Location: Stable Cottage, Shropshire
House size: 100m² (140m²extension)
Package type: Design, manufacture, supply and erect
Time: Planning permission granted 2016, project commenced November 2019, due for completion December 2020
House type: 4 bed, two storey barn/ granary

After living in a farmhouse for 35 years, Roger and Rosanna decided to build a luxury home for their retirement. Adjacent to their farmhouse and set in a small farm courtyard in Shropshire, planning permission was sought to significantly extend Stable Cottage, the 2-bed small barn, which they owned and ran as a holiday cottage letting, to more than twice the size of the original building.

They sought planning permission to change the property from business use to residential, and extend the barn into a 4-bed property, building on the original footprint of what was a threshing barn and granary.

The couple wanted the build to be eco-friendly. They decided that naturally-insulating timber frame would provide the environmental credentials they needed. Further research confirmed that timber frame is an ideal material for extending barns like theirs because it easily matches old to new.

Permission was granted in 2016 but they were unable to proceed until November 2019 as the project was reliant on the sale of their former home.

Once the sale was complete, Rosanna and Roger made contact with several companies to enquire about working together. Frustratingly, the couple found that no one wanted to work on the project. Rosanna explains: “We spoke with several timber frame companies and they all said was that they couldn’t help us because it was an extension and they were only interested in building new, detached homes. We were really disappointed.”

Widening their search and turning to the internet, Rosanna and Roger found Frame Technologies. Initially they were attracted to the company because they were based locally. But from the first phone call with managing director Simon Orrells, they were won over by his enthusiasm and positivity. “We told Simon we’d been let down by other companies but it wasn’t a problem for him; just a challenge he was happy to solve,” explains Rosanna. “He was very supportive of our project and what we wanted to achieve, and he was extremely knowledgeable. It felt like a great fit.”

stable cottage self build timber frame scaffolding
Stable Cottage, May 2020

Rosanna and Roger worked closely with Simon on the design of the extension to make the most of Frame Technologies’ expertise. The main objective for the project was to futureproof their home and create the majority of the living space on the ground floor. The design of the extension incorporates a large lounge with wood burning stove and bifold doors to the outside terrace leading to the gardens beyond. There will be an al fresco eating area, which is southwest facing and gets the evening sunshine.

The extension will join the existing building through an opening on the ground floor creating a spacious open plan. The kitchen/ dining room features high ceilings creating brightness, and more bifold doors which also lead to the terrace.

In terms of their environmental objectives, the couple also wanted the extension to be efficient and airtight, and have low energy running costs when completed. Frame Technologies designed and supplied a high-quality timber frame using its TechVantage™ E system with insulation to achieve a low u-value of just 0.14.

After delays due to wet weather and then the coronavirus pandemic, Rosanna and Roger were thrilled when work on their home resumed in May 2020. “We really feel like we can get on with our project now”, explains Rosanna. “Since we’ve been able to restart on site with Frame Technologies, things have really picked up. I still can’t believe that in only four days and with just two people, we had our timber frame building up.”

“We can’t praise Frame Technologies enough for their fantastic business attitude,” say Rosanna and Roger. “Simon’s company has been brilliant and so supportive the whole way through. Whenever we have had a query, we know he’s just on the other end of the phone with the answer.”

stable cottage self build timber frame scaffolding
Stable Cottage, May 2020

The couple have now had the roof tiled with barge boards and soffits fitted, also all the brick plinths and gable end have been completed. The new mains water supply is nearing completion and the larch cladding and cast iron effect guttering are ready to be fitted.

Frame Technologies supplied the frame as well as all insulation for the extension.

The project is due for completion in December 2020.