Covid 19 and self-isolating may have confined us to barracks, but it hasn't stopped Oli from tackling jobs on the farm. Here he is building a new chicken coop with his new apprentice, Rory (aged 5), on the tools. He is itching to get back to the (slightly bigger) projects we have in progress right now and will be back on site as soon as he's given the all clear.
Having prevented the building from falling down last year (see Christmas post), and having survived storms Chiara, Dennis and Jorge this year already, the boys are well into the careful restoration of this listed granary. Their objective is to keep as much of the old timber as possible, only replacing what is absolutely necessary to prevent further decay and provide essential strength - which has won them a heap of praise from the usually reserved conservation officer!
We are delighted to start the new year by completing the second phase build on this stunning house. The traditional oak frame (17 tons of it!) and oak cladding are really good examples of Five Oak Projects craftmanship and we are super pleased with the result. So is our client...
Just time to squeeze in one last job before the Christmas break with some emergency repairs to this listed granary which was at risk of collapse. Now given the essential support it needs to get it through the holidays, we can revisit in the New Year to carry out a professional restoration of the building.
This lovely tiled porch has gone up just in time for the Winter, giving our clients some much desired cover for wet days and, with a porch light fitted within, much needed illumination. It is also a very smart addition to their house so, when they're happy, we're happy!
That's all the ground floor timbers in for this new development in Cobham where we're building a six bay barn with accommodation over. With the main frame up, it's time to move onto the upper level.
Close up detail of a fabulous restoration job we're doing. We've removed the worst of the badly rotten timbers and scarfed in new green oak posts to ensure this building is safe and secure, ready to face the next 100 years. We will finish the job and make good by reinstating the brickwork, matched to the original as much as possible of course!
Building this new house in two phases was always the plan and, only 3 days into the second phase of the build, the side extension oak frame is already up to first floor level. Beautiful sunny days definitely help!
We are thrilled that the house we built in Cornwall (as featured in a dedicated GD episode last September) was included in a special episode entitled 'Kevin's Grandest Design'. Part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the show, and aired on August 28th, this special episode included highlights from over the years as Kevin reviewed what makes a truly great Grand Designs project.
Ideal Home magazine ran an article in their July 2019 issue on the beauty and benefits of barn conversions. Part of the piece, headlined "Ideal Home Loves...Inspiring Barn Redesigns", included one of our comprehensive conversions, which was accompanied by a picture of the finished building. Please get in touch if you are considering a barn conversion and want to talk to an expert.
The practise of placing a tree on top of a building is known as 'topping out' and is a builder's rite, traditionally held when the last beam or equivalent is placed atop a structure during its construction. Here's Oli and Toby marking this moment with their own topping out ceremony on our latest project.
Despite somewhat challenging weather so far this month (!), the beginnings of the oak frame for this new build house in Surrey goes up without a hitch. After months on paper, it's always thrilling to see the form and shape of the building emerge.
Our latest new product is this oak framed marquee with canvas cover. Here it is being set up as a 'Woodland Bar' for a wedding, to complement the main marquee. It's perfect for parties or any form of outside entertaining! Sides can be rolled up or winged (as per image) and this one is available for hire for your event. Or you can commission one unique to your needs.
This unique project was for us to build a pair of treehouses high off the ground, using as much natural timber as we could from the surrounding woodland, felled and prepared onsite. The two platforms are linked by a rope bridge that can be driven under and include climbing cargo nets, hinged door hatches, natural wood ladders, a shingled roof and a zip wire ride!
Here's the team taking full advantage of a (relatively) warm and sunny day to work outside the workshop back at the farm, hand crafting an oak frame and curved arches for a garage extension for our clients in Crondall.
Five Oak Projects are very proud to have been accepted as members of The Guild of Master Craftsmen. You can keep your chocolates and flowers...when you work with your hands and focus on delivering top quality bespoke projects, this is the stuff that gets your heart racing!
This custom built bike/bin shed is made with Siberian larch cladding - which is particularly weather resistant. With padlockable latches, it is large enough to house the ugly wheelie bins we all have nowadays, plus provide secure storage for a couple of road or mountain bikes.
We start 2019 with a number of very exciting projects in the design and planning stages, and an equal number of projects with Planning Applications submitted already and awaiting consent from Hart District Council. Each of these are for bespoke buildings and they include an oak-framed kitchen extension, two very different agricultural barns and a garden office. Watch this space...
Coming soon...in response to demand, we are launching a new section to this site called The Gilded Oak. Currently under construction, it will feature details and images of some of the wide range of products we produce that are either ready to go, or available to order for bespoke commissions. All items are handmade onsite from sustainable materials and can be customised.
