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Before and After: A Dated Bungalow to Oak Frame Dream Home

oak frame extension to bungalow
(Image credit: Richard Kiely)

Sometimes, the real potential of a plot is only revealed once you’ve lived in a property for a while. That was the case for Claire and Phil Baker, who back in 2011 bought a 1960s bungalow in the Cotswolds countryside then set to work on a shoestring budget to completely refurbish the property, drawing on the skills of a local carpenter, putting in hundreds of hours of their own time and calling on the support of local friends.

Only when they’d moved in and started living in the three bedroomed property did they realise just how amazing the hillside views were from the house. Luckily, the house sat on a generous third of an acre, and the couple had the budget to set out building an extension

Here, the couple explain the project and how a bungalow extension completely transformed their lifestyle. 

Why Did You Choose to Use Oak Frame?

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oak frame extension with living room and stone exterior

The matched slate, local facing stone and oak features all contribute to the sense that the extension is part of the original home. (Image credit: Richard Kiely)
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bungalow extension before construction

The new glazed gable repeats the shape and size of the home’s original gables; this too creates a sense of continuity. (Image credit: Claire Baker)
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bungalow before extension

(Image credit: Claire Baker)
Project notes

Homeowners Phil and Claire Baker
Project Oak extension to an extensively refurbished 1960s bungalow
Location Gloucestershire
Build time Eight months
Build route Self project managed
Size 56.8m2 (ground), 36.8m2 (first)
House cost £385,000 (in Dec 2010)
Build cost £195,000
Value £1million 

Phil: We both love oak and we’d used it in the main house, mainly for aesthetic reasons. We came up with our own oak frame extension design, which included a large expanse of glazing to make the most of the views and exposed oak rafters in the roof. We then took the designs to Oakwrights for them to create a buildable design. 

The Extension Looks Like it’s Always Been Part of the House. How Did You Achieve That? 

Claire: We were keen to have a seamless extension so that it looked like it had always been there alongside the bungalow renovation. We matched the stones from the same local quarry and our original house already had some oak features. 

Inside we used the same tumbled limestone floor tiles throughout so there is a really nice flow. On the roof we chose the same slates; right now you can see the difference between them but the new slates will soon weather in.

bifold doors in oak frame extension

The exposed oak is deliberately restrained on the ground floor. (Image credit: Richard Kiely)

Can You Tell Us About the Double-Height Glazing?

Claire: We liked the idea of a double-height space and we knew we wanted the extension to have a strong glazed element in the bungalow interior design. We have a great connection to the garden from the living/dining space and we enjoy loads of natural light in the morning in our bedroom above, which has lovely views. You can really see the weather change over the valley.

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oak frame extension to bungalow with living room

Standard ceiling heights in part of the extension contrast with the double-height space at the rear of the new space. (Image credit: Richard Kiely)
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view from kitchen through dining room in oak frame extension

The drama of this space is aided by the large opening double doors (from Kloeber) that open to the garden from two aspects. (Image credit: Richard Kiely)

You Project Managed the Extension: How Did you Find the Experience?

Paul: Project managing wasn't too daunting! Oakwrights provided the frame and we took over for four or five months. We found a very good local builder to do the groundworks, stonework and internal fittings, and we also employed a plumber, electrician and kitchen installer. Oakwrights came back towards the end of the project to fit the glazing and do the face boarding. 

We were really pleased with the oak cleaning process; we used a company recommended by Oakwrights that used a solvent to clean the oak and it came up really well.

We had our ups and downs but overall it went quite smoothly. Now that we’ve finished, we are so pleased with it. It would feel strange not having it as part of our home. 

master bedroom in oak frame extension to bungalow

In the loft-style master bedroom, the oak rafters have been left exposed and a simple oak balustrade separates the room from the extension’s glazed gable. A Juliet balcony serves to provide natural ventilation in the warmer months. (Image credit: Richard Kiely)