A stunning family home

One of the most interesting and challenging design and builds we have ever undertaken

Norton Timber was asked if we were interested in quoting for the design and build of a very large timber framed house that was going to be built locally. We of course said we were and that was to be the start of one of the most interesting and challenging design and builds we have ever undertaken. Not only was there a large house, there was also to be a large, glazed, barn style building for a swimming pool, a three bay cart shed style garage with office space in the roof space, and a five block stable with hay barn.

Basic outline plans were given to us to work with, with which to give an estimate price of the frames required for the project. Because of the complexity of the house and pool room frames and the lack of a frame plan with which to price, we could only estimate the cost. Should we be successful and win the contract, we would then design in detail the frame to accommodate any changes the clients may wish to make.


We were up against some of the county’s best known framing companies who were very keen to get this job. We worked hard to highlight the traditional methods employed by Norton Timber which give all our frames the hand made bespoke look. We believe this is what an oak framed building should have, combined with our understanding of the raw material gained over many years of working in the timber industry. These factors enable us to understand how best to use the timber to achieve the look the client is after.

There followed a number of meetings and visits where the prospective clients were shown other frames and projects that Norton Timber had designed and built, and visits to the site where the house was to be built to see how exposed the site was to the elements. This was an important consideration as we not only had to build the timber frame, but also design and install insulation panels which were to go into all the external walls allowing the oak beams to be seen both inside and out.

Norton Timber won the contract and we were asked to begin the design process straight away. This was the start of a frenetic drawing and design period with discussions between Norton Timber, our new client and his architect taking place on a daily basis, with ideas and suggestions giving us their vision of the frame they wanted and us to build. The frame plans had to accommodate these new ideas. Once the house eventually rose from the paper it had undergone a number of major changes from the original plans. The west wing had been intended to be largely a softwood roof and two floors, by the end of the design process it ended up with three floors, with two more bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor and a full oak framed roof structure.

The plans for the pool room were also reworked, again starting with predominantly softwood roof, it finally ending up as a sling brace frame and a full oak framed roof. We have great pride in this project; Norton Timber was given a brief and the task of designing the Oak frame to enable the architects to cater for the clients wishes internally. All involved feel this has been achieved with a look and presence that can only be achieved by building in solid Oak.

The insulation panels, designed by Norton Timber to withstand the severe weather conditions of the location, have been a total success both in their insulation performance and their water and draft protection. These are in the patent process as the multi seal design has been so successful.

We would like to thank the great team involved in this complex project for working with us and making what could have been a very difficult build run so smoothly.

Architects: – Richard Daniels.
The engineer: – NJ McAnally and associates.
The Main contractors: – Colman & James.
And of course not forgetting the Client.