised wall system. The sub-contractor went in to administration shortly afterwards. A contract administrator would not have allowed the client to become financially exposed in this way.

“In another example a contract administrator received a monthly valuation from the builder for the construction of the roof on a house. It was apparent from a site visit that the roof was no more than 20% complete. Whilst the builder maintained that it would shortly be finished and therefore his claim valid, the CA determined that only 20% of the value would be paid on the current valuation.”

Changes to the design, specification or materials can impact on the cost of a project and can be an area of contention between main contractors and clients. The CA plays a key role in ensuring any variations are properly priced and agreed by both parties before issuing variation orders.

When the build is finished, the CA handles any snagging issues with the builder and the final bill is paid only when the scheme is signed off. So having a contract administrator on your project gives you peace of mind and the confidence of knowing that your beautiful new, bespoke home has the greatest possibility of being built on time and on budget. That’s worth having.

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Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

It's been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY

To me turnkey means that you have a safe pair of hands to look after you through the whole process. But I was also quite nervous of it because I really wanted to be involved in all of the decision making, and needed to know that I wasn’t going to left out of the process. Your turnkey service means that I am really enjoying the journey of building our dream holiday home. I get to be involved in all of the nice bits knowing that you take care of all of the stressful bits!

C NASH

“The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.”

K HANSON

Equestrian oak frame home in the Cotswolds with balcony, and views of the garden and driveway.

Why An Oak Frame Home Is More Achievable Than You Think

By | Design

Why An Oak Frame Home Is More Achievable Than You Think

 

Is this the year you’re finally taking the leap to building your own oak frame home? For most of us, building and designing our own home is a lifelong dream, but more and more people are now realising that it’s a dream they can achieve sooner than they originally thought.

 So, whether you’ve been putting it off for fear of lack of time or lack of funds, at Complete Oak Home we hope to help you realise that building your own oak frame home may be more achievable than you originally thought.

Building your own oak frame home doesn’t need to be something you keep putting back year after year, it can be something you do in the imminent future, with our careful planning and guidance helping you through the process. Perhaps this year is the time to make your dream a reality.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

So how can we help, and what makes us a smart choice?

As an oak frame design and build specialist (and not oak frame manufacturers) we have all the oak frame expertise, but we will be able to work a clever design around your budget, including oak frame in the areas most important to you. Because we don’t manufacture the oak frame, we can include as much or as little oak frame into your design – which can make the process more cost friendly. Sometimes we don’t even include any oak frame, but work with clients who simply want our turnkey expertise.

We are a client focussed company too. We work within the budget YOU set, and we strive to provide the best design and features for you within this.

Our turnkey solution means your home is complete and ready to move in. You don’t need to worry about sourcing different suppliers or spending extra after the build to add in finishing touches.

If the thought of dealing with multiple suppliers and managing multiple aspects of the build seemed daunting and was putting you off taking this leap, you can rest assured that we take care of all the tricky stuff, and manage the entire process on your behalf. The control and creativity stays with you – but we keep the technical and complex parts with us, so you can enjoy building your dream home.

If you would like to talk to us about your new oak frame house, and would like some information on how to work out a realistic budget, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01249 479891, we’re very happy to help.

Here’s an example of a successful oak frame build

Our clients chose to work with us because they wanted one point of contact, a client focused company, a full turnkey service, and they wanted to know that it was a cost friendly approach.

front and side exterior showing large glazed entrance with oak door
Oak frame upper landing oak arch beams glazed bannister

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Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

Ceiling showing exposed oak frame beams

Why Is It Difficult To Find A Builder For Your Project?

By | Build process, Design

Why Is It Difficult To Find A Builder For Your Project?

 

We are often asked how we manage to have such a strong network of good available builders working on our projects. We hear people say that there aren’t any builders available in their area for the next year. How do we do it?

Firstly, let’s understand why there is a perception that good builders are in short supply.

Builders must often tender for work and might only have a success rate of 15% – 20%. It takes a great deal of time for them to put together a properly considered tender where they can be confident they’ll be competitive without being at undue risk of losing money.

It follows that competent builders will only price jobs where they are confident they have sufficient information to do so properly. Comprehensive information also means that anyone else tendering will be doing so on a like for like basis. It means that the project is real, and a meaningful investment has already been made in getting a good end product.

Few builders will price a job based on planning drawings. Some might price a job on building regulations drawings, but these will be very short on detail. Competent builders will only price a good set of construction drawings and a detailed specification.

So, some builders will decline to price projects, saying they are too busy when they really mean the project doesn’t warrant the time they will have to invest. Being unable to get builders to price a scheme probably has less to do with availability and more to do with the quality of the documentation and likelihood of them winning the job on a fair price.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Tendering versus a negotiated contract

The two most widely recognised ways of getting to a fixed price for a bespoke home building project are tender or negotiated contract. When tendering, a pack of information is sent to several builders, all of whom will price for the job. With a negotiated contract, one preferred builder is selected, and a price is negotiated.

If you tender, you can’t involve the builder until the construction package is ready. With a negotiated contract the builder can be involved much earlier in the process. Providing you can be satisfied that they are giving a fair price they can be confident of getting the job.

If friends and neighbours tell you they can’t get anyone to price building work, don’t read too much in to it.

Why we can get builders when we need them

  • We involve the builder early on, so they know the project is going forward
  • We nearly always work on a negotiated contract basis, so the builder has greater confidence he will get the job (providing we can reach a fair price) and will be willing to schedule it in to their programme of work much earlier than in the tendering process
  • Builders like to work with us because of the projects we do, and they know our approach is fair and collaborative rather than the somewhat adversarial nature of many building projects. They will therefore prioritise and make availability for our projects.

If you would like to talk to us regarding this subject or any issues you think may have an impact to your build, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01249 479891, we’re very happy to help.

How simple was it to find a builder for this project?

We have a builder who had worked with us on multiple projects, likes the work we do and is always keen to work with us and our clients. They are generally eager to accommodate the project into their work program.

The entrance of the oak frame house

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Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We had experienced difficulties with another company but from the moment we met Andy our faith in the project had been restored. He understood what we wanted and listened very carefully to our needs. He talked about structure and wood which was so interesting, and he was clearly so much more of an expert in his field than other people we had spoken to.

