Client: Angela Granger
Style: Three-bedroom, one-and-a-half storey family home
Location: Redcar & Cleveland
Property size: 136 sq m
Build time: 6 months
When Angela and her husband, Neil, bought a detached bungalow in Redcar & Cleveland to renovate, they didn’t imagine the end result would be a brand new oak-framed house.
“Our initial plan was to extend and improve the bungalow but when we started talking to a local architect we didn’t really find the design very appealing,” says Angela. “We weren’t sure what to do next so we went to the Homebuilding & Renovating Show in Harrogate to get some ideas.”
Angela and Neil had always loved the look of oak-framed houses and the spaciousness that can be created with vaulted ceilings, so while they were at the show they went to Welsh Oak Frame’s stand. They really liked the way they constructed their oak frames, and on the way home Angela suggested to Neil that they build rather than renovate, and he was in complete agreement.
Angela called the local planning department the next day. “I asked them if we could demolish the bungalow and I was expecting them to say no,” says Angela. “But they said yes, no problem!”
By now the Grangers had decided to go with Welsh Oak Frame as they found everyone they spoke to was helpful and interested in their project. Soon a member of Welsh Oak Frame’s in-house design team came for a site visit.
“We chatted for about two hours and after the designer left I said to Neil, he didn’t really ask us for a brief,” says Angela. “But when the designer came back with the initial set of plans a few weeks later the design was just perfect – somehow he had completely understood what we wanted.”
The couple decided to manage the build themselves after the frame had been erected. A bricklayer came to quote and suggested they use the bricks from the bungalow to clad their new home.
“It was a really good idea,” says Angela. “Neil had been very careful about storing the bricks on pallets when he demolished the house, so doing this didn’t feel like we were abandoning the old bungalow.”
Although planning permission was needed, the couple’s application sailed through the process, as Angela and Welsh Oak Frame had remained in close contact with the planning officer throughout the design phase.
The house was finished just six months later by a team of “excellent” builders, says Angela, creating a home with a beautiful double height living area and galleried landing, complete with a ground source heat pump and solar panels.
But this was a bittersweet time for Angela, who suddenly found herself dealing with the shock of Neil passing away – three days before the frame was delivered.
“It was very, very hard but I can’t thank Welsh Oak Frame enough for the support and help they gave me,” says Angela. “My builders were also superb and although it’s been a very difficult three years, now I have a stunning home that I love which is unique and comfortable to live in.
“Neil would’ve been very pleased with our home too. Welsh Oak Frame’s excellent project team gave us a very clear picture as to how the house would look before it was even built.”