This extraordinary oak framed self build is the ultimate retirement retreat

An oak framed self build property approached by a garden path
The colours of the off-white render, oak cladding and handmade bricks were chosen to complement the clay roof tiles. (Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

Having lived for over 40 years in the oldest house in the village, John and Patsy Greene now live in the newest. “Our first house in 1970 was pretty much a self-build,” says John. “It was a two bay Medieval cottage that was falling down — I think we had crushed cardboard boxes around the walls to keep the damp away when we first moved in.” 

Following this restoration effort and inspired by his love of carpentry and architecture, John founded oak frame design and build company Border Oak in 1980, hiring local craftspeople to create beautiful bespoke homes.

Amy Reeves

Assistant Editor Amy began working for Homebuilding & Renovating in 2018. She has an interest in sustainable building methods and always has her eye on the latest design ideas. Amy has interviewed countless self builders, renovators and extenders about their experiences for Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. She is currently renovating a mid-century home, together with her partner, on a DIY basis, and has recently fitted her own kitchen.

With contributions from