P MICHIELS

Building a house has been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY

eco-friendly house model with seedling coming out of chimney being held in the palm of a hand

Eco-friendly House Design Ideas

By | Design

Eco-friendly House Design Ideas

 

In recent years we’ve seen a huge surge in eco-friendly self-build projects and phrases such as “smart technology”, “passive design” and “sustainable living” are featured in every homebuilding magazine. If you’re looking to create your perfect home, an eco-friendly approach is not just for tree-hugging hipster-types. Taking a “greener” perspective can offer huge benefits to running costs as well as interior comfort and your own personal well being.

Saving energy from the outset

Planning is key. While you can retrofit certain energy-saving features, if you start your building process with energy-saving and eco-friendly initiatives in mind, you can create a beautiful home that is designed to complement its environment.  Thinking about your project’s orientation, and maximising the amount of natural light in the rooms that you use the most, is the simplest way to improve energy efficiency, but it can go much further than that.

We have highlighted some of the most innovative, yet affordable, eco-friendly features to include in your new-build design:

Sustainable building materials

Oak frames are becoming more and more fashionable in the housing industry, which is looking towards using sustainable materials. You can ensure that your hardwood frame (typically oak-framed in the UK) is sourced responsibly by looking for certification schemes. 

Insulation is the main element of your house-build that will enable you to improve your energy efficiency and the heating costs associated with your home. These can also be sourced sustainably, try using recycled or natural materials such as newspaper pulp or sheep’s wool.

Triple glazing and low-emissivity coated glass can dramatically reduce the amount of heat lost compared to standard double glazing. This means that you can still have those dramatic vistas and natural light, without compromising your energy-efficiency, creating a stylish space for modern living.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Generating your own energy

Installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on a roof or elsewhere on your plot is increasing in popularity in the UK. Small-scale wind turbines and ground-source heat pumps are also an option for generating your own renewable energy. The government is currently trying to encourage people to adopt renewable energy at home using schemes such as the “Feed-In Tariff”, where you can potentially claim money back from your energy supplier for the energy you have generated through your solar panels or wind turbines.

Recycling excess heat

Mechanical ventilation recovery systems provide clean, fresh air to your home without losing heat energy. The warm air is extracted from inside the house while fresh air is brought in from outside. Each of these ventilation streams pass over a heat exchange element (usually hidden in the roof structure) which transfers the heat to the clean air that then enters your home. Good ventilation is known to have health benefits, and these systems can reduce the amount of heat lost, helping you to create a healthy, happy, eco-friendly home.

Taking advantage of the British weather

A rainwater harvesting system incorporated into the design of your house could cut your water bills by up to 50%. The rainwater runs off the roof into the guttering system then filtered to remove any debris. The water is then stored in an underground tank and can be used for a variety of applications; WC flushing, garden watering and irrigation, washing cars or domestic laundry.

Final fitting options

Smart thermostats have been available on the market for a few years. They allow you to control your heating remotely, e.g. from your smartphone, and can “learn” your habits to ensure your heating and hot water systems are only on when you need them.

LED lighting is now fairly standard in homes across the UK. They use less energy and have a longer lifespan than their standard or halogen counterparts. You can improve energy savings even further by installing timer switches or motion sensors.

If you have a plot, and you’d like to speak to us about planning, cost or the general feasibility of your project, please give us a call on 01249 479 890 and we’ll be happy to help.

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

Inspiring home decor ideas showing living area, large windows and stylish living room furniture

Where to find inspiring home decor ideas

By | Design

Where To Find Inspiring Home Decor Ideas

 

When your new home is built and you have the keys, the most exciting thing to follow is planning the decor and really making the house into a home. Whilst twenty years ago we may have been relying on magazines to fuel our ideas, the internet is now home to so many incredible sources of inspiration.

So, if you’re looking for some amazing ideas for your own home, or maybe a new home, then these websites will need to be saved to your bookmarks.

Pinterest

www.pinterest.co.uk

The mother of all inspiration websites. Pinterest is essentially a virtual scrapbook, where you can save lots of different inspiration from all around the web. You can browse through pre-pinned content by searching for users and keywords, or you can start pinning your own content, and use it as somewhere to house all your ideas.

Design Milk

http://design-milk.com/

If you love quirky design, and appreciate the art of simplicity – then Design Milk will have loads of home decor inspiration you’ll love. The home decor on this site is undoubtedly cool, with sleek minimalist inspiration, and bold one-off ideas.

Room Envy

http://www.roomenvy.co.uk/

Dedicated to finding the most must-have schemes and styles, this is a site to visit if you love being on top of the current fashions. From cool kitchens, to beautiful bedrooms – there’s a little bit of everything here and the layout makes it all really easy to find and browse.

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/

You might have thought Instagram was just for sharing holiday snaps – but it’s actually a great source of inspiration for all kinds of home ideas. Start off by searching relevant hashtags such as #homedecor #homestyle #newhome and go from there. Because you’re looking at un-curated images from ordinary people, you might stumble across ideas you haven’t seen before.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Air BnB

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/

We know this isn’t an obvious choice, but this property rental website is known for great photography, and on most property listings there are multiple images of inside the house / apartment / etc. It’s a great way to look inside real houses, and see what real people are doing with real spaces like yours.

Elle Decor

http://www.elledecor.com/

A classic choice, Elle Decor is a fantastic source of home decor inspiration. They update regularly on their website, so you’ll find fresh article every day to be inspired by. Their style is mostly feminine or modern, so great if those are key aspects of your home style too.

Houzz

https://www.houzz.co.uk/

One of the biggest home decor websites, it’s constantly updated with inspiring ideas, examples and inspiration. There are a range of styles to browse through and the blog posts are seemingly endless – so you’re sure to find something you like the look of!

RIBA

https://www.architecture.com/

If you like to look through finished examples of beautiful properties and stunning architecture, RIBA is a great place to find inspiration. We recommend browsing through their blog posts and social media channels.

If you would like to talk to us about your new oak frame house, and would like some information on how to work out a realistic budget, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01249 479890, we’re very happy to help.

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Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

pre-construction information pack

Pre-Construction Information Pack – What Is It & Why Do You Need It?

By | Contract, Costs, Design, Risks, Value

Pre-Construction Information Pack – What Is It & Why Do You Need It?

