THE WONDER OF WOOD
According to Tim Crump, owner and founder of Oakwrights, there’s a unique quality to oak that has to be touched to be really understood. “An oak frame is such a tactile experience, you sometimes feel as though the house is living,” he says. A trained carpenter, Tim’s passion for oak led him to set up his own business constructing oak-framed houses. Now in its 20th year, Oakwrights creates beautiful, bespoke homes for customers across the UK. Tim is delighted to see more people embracing the unique qualities an oak frame brings to a build.
As well as being aesthetically pleasing, oak frames provide strength and security. “An oak frame gives longevity to a home,” says Tim. “We would expect one of our oak frames to stand for at least three hundred years – and it just gains more character as it gets older.” In combining centuries-old techniques with cutting-edge technology, along with investment in training new generations of craftspeople, Oakwrights has positioned itself among the UK’s leading companies for anyone looking to build or extend their home with oak.
Self-build projects are at the heart of what the Herefordshire-based company does, offering its expertise to customers who want to create their dream home on their own plot of land. But Oakwrights is increasingly working on custom builds, too. With this option, Oakwrights has the land ready and planning permission in place, giving clients the opportunity to build a home to their own specifications, without the demands of a traditional self-build. Oakwrights also designs and builds additions in the form of sunrooms, garden rooms, garage complexes and garden structures.
In the cases above, Oakwrights works closely with the client to create the home that best suits their needs. “Customers commission us to design houses that meet the exact requirements of their families,” explains Tim. With a team of more than 100 architects, designers and carpenters on hand, Oakwrights oversees every stage of the building process, from beginning to end. This means the customer experience is seamless, flowing from the initial design all the way through to manufacture and installation on site.
The encapsulation systems that surround the frames are another important part of what makes Oakwrights’ buildings stand out. Oakwrights has developed its own encapsulation systems, and it is the first company to gain full Passive House certification – the most rigorous standard for energy efficiency – on an oak-frame house in the UK. “This shows the high quality that we apply to the design and fabrication of our product,” says Tim, “so we can give our customers beautiful houses that are also highly energy efficient.”
For those tempted by the idea of building their own oak-framed home, Oakwrights offers a unique “try before you buy” experience. Prospective clients are invited to spend the night at the Oakwrights show home, The Woodhouse, which is just a short drive from its offices. The country-contemporary style post-and-beam house gives guests a feel for what life would be like in an oak-framed home, and to draw inspiration for their own project. It has proved hugely popular with guests, giving many the motivation to create their own dream home.
It is no surprise that interest in oak-framed houses is growing as quickly as the market for self-builds – these are homes that bring together beauty, strength and energy efficiency. For anyone wishing to build their own dream home, extension or outbuilding, Tim and his team at Oakwrights are excited about communicating the joys of living with oak.