Making improvements to your existing property by building an extension, remodelling the interior, or creating a home office or studio in the garden are just a few examples of how you can beat the reportedly stagnant market created by the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. We're doing exactly that for these clients by re-purposing the interior of this previously unused barn to create much-needed flexible space.
A range of hand-crafted pieces created for sale at a Christmas charity fair this month to include; doorstops, table centres, display blocks, antler horn jewellery holders, candle holders, decorations and crates. All handmade from sustainably sourced materials by the boys, with gilding and glitter added by the girls!
Oli and the boys have made good progress this month, giving this lovely old barn a bit of a nip'n'tuck. When they've finished replacing and repairing the rotting oak support timbers, the building will be given a full facelift with the installation of new oak feather-edge cladding.
The second episode of the new series of Grand Designs sees Oli featured as part of the eco-build project recently completed in Cornwall. Our clients recreated the house that featured in the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off on the plot of a former dairy farm. The GD team were onsite filming a number of times and Oli, employed as the Project Consultant, is seen giving his insight into the build.
We've stolen a little bit of space from a bedroom to build this stunning en suite shower room with roof light, white subway tiles on the walls and geometric concrete tiles on the floor (with underfloor heating). Refurbishing the bedroom to the same standard has provided our client with a top class self-contained guest bedroom suite.
What an amazing Summer we're having...and it's so lovely to be working outside for this Hampshire client, building them a large new terrace with brick edged steps and oak sleeper planting beds. They couldn't wait for us to finish before setting up the table and chairs!
This rustic swing was handmade by Oli, where he has worked with the natural shape of the oak to create this lovely and unique piece. Sold at a fundraiser auction earlier this month, it raised a healthy sum for a worthy cause. I'm sure we could persuade him to make another one if you wanted one similar...
This stunning solid oak bench was handmade in the workshop by the very talented Fritz in response to a client request. It sits perfectly outside to compliment your existing garden furniture, around a fire pit (with maybe one or two more), on a veranda, outside your new oak framed building (as per the original client request) or in the cooling shade of a tree.
We've returned to our clients in West Sussex to build a bespoke wedding pavilion to accommodate outside ceremonies. Designed and built to compliment our former work on their existing barns and beautifully landscaped, award-winning event venue at southendbarns.co.uk
A bespoke, handmade oak post signpost which can be adapted to suit your home, farm, party, event or retail outlet - with as many crossbars as you'd like, a choice of lettering and the option of adding directional arrows if you'd like. Get in touch if you'd like us to make one for you.
Coming soon, more bespoke oak products...
Huge congratulations to Southend Barns, who are the newly crowned winners of The UK Wedding Awards 2018 Best Barn Venue. Renovating their Dairy Barn and 200-year-old Threshing Barn to create a stunning ceremonies room and wedding party venue was a huge, but immensely satisfying project for us and we are thrilled for our lovely clients. southendbarns.co.uk
Whilst awaiting images of the barn shell that we have just relocated for one client, and before we start work on a new 2 bay garage (with log store) for another, here's our new branding iron. This 4" iron slowly warms up to about 2000 degrees centigrade (safety gloves and fire extinguisher at the ready) before making its mark!
Fitting a lovely new air-dried oak framed porch to this new build in Woolhampton to create a smart and welcoming entrance for all visitors to come (once the build is completed!).
Bonding with Kevin McCloud for a day of filming for Grand Designs in Cornwall for a large Five Oaks consultancy project on an eco-build house.
Wishing all our clients, colleagues, friends and suppliers a very happy, prosperous and constructive (see what we did there..?) New Year.
We start 2018 with a construction project of our own...the design, build and launch of our new website!
Great to hold another carpentry skills class at Rowan Farm for the students at Lord Wandsworth College before term breaks up, and there are plenty of old school skills and traditional details going into this 3-bay barn annexe.
It's a beautiful bay...and we've taken advantage of the warm and sunny weather to make good progress on this bespoke 3-bay barn.
Time to wrap up...and protect this woodyard barn from the elements by dressing it with waney-edged Douglas fir cladding (englishwoodlandstimber.co.uk).
Oli polishes up his on-camera skills...as he starts a consultancy project in Cornwall for a new build eco-house that is being filmed for Grand Designs...
Barn raising...Five Oaks completes the build on a 2-bay barn for the storage of agricultural vehicles.
A pat on the back...Five Oak Projects named as winners in the Build 2017 Sustainable Building Awards as; Best Oak Framing Design/Build company - South England. With the BUILD awards programme in its 2nd consecutive year, this prestigious award highlights us as one of the most outstanding performers in our field.