 

What Is A Pre-Construction Information Pack?

The pre-construction information pack is often confused with building regulations, which are actually a very small sub set of what’s in the pack. It includes:

1. Full Construction Drawings

For most house schemes this will be between 30 and 40 detailed drawings from foundations to window and door detailing. They will often include drawings of sections through parts of the house showing specific details so you can be confident the design details you’ve discussed with your architect will be executed once on site.

2. Finishes Schedule

This document details the specific fixtures, fitting and finishes in every room of the house as well as the materials to be used externally. Working closely with your architect should help you to make the necessary decisions given both your aspirations for your home and your budget.

3. Building Regulations Information

This is a relatively small amount of information required to satisfy a building control body that the scheme will meet the required regulations. This may be a local authority or independent company.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Why Do You Need A Pre-Construction Information Pack?

This comprehensive pack of documents is crucial for several reasons:

1. Accurate Costing

It allows the scheme to be accurately costed and for a reliable fixed contract sum to be agreed

2. Accurate Construction

It provides all the information needed from which to construct the house, thus ensuring it is built as designed and not diluted by vagaries that allow a builder to interpret the design and specification as he sees fit

3. Enables Contract Administration

It provides a robust set of documentation from which the construction contract can be administered i.e. monthly contractor valuations for work undertaken and any variations you might want to make

To read more about contract administration then click here.

4. Allows Cost Engineering

A rigorous technical design process allows the opportunity for cost engineering as you go

5. Reduces Interpretation & Misunderstanding

Without the necessary documentation, the scheme will be open to interpretation and misunderstanding. It can lead to the dilution of the design as contractors interpret the information they do have, sometimes to suit themselves. In our experience this leads to an adversarial culture on the site and a high likelihood of unexpected additional costs.

6. It Saves You Money

Money spent on a comprehensive pre-construction information pack will be saved many times over in value engineering if you progress down a negotiated contract route or tender evaluation if you choose a tendering route.

If you would like to talk to us about your new oak frame house please don’t hesitate to call us on 01249 479890, we’re very happy to help.

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Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Initially our feeling was one of relief and disbelief! A unanimous committee decision was far more than we had expected. It has still not properly sunk in nearly a week on. We feel as though our first assessment of what could be achieved on the site has been vindicated with the expertise of The Complete Oak Home and their planning team.

G & S HUNT

Having steered our project through challenging planning issues, Andy and his team worked tirelessly to ensure our new home is both what we wanted and within our means.

N RISDALE

I just want to say a huge thank you for today. You were really professional and it was a pleasure to watch. We have taken it as a positive result, albeit a delay, but I guess that’s a function of this business as well as mine! You are a real asset and we are so happy with everything you do for us, worth every penny.

D & K SMITH

Looking for a plot

The Two Things You MUST Know When Looking For A Plot

By | Build process, Costs, Design, Planning, Risks, Value

The Two Things You MUST Know When Looking For A Plot

 

Looking for a plot of land to build on is one of the most challenging aspects of building your own home. Setting aside the normal requirements of buying a house e.g. getting the right location, access to amenities and schools and so on, you have the additional consideration of viability as a self-build plot.

There are tonnes of articles online that go into huge detail about how to find your perfect plot. At Complete Oak Home we like to keep things simple, and so have highlighted below the two most important things you need to consider. The first being plot viability and the second financial viability.

Looking For A Plot Of Land To Build On – 2 Key Things To Find Out:

1. Plot Viability

When considering the viability you should look at the likelihood of getting planning permission for the house you want to build. First look at the current use of the land and its relationship to other development. Look for a plot that already has residential use and either has a building on it or is within a development boundary. Infill plots or large gardens can present an opportunity. If you would like advice on planning viability feel free to call us. We can usually carry out some preliminary evaluation and advise you free of charge.

Next, investigate the chances of being able to put up a house of the size and style that you want. Local planning policy will guide you. If there is an existing house on the plot the policy will guide you on how much of an increase in size you will be allowed with your new house. If you want to re-locate your new house on the site there may be a natural ‘building line’ which the planners would want you to stay within.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

2. Financial Viability

For most people financial viability is also a consideration. Once they’ve finished their project they want the property (house and land) to be worth at least as much as they have invested in it. If you intend to live in the property for a long time then you may be comfortable with a break even position or even a small loss in the short term.

How to find a plot:

  • Net based plot finding services, normally subscription based where you can set search criteria.
  • Identify the area in which you want your plot and register with estate and land agents. Keep reminding them you’re serious. In our experience you’ll drop off their radar quite quickly so a regular phone call reminds them you’re still there.
  • Some people have been very proactive, dropping leaflets through the doors of houses with large gardens that might be appropriate for splitting.

We hope this information gives you some insight into how to find a plot for your project. However, there are many things that are project specific. If you would like to talk to us about your new oak frame house please don’t hesitate to call us on 01249 479890, we’re very happy to help.

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Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Initially our feeling was one of relief and disbelief! A unanimous committee decision was far more than we had expected. It has still not properly sunk in nearly a week on. We feel as though our first assessment of what could be achieved on the site has been vindicated with the expertise of The Complete Oak Home and their planning team.

G & S HUNT

Having steered our project through challenging planning issues, Andy and his team worked tirelessly to ensure our new home is both what we wanted and within our means.

N RISDALE

I just want to say a huge thank you for today. You were really professional and it was a pleasure to watch. We have taken it as a positive result, albeit a delay, but I guess that’s a function of this business as well as mine! You are a real asset and we are so happy with everything you do for us, worth every penny.

D & K SMITH

How T|o Build Your Oak Frame Home

How To Build An Oak Frame Home

By | Are we the right fit?, Build process, Contract, Costs, Design, Planning, Risks, Value, Videos

How To Build An Oak Frame Home

Creating a traditionally styled bespoke oak frame home with our turnkey solution

Our clients came to us looking for a company to build a unique oak frame house using a full turnkey solution. “This house is set with a beautiful secluded glade surrounded by ancient woodlands. The aim here was to shape the architecture in such a way that it could command the site whilst not effective the openness of the green belt,” says Josh Wood, Architectural Designer on the project. “A three winged form has been proposed to achieve this. This geometry enables 3 separated courtyards to suit the client’s aspirations: A welcome entrance, raised morning garden and sunny patio.” This grand oak frame home is looking to be finished in 2018.

