The owners of this fantastic beach chalet were looking to improve the rather frail and tired existing legs. However after 50+ years, the existing oak timbers were still solid given the ‘hourglass’ appearance at the base.

There were several challenges posed by this location. The first is the inaccessible location, with no track to the front or rear, it was case of hauling the timbers a few at a time with my trusty 4WD.

Trusty steed hauling the timbers to site

The second challenge is that it is on an inter-tidal estuary, which means the sea water literally covers the base of the posts twice daily. Here is a picture of the chalet as it was, with a cantilevered deck and big vacant space to the left.

Chalet showing existing post structure

I thought it was a wonderful idea to stack the timbers high on trestles as to avoid floating away with the tide. The chalet has no access whatsoever when the tide is in, so when I took a look from afar it caused some slight panic!


Fortunately the tide turned at that exact point and I could relax! Though not exactly relaxing as each post required digging deep into the mud down to the septaria below. I did not leave this timbers out to potentially float away this time!


However I’m no king Canute, and there would be no stopping the tide. As it happens I chose the highest spring tide of the year to assemble the frame. As you can see I had to retreat to higher ground.

The steps were also made from oak, though stable dried timber was used. I suspect these lower steps may swell a little?

Kiln dried oak steps

Larger horizontal timbers were used to help disguise some of the existing horizontal supports, as the whole hut had been lifted an additional 1ft due the increase in tidal surges. Yes people, climate change is real and it is affecting the weather and environment in not always obvious ways.

A wide 7” top rail was used to provide a nice space for a glass of wine or whatever. Actually I thought it made a comfortable seat.

Tide in, looking West.

Finally, here it is from the front. The keen observer might notice the staggered symmetry of the pegs in the transverse timbers.