“Replacing timber chapel with contemporary family home providing open plan living with great connection to outside spaces ”

Project Background

Our clients in West Sussex own a 1930s chapel, originally built for a local preparatory school. The building itself is a simple timber frame and has been extended, reconfigured and converted to residential use. The result is a less than ideal living solution, much in need of energy efficiency improvements, housed in a building of little architectural design merit.

The first option for consideration for the owners was whether the chapel could be remodelled and modernised, making the property easier to live in and more energy efficient. However, the costs associated were considerable and would still result in a less than satisfactory house. This option would also attract VAT, making the overall project costs significant enough to consider a new timber frame house.

Having decided to opt for a bespoke new home, the couple then approached a kit house manufacturer to help them design a unique house to replace their existing dwelling. Together they made a pre-planning application to establish if this would be acceptable to the local planning authority.

The response was positive from the planning authority for a demolition and new build, but the experience of working with the kit manufacturer was less positive. There was a lack of architectural design contribution from the kit manufacturer, resulting in the couple either designing their own home without expert support or opting for an off the shelf package. Once again, they felt the result would not be the bespoke home of their dreams.

When the couple read about our approach here at The Complete Oak Home, they understood the true value of our design process – we design for our client and our client alone, no in-house-style or company portfolio to influence the outcome of your dream oak home.

The House

From entering this contemporary house you walk through a hallway which opens up into an open plan living space with the kitchen. Also on the ground floor there is a fourth bedroom along with a study, utility room and a separate family room. Surrounding the house is a roofed platform on the same level as the ground floor with a seating area. Built up on only one side of the house is the first floor, leaving the open plan living space single storey, which has the master bedroom with an en suite and dressing room, and a family bathroom shared between the two other bedrooms.


Having appointed us to undertake our Feasibility and Briefing Package the couple have now commissioned us to undertake a complete turnkey project for them. Planning permission has been granted.

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


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. 


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.