Bespoke Turnkey Home within woodland area
The exterior of a bespoke turnkey home showing the oak frame

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

The Complete Architect Icon

Complete Architect

By | Design

Complete Architect

 

Our architectural services are delivered by our in-house design team, Complete Architect. Complete Architect handles the full range of architectural services including feasibility studies, concept drawings, planning applications (both outline and pre-app), construction drawings and contract administration.

You choose to either work with Complete Oak Home, our complete turnkey company, or Complete Architect if you only need architectural services, the choice is yours. To find out more about the Complete Oak Home turnkey company please click here. Both Complete Architect and Complete Oak Home work on oak frame and non-oak frame projects.

The practice ethos is to create inspiring designs that enable our clients to realise their aspirations. In addition to considerable architectural experience, the strength of the team lies in its in depth knowledge of project cost management and site based pragmatism.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Great design and good cost control means clients ambitions of completing their project come to fruition.

Good architecture is as much about understanding people as it is about creating beautiful homes. Designing for our clients is close to our hearts and starts with developing their brief through a process of listening, enquiry and shared possibilities. But possibilities have to be within reach and our team relish the creativity that comes with constraints. For our clients, design isn’t a theoretical exercise but part of a process leading to a completed project.

Our team are equally adept at contemporary and traditional design, responding to the unique characteristics a site presents and the specific requirements of our clients, resulting in high quality, carefully considered and imaginative architecture.

Enhancing years of architectural experience and training the team use a range of tools, from simple hand sketching to highly sophisticated software to help our clients visualise and contribute to the design process. These include REVIT, Adobe Design Suite and SketchUp Pro.

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We had experienced difficulties with another company but from the moment we met Andy our faith in the project had been restored. He understood what we wanted and listened very carefully to our needs. He talked about structure and wood which was so interesting, and he was clearly so much more of an expert in his field than other people we had spoken to.

P MICHIELS

Building a house has been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY

Self-build turnkey

7 Ways To Turbo-Charge Your Project With A Self-Build Turnkey Solution

By | Are we the right fit?, Build process, Contract, Costs, Design, Planning, Risks

7 Ways To Turbo-Charge Your Project With A Self-Build Turnkey Solution

 

Working with a self-build turnkey company can really turbo-charge your project. You instantly benefit from the coordination, collaboration, cost efficiency and buying power of a well-established company running multiple projects. You have all the expertise you need at your fingertips, meaning you can move things forward immediately. Complete Oak Home has the most comprehensive self-build turnkey solution on the market. Here’s how it can help you turbo-charge your project.

1.     Under one roof

We do more under one roof than anyone else. Our team of architects, project coordinators, cost consultants and contract administrators are here to look after every aspect of our client’s projects.

2.    Cost control

We pay more attention to rigorous cost control than anyone else. Our robust costing processes enable us to advise our clients as they make the multitude of decisions needed to complete their project.

3.    Approach to design

Our unique approach to architectural design fully involves our clients, helping them get the house they want whilst benefiting from our architectural expertise and experience.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

4.    Planning

We have a great track record of getting planning permission on even the most challenging of sites. Whether it’s a straight forward full planning application or a site requiring a considered planning strategy to ensure success, we can help.

5.    Third parties

Where external specialists are needed, such as ecologists and engineers, we appoint them so we have responsibility and control over their performance.

6.    Local construction teams

Working countrywide means we work with local builders to ensure good value and avoid unnecessary costs for our clients. Our construction contracts ensure our clients best interests are served.

7.    Contract administration

Throughout the construction we act as contract administrators, making sure the house is built to specification, the design doesn’t get diluted and the clients only pay the fixed price agreed under the contract.

Due to the distance between our client’s home and the project, they wanted a complete end to end design and build service

Like so many of our clients, they wanted cost control, value engineering, and have a contract administrator on site was particularly important as they live remote to the site.

upper terrace with oak beams and balcony
famiy room with white fabric couches and blue throw and cushions

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

It's been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY

To me turnkey means that you have a safe pair of hands to look after you through the whole process. But I was also quite nervous of it because I really wanted to be involved in all of the decision making, and needed to know that I wasn’t going to left out of the process. Your turnkey service means that I am really enjoying the journey of building our dream holiday home. I get to be involved in all of the nice bits knowing that you take care of all of the stressful bits!

C NASH

“The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.”

K HANSON

Pitfalls for self-builders

The Top 10 Pitfalls for Self-Builders

By | Build process, Contract, Costs, Design, Planning, Risks, Value

The Top 10 Pitfalls For Self-Builders

 

If you’re in the process of trying to work out how much of your project you want to, or can take on, we’ve compiled the top 10 pitfalls for self-builders to be aware of. You may find it useful to understand more about what’s involved at various stages, which professionals would normally undertake the work, and where self-builders are at greatest risk.

1.     Getting planning permission

Getting planning can be problematic on some sites and an architect should advise on the best way to approach it.

This can be as straight forward as preparing your design and submitting a full planning application. It can be as complicated as establishing some key principles through permitted development rights before a pre-planning process, outline planning and full planning application.

Employing an architect should help you minimise your financial risk as you establish the likelihood of getting planning permission for what you want.

2.    Architectural design up to getting your planning permission

This work would normally be carried out by a qualified architect if you want to make the most of what your site offers and want a bespoke design to suit you.

To complete the design and get planning approval the architect might call on specialists to provide information he needs. These are project and site dependent but will often include a topographical survey and a phase one ecological survey. He may also require things such as a heritage statement, visual impact assessment, arboricultural survey and contamination survey to name but a few. Nearly all this information must be carried out by an accredited person if the information is to be considered valid by the planning authority.

Without the necessary information, planning permission will be delayed because the planners won’t have all the information they need. If you haven’t considered the cost associated with getting all the necessary information your budget and financial plan will suffer.

3.    Construction information

To ensure a house is built to the required design and specification, to facilitate accurate costing and allow the build contract to be administered, a comprehensive construction pack must be prepared. This pack includes a small sub-set of information required to meet building regulations.

