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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > March 2017 > 5 steps to a bespoke oak frame home on a budget

5 steps to a bespoke oak frame home on a budget

It’s important to keep a close eye on costs but that doesn’t mean you can’t create something truly special. Andrew Hobbs reveals how you can get a character-filled oak self build at a price you can afford
By employing structural SIPs and a rectangular design, Carpenter Oak were able to complete this stunning 186m2 home for £265,000 (£1,425 per m2), excluding the external landscaping

Oak frame remains everpopular amongst self builders, thanks to its warm aesthetic and ability to add instant character. Traditionally, the timber is crafted while it’s still green – slotted together with tenon and mortise joints and secured with wooden pegs. The material has been used in this way for over 4,000 years in Britain, perhaps most famously in Tudor- and barn-style builds. Yet it is increasingly employed in more contemporary schemes, too, with several companies pushing its technical boundaries in new and exciting ways – to stunning effect.

Many self builders see oak framing as a luxury option, but you might be surprised this route isn’t out of reach if you’re on a modest budget. Final costs per m2 may typically be around 5%-10% higher than a softwood alternative but this is usually reflected in the value of your project. There are also several clever ways you can keep prices down and still achieve the oak frame home of your dreams.

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About Build It

The March edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A traditional timber frame house on a quiet Hampshire plot (page 22) • How to build an oak frame home on a budget (page 68) • What you need to know about underfloor heating (page 75) • Windows for renovations (page 78) • How to combine renewables (page 86) • Adding wow factor (page 92) • Common renovation mistakes (page 104) … and more!