The owners of this self build in Hertfordshire had planned to renovate the original black timbered cottage on the site. But it soon became apparent that the cottage was not worth saving, so instead they opted for a new oak frame self build from Oakwrights.

Externally, the timber cladding is a contemporary take on the rustic feel of the original cottage. A simple timber porch leads into an open plan hall space and zoned open plan ground floor, with easy access to the garden, courtyard and patio via three sliding glass doors.

Originally, the owners had wanted a double-height hall, but space constraints set down by the planners ruled that out. Instead, the designer has installed a glass floor which gives a similar feel within the space, as well as bringing additional light into the heart of the home.

Project Notes

  • Project: Oak frame self build
  • Location: Hertfordshire
  • Build time: Apr 2015-Jan 2016
  • Construction system: Oak frame and encapsulation
  • Size: 188m2
  • Plot cost: £425,000
  • Build cost: £490,000
Front elevation

The front elevation is clad in horizontal EuroBoards and fitted flush rather than overlapping, for a more contemporary take on the previous cottage’s black timber cladding

Living space

The double-fronted fireplace provides clear zoning between the dining and living spaces, as well as useful additional storage


A sleek Corian-topped island contrasts with the structural braces and beams above

Jones staircase

The 108mm-thick open oak treads of the bespoke staircase are supported by a central steel spine and paired with a glass balustrade


Contemporary finishes and fittings sit alongside the exposed oak frame in the master bathroom

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