This work is normally undertaken by an architect and/or an architectural technician. He will work out how best to build the house and often call on other experts for detailed technical information. These might for example, include specialists in home automation, heating and electrical systems or renewable energy. Once complete the information will typically comprise 30 – 40 detailed drawings and a finishes schedule.

Without this information, the design can become diluted by the building contractors. Prices provided by contractors will be unreliable as gaps in information will be replaced by assumptions to suit the contractor. Administration of the contract will be difficult, potentially costlier and requests for additional money from the contractors during the construction, almost inevitable.

4.    Budgeting and cost planning

Budgeting and cost planning for a construction project is complex. Prices change over the duration of the design development, there are a myriad of interrelated components and there is no standard approach.

During the early stages of the design the architect should be considerate of the likely build cost of his proposed design. As the scheme develops a quantity surveyor or cost consultant will sometimes be engaged to further refine the estimated costs. Finally, a price will be put against the scheme either through a negotiated contract process with a nominated contractor or through a tendering process.

Without a robust approach to budgeting and cost planning the self-builder can find they have planning permission for something they can’t afford to build. It is quite possible this fact won’t emerge until all the architectural work is complete and significant cost incurred.

5.    Contracts

The construction contract would normally be prepared by an architect, project manager or contract administrator. The most commonly used type is a JCT (Joint Construction Tribunal) contract. To be robust it must be supported by a comprehensive set of information (the construction pack).

A poorly prepared contract, open to individual interpretation, is difficult to administer fairly and inevitably leads to adversarial relationships between the parties. In turn this results in budget and programme overrun with all the associated costs and angst.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

6.    Getting the design you really want

You don’t want to move in to a completed house and start listing the things you wish you’d done differently otherwise you might as well have bought a house off the open market. Knowing your architect is doing a great job for you will mean being confident their listening to what you want and designing a house you’ll be able to afford to build.

7.    Staying within budget during design

Budget overrun is rightfully most people’s biggest fear. Bear in mind a professionally run construction project will involve a cost consultant or quantity surveyor. It’s worth considering the implications if your project were to overrun by 20%. We frequently see examples self-build overruns of 50% upwards.

You need to be confident at every stage, from when you apply for planning permission to when your house is completed, you’ll still be within budget. There are so many interrelated component parts to a house that cost analysis isn’t simple and with the significant costs of the substructure (below ground) and superstructure it is rarely a case of simply substituting one cost item with another.

8.    Staying within budget during construction

It’s only possible to keep within budget during the construction if you have a comprehensive set of documents, a full construction pack, on which prices have been fixed and contracts agreed. Without these the scope for misunderstanding is significant. A competent contract administrator will ensure the appropriate documents are in place and that they are adhered to by the contractors during construction.

Without a rigorous approach the self-builder can find themselves financially exposed by paying for work and materials not yet incorporated into the build. They are also likely to face claims for variations in cost from the contracts as misinterpretation of what has been priced for comes to light. These additional costs can quickly run to many tens of thousands of pounds.

9.    Programme overrun

This is perhaps the most commonly acknowledged risk of a self-build project. Whilst it is straight forward to get a main contractor to commit to a programme of work, this is almost impossible to achieve when using multiple sub-contractors. They will nearly all be dependent on other contractors on the project over whom they have no control.

The true cost of programme overrun is often overlooked with such things as the cost of alternative accommodation if you have sold your house to fund the build, additional interest on development loans before they can be converted in to a conventional mortgage and the extra cost of site attendances. Site attendances are those things shared across multiple trades such as plant and scaffolding as well as site welfare facilities which must be provided by law.

10.  Contractors going into administration or liquidation

The construction industry is peppered with contractors operating on a small scale, very good at their jobs but less able to manage their finances. Consequently, financial failure is common place.

During construction, the client should never pay for labour or materials that haven’t been incorporated in to the building. Part of the role of a contract administrator is to ensure this doesn’t happen.

In some circumstances, where bespoke products are manufactured off site, an advance payment may be required. In this case a vesting certificate should be issued by the contractor to ensure any goods at their site are clearly marked as the property of the client, thus protecting them from administrators should the business fail.

If you wanted to see what’s needed before actual construction, this post all about pre-construction packs may be useful to you.

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Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The Complete Oak Home offer something rather different, not oak frame manufacturers but oak frame experts who design & build oak frame homes. 

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE

The one thing that has enabled us to progress is I believe finding a company that is prepared to partner with us from the very beginning and take us through planning, design/costing, tendering and build through to completion (or to any stage along the way). The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us. 

M SMITH - KEARY

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

choosing the right architect

Choosing The Right Architect – Our Top Tips

By | Are we the right fit?, Design

Here Are Our Top Tips For Choosing The Right Architect

 

Choosing the right architect shouldn’t be like choosing the right pair of shoes. You shouldn’t have to browse around until you find one that fits or buy a pair you think fit but after a couple of outings prove not to.

A good architect should be able, if willing, to design any style of house. If his preferred style isn’t likely to suit you he should advise you to look elsewhere, not try and shoehorn your aspirations or endeavour to expand your budget to suit his will. All the while charging you a fee for doing so.

However, it may appear you have little option because the architectural process is rarely clear and often confusing. It can appear to be a mystical art. The usual approach seems to be to look at architect’s portfolios, find one you like, take the plunge and hope for the best.

Alternatively, look for a practice not with an in-house style you think suits but with a clear design approach that engages and involves you whilst sharing and employing their skills and expertise to ensure you get the house you want. This should really help you when choosing the right architect.

The more eclectic the architect’s portfolio the more likely they are listening to and creating what their clients want.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Architecture –  the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings

All too many houses fail to get built, either at all or as originally intended, because they are beyond the client’s financial reach. Through the design and specification process the clients budget is stretched to breaking point and the project grinds to a halt.

Even worse, the question of project cost is avoided, the design is developed and put out to tender and only, after substantial investment, financially and emotionally, does the client discover the scheme is beyond their reach.

When choosing the right architect, look for a practice that takes your budget seriously, doesn’t avoid discussions about budget and has a robust process of budgetary control.

A unique design by one of our architects allows clients to have compact suburban home

Given both planning and project constraints, this project design had to be a little out the box. We think the design clearly demonstrates the eclectic mix of projects we do.

compact suburban home
compact suburban home

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Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We had experienced difficulties with another company but from the moment we met Andy our faith in the project had been restored. He understood what we wanted and listened very carefully to our needs. He talked about structure and wood which was so interesting, and he was clearly so much more of an expert in his field than other people we had spoken to.

