A barn style home in the heart of Kent

Fully project managed by Norton Timber, this was a self-build dream for the clients

The clients had seen a new build barn style cottage we had built locally and loved the look of it, so when they decided to embark on a self-build of their own they approach us to put forward ideas for their new home. The first designs were produced in August 2013. Following pre application advice from the council the planning application being submitted in January 2014 and was granted permission.

The location of the build influenced the design both in the materials used to form the insulated envelop to the maximization of the views with one side of the house having an Oak frame bay being fully glazed in conjunction with large triple glazed windows and French doors giving unobstructed access to the stunning views over the wield of Kent.


The brief from our clients was that on the ground floor to design a house that would allow for open plan living but have a homely feel, along with the inclusion of a guests bedroom with en-suite and a private area we called the drawing room which could also double as a study should one be required. There needed to be a large utility room with adjacent plant room to house water tanks, electrical equipment and the under floor heating manifolds.

The design allows for the main structural skeletal frame to be an Oak frame we built pre-fabricated treated softwood stud panels clad with OSB to form the external walls, being per-fabricated these were fitted extremely quickly and enabled us to proceed at speed with the build. From the start of the pre-assembly of the Oak frame in our framing yard to the clients moving in was ten months.

The first floor was to have three generous bedrooms all with en-suites, a master bedroom suite with large en-suite and dressing area, and a large lining cupboard. All the bedrooms have unobstructed access to the views with the master having a floor to ceiling glass wall which has proved to be a fantastic feature of the room. The external appearance to look like a barn style house finished in black stained weather board. We designed the roof as an M profile this allows us to keep the ridge height as low as possible for a house of this size. The result is, we believe, an elegant solution to an issue that we believe could have caused issues with the planning permission.

The most exceptional aspect of this build is something which is invisible to the eye but very noticeable on entering the building. Working very closely with the Planning consultant and eco build experts Conker conservation a multi layered system of insulation was designed, with one eye on creating a high performance insulated envelope around a building that is in a very exposed position. As this case study is being written (January 2016) the clients inform us that they have not needed to turn the heating on, saying that the house maintains a temperature of 20 to 26 degrees depending on how many people there are in the house!

On a personal note all the team at Norton Timber would like to thank the clients for allowing us to be a part of their self-build dream, and very much hope that their new house delivers many years of pleasure and build great memories for generation to come.