Large detached house


During the Summer of 2013 we have working on this large detached oak frame house. This has been a joint effort between William Clement-Smith and myself (Gary Chaplin). The client has done an excellent job of getting the design approved through planning without the use of an Architect; a marvelous breath of fresh air! 🙂


The planning permission stipulated the visual appearance could not be altered, which was originally taken straight from a mainstream oak framing company book. They wished to have exposed oak both inside and out, which poses many technical problems, especially with the newer strict building regulations. We designed a new and unique way of sealing the in-fill panels from the elements. This system has been approved by building control, but in order to get the u-value sufficiently low we had to increase the wall depth to a whopping 250mm (10”).

We were able to be a little creative by introducing curved braces, collars and a unique door head to the kitchen. The following picture shows this section being lifted on day one with the crane.


The assembly process is carefully planned, sometimes individual pieces, sometimes large sections. Our traditional oak frames do not get reared up in sections, this is a common confusion between a technique used in America. Here we are inserting one of the decorated spine beams, which remains propped on an acro until the final cross frame wall locks it all together.



The pressure is always on for the raising as we have expensive crane hire to consider. But we managed to assemble to wall plate level before we started losing light to the winter sky. (dark at 4:30pm this time of year!)



 The sun came out on day two and we were able to get cracking on the first floor. Each of the large studs/queen posts had to be dropped in separately before the trusses were carefully lowered into their locating mortices. The following picture captures this perfectly.


The purlins were then dropped into their housings, located end-to-end with long slip tenons. Wind braces were added in either end bay to add detail and most importantly lateral support.


toppingoutWilliam and I ‘topping out’ the frame.