P MICHIELS

Building a house has been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY

oak frame manufacturers

How We Are Different From Oak Frame Manufacturers

By | Are we the right fit?, Build process, Contract, Costs, Design, Risks, Value

How We Are Different From Oak Frame Manufacturers

 

1. We are different to a oak frame manufacturers because we do not make oak frames

Because we don’t manufacture oak frames, it doesn’t matter to us how much oak frame you have in your house. We believe oak frame buildings are more efficient and perform at their best when combined with other construction methods. Our architects and designers are free to give our clients exactly what they want, bringing together budget, value and design aspirations.

We create unique and stunning homes without any pressure to maximise the amount of oak frame we include.

2. We are different to oak frame manufacturers because of our complete accountability

In the first few weeks of your project we will do a thorough evaluation of your aspirations, your plot and project costs. We will be with you at the end of your project to be held accountable for delivering it within the budget we have agreed.

We offer a fully joined up approach which is different to oak frame manufacturers because we have a contractual responsibility to our clients throughout the whole process.

3. We are different to oak frame manufacturers because we have a unique cost control process

Safe in the knowledge your dream home can be achieved within your budget, our ongoing unique cost control process is designed to ensure we achieve best value for money for your build.

Good cost control has to start with good design. Not only working to the agreed budget, but ensuring the building is optimised for oak frame construction. As we’re not oak frame manufacturers we aren’t constrained by the need to maximise the extent of the oak frame.

By working with us, and taking advantage of our industry knowledge and expertise, you can expect to save 10-15% on your total project costs, compared with self-managing.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

HOW WE WORK WITH OUR CLIENTS

A successful self-build project is the culmination of the skills, expertise and quality of a multitude of experts, services and products. It requires a continuous chain of responsibility from end to end by someone who has the client’s best interests at heart. A product manufacturer, whether they manufacture windows, concrete or oak frames has a vested interest in promoting their own products.

At Complete Oak Home our team of experts advise and help you, as you make all of the necessary decisions. From discussions on project feasibility, design, planning and build – right up to the day we hand you the keys to your dream home. We understand this journey is an intensely personal process and believe it should start with an experienced team who really care. We specialise in working with clients who want to build their home, but don’t want to be self-builders or self-manage their project.

Our team is multi-disciplinary comprising of architects, engineers, construction specialists, cost experts and project coordinators. We work closely together from the start of your project to ensure the house we design and build suits your lifestyle, meets your design aspirations, and comes within your budget.

We don’t just recommend third party builders, tradesman and suppliers. We coordinate them all for you and take responsibility for the whole project from start to finish. We have a contractual responsibility to our clients throughout the whole process.

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Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We had experienced difficulties with another company but from the moment we met Andy our faith in the project had been restored. He understood what we wanted and listened very carefully to our needs. He talked about structure and wood which was so interesting, and he was clearly so much more of an expert in his field than other people we had spoken to.

P MICHIELS

Building a house has been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY

bespoke home

How designing from a blank canvas is the only way to create a truly bespoke home

By | Design

Our Bespoke Home Creation Process

 

The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of the word bespoke is ‘something that is made for a particular customer or user’. As we specialise in working with clients to create their bespoke home, this means every house we create is designed from scratch specifically to meet the needs of everyone who is going to live in it. To achieve this, we start from a completely clean sheet, and work through our unique architectural design process with all our clients.

To some, this can at first appear to be quite a daunting prospect. We are often asked things like ‘How can you design us a home without looking at an existing design as a starting point?, and ‘I need to look at visual examples to show you what I’m looking for”.

We understand how at first this concept can be tricky to grasp, but feel very passionate about adopting this approach. “If you start the design process with visual references, you skip too soon into solutions and don’t spend enough time in the understanding and enquiry stage.” says Luke Jackson, architect at Complete Oak Home.

Starting with a blank canvas can feel daunting, particularly as some architects keep their design process to themselves and only share the ‘outcomes’ at each stage, presenting you with what feels like a series of rather inflexible solutions.

The best architecture evolves through collaboration, bringing together your needs and wishes with our skill and knowledge. It should, in our view, be a ‘client up’ evolution. We are designing your house, on your land with your money whilst bringing our expertise to bear to deliver the best solution.

We use a layered process of enquiry to ensure that we don’t make any assumptions. If our clients tell us they would like a traditional style of house, we make sure we explore exactly what they mean by traditional, as our view may be quite different to theirs. Do they mean they would like to use traditional materials, have a traditional layout, or incorporate traditional design features into their scheme? A design can only be the architect’s interpretation of what you tell him – we need to make sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet!

Designing a bespoke home is a unique opportunity to create a home that properly meets your needs now and in the future. Whilst many people know a lot about what they want before they speak to us, their first briefs are often largely functional, listing the rooms and spaces they need and photos of houses they like.

We think the best way of working to develop our client’s briefs is face to face. Working with you, we enquire about the things that will make your new house a home, what will give it the character you want, and how your lifestyle might and should impact the design. We’ll explore your appetite for different construction types and guide and advise you as we develop a more comprehensive description of your new house.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

1.  Spatial arrangement of your bespoke home

Using plastic shapes to represent different rooms and spaces, together we arrange them to create a flow to the house that best suits how you want to live. Through a process of mutual enquiry, we look at the various options, considering everything from views, privacy, and connection to the outside. We explore how you’ll enter the house, from how it will be used day to day compared with when you have visitors, to where your pets might live.

2. Site analysis

Many sites offer alternatives for the location and orientation of your new home. Understanding the possibilities and challenges is key to finding the best solution. Who in the UK wouldn’t want to make the most of the good weather when it appears? Could the shape and orientation of your bespoke home help create sunny sheltered outside spaces to be enjoyed at every opportunity or provide privacy from neighbours or delivery couriers? It is sometimes beneficial to explore the art of the possible.

3. Designing your bespoke home

With the brief, spatial arrangement and site analysis clearly articulated and understood, our design team can prepare the first draft design. Its purpose is to articulate, by way of a drawing, our interpretation of what we have understood so far. It is not intended and is highly unlikely to be the final solution. That will evolve.

