A Bespoke Oak Frame for a 1961 Shelby

In 1961 Caroll Shelby squeezed a big Ford V8 into the pretty AC Ace, he could not have known that it would lead to the creation of a bespoke Oak frame garage in rural Gloucestershire.

The Brief

As a car enthusiast, Kevin needed a new garage not just to house his dream car but facilitate a functioning workshop space and create additional guest accommodation. The garage build would then free up the existing attached garage to be converted and added to for an extension to become a new kitchen and opening up the back of the house.

Project Background

While considering moving they looked at the market and realised their property was going to be difficult to replace , they therefore decided the solution was a re-development and re-think of how to use the space they already had.

Achieving the right balance for the property was important to Kevin so he engaged local architects and planning consultants, who subsequently recommended Timberpride for their knowledge, capability and expertise in oak framing.

Visiting the Timberpride office to see the oak frame show room, meeting Alec for an initial consultation to discuss their project and ideas. Alec listened to Kevin & Cathy’s dreams, aspirations and plans, with pragmatic objectivity, quickly understanding where the challenges lay, contributing ideas of how the project might be delivered.

The consultation included a tour of the workshop, to see current projects in progress and meeting some of the team; Kevin and Cathy left feeling reassured that they needed to work with Timberpride in order to get what they wanted.

Finding the solution to achieving the first floor in the garage was the immediate challenge; after some consideration, many emails and calls with Kevin, Alec was able to offer the solution which balanced design and budget within the strict dimension restrictions of planning permission. A good working partnership was now established.

Extending the Kitchen

Working with initial architects’ drawings, plans for the kitchen extension evolved. The brief was for an old farmhouse feel with a vaulted roof and a bit of wow. Alec offered various trusses as options, with a keen eye on the aesthetic, some basic and functional and others more ornate to create the wow. Kevin and Cathy finally settled on a curved collar king and queen post truss, complimented by a glazed gable end screen, incorporating the lean-to extension across the of rear of the house.

The result is a “lovely airy feeling, almost like being in a conservatory, the gable end window frames the view like a picture”. The kitchen window is Cathy’s favourite part of the whole development she sits in it day and night, watching the changing seasons and reading, she just loves it!

Part way through the project both Cathy & Kevin started to wobble, thinking this was going to be a very ordinary kitchen extension, Alec was able to reassure and instil confidence in them both that this was going to be anything but. In fact, viewing it in a 3D CAD model showed that it would be the extraordinary extension it has turned out to be!

Cathy was keen to choose a kitchen to suit the building they’d created, not the other way around. So they commissioned stunning tall oak wall cabinets which are in perfect proportion to the high oak kitchen ceiling, beautifully contrasted by the lower cream coloured units, set off by hand painted tiles, range cooker and of course the brushed brass boiling water tap!

Despite the dread Cathy had felt anticipating the development she found the whole process exciting and interesting. “The Timberpride team were considerate, polite and worked hard. They handled the installation with skill and knowledge, they took all the stress out of it” Timberpride even set up a Whatsapp group to share photos of the frame manufacture in the workshop.

The Garage

A 2 ½ bay garage with first floor across 2 bays with the end ½ bay open to the ridge letting in natural light for the car workshop. First floor accommodation, accessed by an external, massive, hand made, solid oak staircase leading up to a double guest bedroom and bathroom.

Kevin could visualise the staircase he wanted for the garage, something sturdy that would last but everything he found online looked cheap and flimsy. Timberpride makes stairs with thick Oak treads, strings and newels, made to be solid, substantial and durable. Kevin realised immediately that this was exactly what he was looking for.

The result is a fabulous garage, making best use of the space available, accommodating height restrictions and achieving the longed for guest accommodation above. And above all the perfect workshop/garage space to work on the car and even space to fit a gym!