Essex Oak Frame
passion, expertise and craftmanship combined
Essex Oak Frame is a leading designer, manufacturer, builder and restorer of oak framed buildings. The company was founded on managing director Adrian Chapman’s passion for heritage and craftsmanship.
After a long career in construction, qualified structural engineer Adrian designed and self-built Colwood, his own oak framed house in the style of a medieval hall, using only historical construction methods. The project, which took three years to complete using locally-sourced oak, from the M1 motorway clearance, went on to win a heritage, design, and conservation award, and was the inspiration behind the Essex Oak Frame brand.
Colwood, the birthplace of Essex Oak Frames
Not many businesses have a physical birthplace, let alone a hand-crafted replica medieval hall, but oak frame specialist Essex Oak Frame has.
Since founding Essex Oak Frame in 2007, Adrian has hand-picked a team of craftsmen to meet his exacting standards as the business has grown. The business now employs more than 30 full-time specialists at its Essex base with a range of expertise from design and structural engineering to bespoke joinery. The incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail can be seen in every Essex Oak Frame project, and in numerous bespoke commissions, which include award-winning displays at Hampton Court, and work with renowned artist Alex Chinneck.
Fusing technology with tradition
Whether it is an orangery, barn conversion, new oak frame dwelling or a restoration project, the ability to combine contemporary design methods and technical competence with age-old methods is what sets Essex Oak Frame apart. We are very proud of our skills to bring buildings back to life, meld traditional design with contemporary features, and deliver even the most ambitious construction projects.
Oak framed buildings are available as supply only, full build, or with the option to choose a turnkey service, where we take care of the whole project for you, from planning to finishing touches. We use experienced local tradespeople and master craftsmen to complete the build or we can work with your contractors, whichever you prefer. Ultimately we will ensure your dream build is just that, hassle free and as expected. All you need to do is turn the key in the door – hence the name.
Fusing new technology with traditional techniques ensures Essex Oak Frame buildings last for generations.
Incredible by design
Every Essex Oak Frame project is unique, and anything is possible. To create a truly bespoke design, our team of experts will work with you to understand how you want the space to look and feel and look at how your oak frame building can deliver an architectural statement and work in harmony with its surroundings. Every detail is bespoke, take a tour of our projects for inspiration.
Essex Oak Frame is the only company able to work with single pieces of oak up to 11 meters long, and our team of skilled artisan bricklayers has the ability to repair, match and create highly complex brickwork using reclaimed materials and traditional lime mortar.
When you work with Essex Oak Frame, you’ll see artisan personal touches in everything we do, from hand-crafted finishing to bespoke carvings that are unique to you and your home. We take the time to create something that will last for generations, whether that is a new build home or a focal point staircase.
Heritage at heart.
Essex Oak Frame is one of the UK’s most trusted oak conservation and restoration specialists. A certified English Heritage conservation specialist, we design, specify and complete complex conservation and renovation projects on some of the region’s most historic buildings.
Following a devastating fire in 2018, Essex Oak Frame was chosen as a main contractor to rebuild and restore the oak frame Bull Inn at Hockley, a 16th century Grade II listed country pub. In the same year, we undertook a complete renovation of Apton Hall, which has a history dating back to the Great Survey of 1086.
Essex Oak Frame has been working in an advisory capacity with architects, local councils and building specialists across the region to deliver consultancy and best practice. Often called upon to carry out conservation repair schedules for buildings at risk, the team of specialists will specify the best methods and materials to save or preserve the structure. Get in touch to talk about your project.
A passion for oak starts with sustainability. Aligned to TRADA and the Timber Framers Guild, Essex Oak Frame is committed to the most sustainable methods of sourcing and working with timber. By nature, timber frame buildings will result in far lower CO2 emissions than traditional brick build, you can read more about the environmental benefits of oak frame buildings here.
Most raw oak is sourced in the UK and Europe from managed woodlands or large scale motorway clearance projects, to be aged and stored at the workshop site in Essex.
Essex Oak Frame is also a preferred end-user of local woodland management schemes, often, timber used on site will be sustainably coppiced from local woodland close to its new destination as part of a building. In the case of the Bull Inn at Hockley, timber for the restoration was sourced from woodland directly behind the pub and the oak used to build Colwood came from the M1 motorway clearance.
What is Turnkey?
If you have previously taken on even a small building project, you will know how stressful and complicated it can be. Trying to find synergy with planners, builders, groundworkers, fitters and electricians can be a minefield, costs can escalate, and deadlines can get missed.
A turnkey service takes care of the whole project, from design to delivery and everything in-between, meaning all you need to do is turn your key in the door and enjoy. Available for part, or all of the project, the Essex Oak Frame turnkey service has been designed with our customers in mind and is proving a popular option for private and commercial clients. We use experienced local tradespeople and master craftsmen or we can work with your contractors, whichever you prefer.
The Essex Oak Frame turnkey promise
Whether you are planning a garden room or a replica medieval hall, Essex Oak Frame offers a truly turnkey service that covers every step of the journey. This enables you to plan your oak frame building project around your own needs, with the reassurance that every nuance of the build is in capable hands.
The Essex Oak Frame in-house capability is on hand from the start of your project with extensive professional consultation on structural calculations, feasibility, and design. We can take care of your planning application, work with building control, manage listed building consultation (if required) and source materials and additional contractors on your behalf.
Every client has a dedicated project manager, who will take care of every aspect of the construction, liaise with contractors, and ensure the project plan is running to schedule. You will have one point of contact, regular updates, and a clear view of how your project is progressing.