From your feedback at each stage, and with our guidance and architectural experience, the design will develop to a point where the planning application can be submitted. It isn’t necessary to have decided upon every aspect of your new house yet, only those things that will affect the external appearance of it. Phasing and layering decisions makes the process more manageable, easier to comprehend and more enjoyable.

4. Detailed design development

Once the planning submission is made we’ll work with you on a detailed finishes schedule. This will document every finish in every room as well as fixtures, fittings, internal joinery and so on. This enables us to develop the construction drawings from which the house will be built.

Crucially the construction drawings and finishes schedule also enable the production of the buildings regulations drawings, accurate pricing, and provides robust documentation to support the construction contract itself.

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Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

bespoke architecture

Bespoke Architecture. What Is It And What Does It Give You?

By | Design, FAQs

Bespoke Architecture. What Is It And What Does It Give You?

 

We are sometimes asked for floor plans of our house designs, however we don’t have standardised houses that we re-model or adjust. All of our designs are created from scratch as bespoke architecture for one-off private houses. Andy Parker, our Project Consultant, explains what bespoke architecture is and why it is so crucial to creating your dream home…

For many people, having the opportunity to design and build a house is a once in a lifetime prospect. They will often have gone to a lot of trouble to find a plot that offers something they’ve not had with previous properties.

As well as creating a building the owner can be proud of, it’s the job of the architect to make the most of the opportunities a site presents. But architecture isn’t just about design, it’s also about building. If a design doesn’t get built, then at best, it’s a piece of art. So knowing how to mitigate against the challenges a site presents and design a building within the clients’ budget is a key part of the architects’ role.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Making the most of a site requires a thorough understanding of it and careful consideration of the location, orientation and design of the building. The architect must understand the client’s aspirations and help them articulate their brief if they are to design a house that justifies the clients financial and emotional investment.

An architect will typically take 5 years plus to achieve their full qualification. The title ‘architect’ is protected by law and in the UK you can’t refer to yourself as an architect without being fully qualified and being registered with the Architect Registration Board.

So when a qualified architect creates bespoke architecture the result will almost certainly make far more of the client’s investment than can ever be achieved by remodelling or ‘customising’ an existing design. Whilst this approach may have its place, it’s more appropriate when a plot presents very limited options and more like those seen on housing developments. Arguably if you are ending up with a house akin to one on the housing market then that may well be where your money is best spent.

Complete Oak Home incorporates Complete Architect.

The architecture for this oak frame home was designed to command the site whilst not effect the openness of the greenbelt area

The design of this house was carefully considered by our architect Josh Wood as he wanted to make the most of the site without effecting the openness of the greenbelt area.  “A three winged form has been proposed to achieve this. This geometry enables 3 separated courtyards to suit the client’s aspirations: A welcome entrance, raised morning garden and sunny patio. The interior layout is designed to be open plan with an impressive central atrium where the three wings meet. Throughout the day, the occupiers can emigrate with the sun from the east to the west sides of the house to make the most of the stunning countryside views.”

Bespoke Turnkey Home within woodland area
Front view of bespoke turnkey home under construction

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Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

Video – How do you know if you’ve got a good oak frame house design?

By | Design, Videos

How Do You Know If You’ve Got A Good Oak Frame House Design?

 

Andy Parker, Project Consultant at Complete Oak Home, discusses what good oak frame house design looks like, and how to make sure you get a house that works for you.

If you would like to view a PDF of the video transcript please click here.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

We understand having a home designed and built for you is a big decision and choosing the right company to give you exactly what you want is very important too. With us, architectural design starts by listening to your vision, ideas and aspirations.

Our skilled architects will develop simple concept sketches and these will evolve with your input. Next we will prepare detailed drawings of exterior elevations, floor plans and perspectives to show how the design works in its setting. The design process will continue until you are fully confident we’ve achieved exactly what you’re looking for and are ready for us to move to the planning stage.

Our team of specialist architects and designers create spectacular oak frame homes, each one individually designed to your exact requirements, to fit perfectly with your lifestyle.

We are oak frame home specialists, not manufacturers. Oak frame buildings are more efficient and perform at their best when combined with other construction methods. Our architects and designers are free to give our clients exactly what they want, bringing together budget, value and design aspirations.

We create unique and stunning homes without any pressure to maximise the extent of the oak frame.

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

Getting Planning Permission for Your Oak Frame Home

Video – Getting planning permission for your oak frame house

By | Design, Planning, Videos

Getting Planning Permission For Your Oak Frame House

 

Andy Parker, Project Consultant at Complete Oak Home, talks through all of the different routes to planning, and explains which route to take when.

If you would like a pdf transcript of the video please click here.

Armed with information about your plot, the size of oak timber frame house you want to build and where you want to build it we’ll then look at the local planning policies and the planning history of the site.

The planning policies of your local planning authority will have been developed within the guidelines of the National Planning Policy Framework. This means that we can quickly look at the local planning policies and identify those that need to be considered when we design your oak timber frame house. There may be some that will need special consideration and will have to be specifically addressed with the planners when the planning application is made.

Among other things, the planning history tells us if previous planning conditions have been applied to the site or whether an existing property on the site has been extended (this may limit any increase in size for your new house). We’ll also look at where the site is located in relation to conservation areas, green belt, areas of outstanding natural beauty and other designated zones that may have a bearing on the design of your oak timber frame home.

Once we’ve all agreed your project is feasible and you’ve decided we’re the right partner to design and build your oak frame home, we’ll develop the designs ready for the planning application.

This begins with the original concept sketches and developing them further with you. There’ll be lots of decisions to make but we’ll guide you all the way.

Planners are concerned with the size, height and overall volume of the building. They’ll also look at the location of the site, any impact on neighbours and how it looks from the outside. There’s a limit to what planners have control over, for example they have no control on how the inside of the house looks – so at this stage there are lots of decisions which can be left until later. Normally it will take a few iterations of the design before we and you are happy for us to submit the planning application for your new oak timber framed house.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Pre-Application

For difficult to obtain planning permission, in which we have considerable experience, we may use planning consultants, and often go through a pre-application planning process. The ‘pre-app’ allows us to gain initial feedback from the relevant planning authority to test out our designs and arguments prior to incurring the cost of the design process, avoiding costly delays in time.

