First-time self builders Caroline and Julian Owen wanted to enjoy informal family living in a traditional-style oak frame home. After living in a 500-year-old period home, energy efficiency was also important for the couple, so they opted for a ‘fabric first’ approach. The walls, for example, are encased in SIPs (structural insulated panels).
Externally, the house follows the threshing barn vernacular typical of East Anglia, with a sweeping roofline and low eaves. Internally, the spacious ground floor space follows a semi open plan design, while the smaller first floor houses four bedrooms. The fifth bedroom is downstairs and functions as a guest room.
The build ran for 12 months, with the couple taking a hands-on approach to project management. “Our home is large but has a very cosy feel,” says Caroline Owen. “It’s genuinely a haven from a hectic world.”
- Project: Oak frame self build
- Location: Cambridgeshire
- Size: 380m²
- Build time: Jul 2013-Jul 2014
- Build cost: £941,000
- Current value: £1.6m