How oak can transform a property into a home from any era

PUBLISHED: 15:02 15 August 2014 | UPDATED: 15:11 15 August 2014

Your oak building could a 'stand alone' within the grounds

Your oak building could a 'stand alone' within the grounds


Tim Green of Hartwood Oak Buildings takes us on a tour of designs that can transform homes from any period

An open plan conversion adds space and lightAn open plan conversion adds space and light

In the 20 years that Hartwood Oak Buildings has been in business the types of building that we construct have changed significantly. Originally the vast bulk of projects were fairly simple structures such as garages and garden structures. Since that time the marketplacehas been somewhat flooded with ‘oak framed’ garages, while we have broadened our repertoire significantly.

By far the most popular type of build is the glazed garden room, usually as an extension to or forming the main part of a kitchen/dining/living room.

Most of us now live the greater part of our home lives congregating in the kitchen when we return from work and school. Such spaces are fitted not only with the essentials for preparing and eating food but also audio visual systems, comfortable furniture and a host of other luxuries.

Light and airy

A real oak frame can create a spectacular and light space, while at the same time retaining a feeling of comfort, solidity and homeliness. There is without doubt a deep seated relationship between all us and natural materials that is brought out when we enter a beautifully crafted oak frame. This is borne out by the reaction every time a client enters their new frame for the first time and invariably says ‘wow’. Frames do not have to be ‘olde worlde’ in style and can be designed to blend beautifully with architecture of almost any period. We have successfully added oak frames to listed ancient properties and 1980’s semis, each achieving a feel unique to the particular setting.

Glass is a key feature of our work, providing not only light but also opening up previously hidden aspects onto well-tended gardens and views across countryside or water. The old adage of bringing the outside inside is entirely true and provides an ever changing scene throughout the seasons as oak rooms are able to be enjoyed far more than a traditional conservatory, many of which we replace in the course of our work.

Family living

Of course we still create a large number of stand alone multi-purpose buildings as home offices, guest accommodation, party venues and ‘rumpus rooms’ for growing kids (these are particularly popular). Such buildings, while not cheap, do represent great value for money. One client for whom we were building a fairly large ‘party barn’ told us that with four daughters he would very likely get his investment back in the saving he would make in not hiring marquees for 21st birthdays and weddings!

Lane End Farm, Hatt Common, East Woodhay, Newbury, RG20 0NG; 01635 253534;


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