Planning Submission

As with all aspects of our turnkey service, we’ll deal with everything; design and access statements, topographical surveys, arboriculturists, and even bat and newt surveys where necessary.

Once submitted, we’ll actively monitor its progress and by doing so can sometimes address concerns from planners and keep things on track for a decision within the statutory period.

For most people getting planning permission is a point for celebration in the design and build process. It’s perhaps the first time they allow themselves to believe they really will be building their very own, bespoke oak frame house.

Costs & Budget

Once we’re close to being able to submit a planning application our quantity surveyor will review the project to make sure it’s within your budget. We will never submit a planning application until you are comfortable you can afford to build your home.

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Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Initially our feeling was one of relief and disbelief! A unanimous committee decision was far more than we had expected. It has still not properly sunk in nearly a week on. We feel as though our first assessment of what could be achieved on the site has been vindicated with the expertise of The Complete Oak Home and their planning team.

G & S HUNT

Having steered our project through challenging planning issues, Andy and his team worked tirelessly to ensure our new home is both what we wanted and within our means.

N RISDALE

I just want to say a huge thank you for today. You were really professional and it was a pleasure to watch. We have taken it as a positive result, albeit a delay, but I guess that’s a function of this business as well as mine! You are a real asset and we are so happy with everything you do for us, worth every penny.

D & K SMITH

Video – What is a complete oak frame house turnkey solution?

By | Are we the right fit?, Build process, Contract, Costs, Design, Planning, Risks, Value, Videos

What Is A Complete Oak Framed House Turnkey Solution?

 

Andy Parker, Project Consultant at Complete Oak Home, explains what the term ‘turnkey’ means, and identifies what a complete planning, design and build turnkey service should include.

If you would like to view a PDF of the video transcript please click here.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

As the only multi-disciplinary company specialising in the planning, design and build of oak frame homes, our turnkey house service is unique. Right from the start, our team of specialist planning consultants, architects, engineers, surveyors, cost experts and project managers will look after everything you need – and you’ll be the most important person on the team!

To find out what makes us different, click here to download a copy of our ‘How Do We Compare?’ checklist.

We’ll take expert, professional care of every aspect of the design, the management of your budget and of course the construction of your turnkey house, providing support and guidance at each step. As our client, your dreams and aspirations are at the heart of everything we do.

From turning your initial ideas into concept sketches, creating a stunning bespoke design, obtaining planning permission and project managing every meticulous detail, until we hand you the keys to your dream home. You simply relax and enjoy the process.

We specialise in working with clients who want to build their own home, but don’t want to be self-builders. You choose your involvement at every step and leave the rest up to us.

“Your turnkey house service means I’m really enjoying the journey of building our dream home. I get to be involved in the nice parts knowing you take care of the stress, there’s a safe pair of hands managing the process and I still get involved in all the decisions.” C Nash, Oxfordshire.

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Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

It's been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY

To me turnkey means that you have a safe pair of hands to look after you through the whole process. But I was also quite nervous of it because I really wanted to be involved in all of the decision making, and needed to know that I wasn’t going to left out of the process. Your turnkey service means that I am really enjoying the journey of building our dream holiday home. I get to be involved in all of the nice bits knowing that you take care of all of the stressful bits!

C NASH

“The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.”

K HANSON

client lifestyle briefing

Client Lifestyle Briefing – Working With Our Clients To Produce Bespoke Oak Frame Homes

By | Design

Client Lifestyle Briefing – Working With Our Clients To Produce Bespoke Oak Frame Homes

 

The process of creating bespoke oak framed homes is one of the most complex, challenging and fulfilling activities you can undertake and the Client Lifestyle Briefing is a crucial factor in the quality of the final product.

At Complete Oak Home we work with you to ensure that we create a comprehensive lifestyle briefing. In simple terms the client lifestyle briefing is a document that describes a set of goals and requirements for the project.

When you buy an existing house you have to make so many compromises, but when you build your own home it should be exactly as you want. Our briefing process is rigorous and comprehensive, and we properly listen to you. We have a genuinely bespoke design service – every single house we build is a complete one-off, hence why we have built such a diverse range of houses.

Our Design Director and one of our project consultants will come and visit the site, and then sit down with you for a couple of hours to flesh out the brief. To start with they will take you through a comprehensive portfolio of other oak timber frame houses to help you explore the possibilities.

They will help you to distinguish clearly between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ so that the design team will know which things are non-negotiable, which are desirable but not essential and will understand what added features or qualities would enhance the project for you.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Normally people have a good idea of what they want in terms of number and type of rooms. Sometimes they’re less sure about the style or layout that will work best for them. With our expertise in the design and building of oak framed homes we can help guide you and help you explore options and possibilities. And we won’t just focus on how you live now but how you want to live in your new house. Designing a bespoke oak framed home from scratch gives you the opportunity to get it exactly as you want it. Our team will discuss a lot more than just the rooms and their layout, they’ll want to understand your lifestyle and how you live because it will help them design a home best suited to your needs, today and for the future.

At the same briefing meeting they will discuss budget with you. Your budget will have a bearing on the design and size of your new oak framed home. Our Design Director and project consultant will talk you through typical build costs for the type of house described in your brief. They’ll also discuss other costs you need to consider such as demolition of existing buildings, planning fees and so on. Straight away we start to develop a cost plan so that from the outset you know how much your new oak framed home should cost to build.

Following the briefing meeting we’ll write up our notes and send them to you to make sure we’ve got all the salient points. More ideas will come to you over time so we won’t have everything at this point but that doesn’t matter. What we need is sufficient information to start the design process, to be able to produce some concept sketches so that you can see the architectural design of your house starting to form.

The architectural design of an oak framed house, or indeed any house, doesn’t happen in a few days. You will need time to consider the design at each stage, it’s far better to get it right on paper than to change your mind once building work has started. We’ll normally produce the first concept sketches for you within two to three weeks.

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Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We had experienced difficulties with another company but from the moment we met Andy our faith in the project had been restored. He understood what we wanted and listened very carefully to our needs. He talked about structure and wood which was so interesting, and he was clearly so much more of an expert in his field than other people we had spoken to.

P MICHIELS

Building a house has been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY