The Tamar Joinery Company

01822 840848

Traditional Green Oak Timber Framing


We specialise in the design, construction and erection of traditionally jointed and pegged bespoke timber framed buildings and green oak structures.

Our timber frames are made in our framing yard in Bere Alston, Devon using English Oak, Douglas Fir or Sweet Chestnut. Each of our frames is individually designed and absolutely unique.

3D CAD/CAM timber frame Design: We can provide a full design and drawing service for your timber framed buiding project and we work with structural engineers who are experienced in traditional framing, but we are also happy to work with your own architect, frame designer and structural engineers.

Glazing Green Oak: Green oak requires the use of specialist glazing techniques to avoid potential problems which can be caused by movement and checking of the oak as it seasons. We offer a glazing service for our own timber frames on projects within 30 miles of our workshop.

Our Oak Sawmill : We use locally grown English timber which we carefully select, grade and saw on our own sawmill. This allows us to control timber quality and select suitable timbers for each project. Because we are able to source local timber, and sawmill it ourselves, we are able to compete favourably on cost with imported European timber.

Our commitment to sustainable construction materials: Timber products have the lowest embodied carbon of any mainstream building material.Sourcing wood from sustainably managed forests helps encourage biodiversity, increases forestation and maximises CO2 absorption. Supporting our local forestry industry will encourage the local sustainable production of timber as a source of carbon neutral building material. We buy good quality local timber from managed woodlands in Devon & Cornwall, and sawmill the timber as required.

Wood is good for our health and wellbeing: There is increasing evidence of the physiological benefits of wood on humans,reviewed in a recent paper in The Journal of Wood Science.

Traditional Timber Framing Home


Please scroll down for more information and for photos of some current and previous projects.



Traditional Green Oak Heavy Structural Timber Framing

We recognise the emotional rollercoaster ride involved in deciding to build a new home or make drastic alterations to your existing home. We know there there is a huge amount of trust required of the craftsmen that you select to carry out that work and we place a lot of emphasis on building relationships and earning trust through the quality of our work. So please give us a call and drop in for a tour of our workshop - we are always happy to chat about timber framing. Please however be prepared for the 'humble' nature of our work environment (some would call it primitive!) - we started this business over 20 years ago, working in a slightly converted cattle shed. We have some wonderful modern machinery and highly skilled humans but the workshop itself remains as it was at the start - a slightly converted cattle shed! We know that pictures do not convey the feel, scent and unique atmosphere of traditional timber frames, nor do they adequately convey the extent of our skill and craftsmanship and our photos tend to concentrate on the skeleton frame, rather than the finished house, but they can hopefully provide some inspiration at the start of your construction journey.


Timber Framed Houses and Extensions

The picture below shows a green oak sling brace house extension during construction. This is a one and a half story extension with the sling brace construction allowing headroom for living space in the top level. Frame design: Nigel Harrison

Above: A green oak timber frame extension during on site raising and

an internal view of the room is shown below.


Andy helping an interrupted tie beam to slot into place.

A Commission from the Duchy of Cornwall: shown below is a green oak annexe with seasoned oak French doors and glazed using double glazed leaded glass units. Ensuring that the lead was exactly aligned across the doors and windows was very important for the aesthetics of the building.

Barn conversions

Structural problems often encountered in renovations and conversions can be overcome by the use of a structural timber frame. Below is a green oak frame used in a barn conversion and the finished barn is shown on the right.

Shown below is a kitchen extension built onto a barn conversion and the finished extension is pictured on the right.

Self Contained Annexe / House Extension

Below: This green oak self contained annexe was built onto a traditional longhouse in the Dartmoor National Park.

Dartmoor longhouse extension interior:

Concept and planning by Chadburn Architect tel: 01566 777592. Timber frame design: Nigel Harrison

Below is a fully glazed extension designed to house a swimming pool and gymnasium

Below: swimming pool house under construction

Green Oak timber framed bungalow extension. Pictured below is a green oak timber framed extension to a bungalow in Devon. The green oak frame was surrounded by softwood studwork on which insulation and external finish was fixed. This construction method allows for the building to have an internally visible, structural green oak timber frame giving character, and for the timber frame to be surrounded by a highly energy efficient 'envelope' of insulation. The method also allows for easy fixing of doors and windows and does not require the more complex glazing system needed if glazing is applied direct to the green oak timber frame.

Bungalow with a green oak timber framed extension

Timber Frame Design: Nigel Harrison


The photo below is taken from the mezzanine level before the balcony rail was fitted.

New Build House

Shown below is a new build green oak timber frame house under construction in the Tamar Valley.

Below: A green oak garden room kitchen extension with a vaulted full height roof which encorporates a hipped roof at the house end to allow for the continued use of the existing bedroom windows. Architectural Design by Greg Lean. Frame Design by Nigel Harrison


Barn Conversion in the Tamar Valley

Below: a barn conversion project in Cornwall shown under construction.



Self contained annexe- Shown below is a barn/garden annexe with a boiler room for a wood fueled heating system and wood store. This timber frame, built in West Devon, was made from locally grown green oak with the roof structure comprising green oak collared trusses and wind bracing, and purlins made from local Douglas Fir.

Shown below is a green oak glazed entrance porch/atrium connecting a house and barn conversion



Transformation of a dated bungalow :

The internally visible vaulted roof provides a wonderful open family space with loads of character which transformed the atmosphere of the bungalow.

The oak bungalow extension is shown below with it's softwood studwork 'envelope'.


Sling braced timber framed barn with visible green oak roof structure and mezzanine balconied level: designed for use as a lecture facility for an innovative business based in Devon.

Shown above and below during construction with internal roof void pictured below


Garden Rooms

Garden rooms can be built onto an existing house to form an extension or they can can be completely free standing. A garden room differs from a conservatory in that a garden room is a fully functional insulated space which can be used all year. Our garden rooms are usually built with a pitched roof and an internally visible roof structure with a vaulted ceiling. These rooms can enhance the entire home by providing a wonderful family space which is warm, light and full of character.


Thinking outside the box! Below is a circular garden room extension made with turned green oak structural pillars.


The round garden room features external structural oak pillars and an upper floor.


The garden room shown above provides a light and airy but warm extension to a traditional Devon farmhouse.

The garden room shown below is a small annexe filled with natural light and warmed by a woodstove.


Where a flat roof is required, the use of a lantern can provide light, space and character.

Pictured on the left is one of the massive structural hand turned pillars used for the circular garden room.



Timber Framed Green Oak Porches, Verandas and Garden Structures:

A green oak porch on a side entrance an extension, with seasoned oak external door and door frame with glazed side panel.

Below: A green oak timber framed glazed veranda/ outdoor kitchen

Below is a green oak garden room awaiting roof covering and glass.

Below is a farmhouse extension providing a first floor bedroom and a covered veranda and outdoor kitchen below.

A green oak porch

A green oak timber framed covered glass roofed veranda

Another green oak timber framed veranda with a glass roof.

Below is a pergola with a glass roof and stainless steel braces and feet.

Below is a green oak curved pergola which was commissioned to top a stone colonnade

The photo below shows a green oak direct glazed atrium / entrance porch, under construction, and below is a green oak conservatory during construction.

green oak gazebo


Barns & Garages


We build bespoke individually designed barns.



Traditional Timber Framed Trusses


The roof trusses shown below are made from locally grown Douglas Fir

Traditional timber framed jointed and pegged trusses can add instant character to buildings and can be made in many different styles. Shown below is a house extension with King Post trusses made from English Green Oak with curved struts. We will make up an individual truss or a full roof as required. (The kitchen units are by Pete White at


We offer an in-house design service for timber frame projects. We use Viskon, a specialist timber framing CAD 3d drawing program which provides detailed frame renderings as well as all construction and insulation layers and detailing. The workshop frame drawings are used by our carpenters to work from and can be used to instruct a structural engineer. These drawings can also be used to show our customers a 3D image of their building project. For large projects, it is possible for these files to be sent to a CNC Hundegger for cutting.

3D CAD/CAM Timber Frame Design

Our VisKon 3D CAD/CAM timber framing software allows us to create design drawings for traditional or modern timber frames and for all elements of a timber building including wall and roof build up to 10 layers.

VisKon by Weto AG Technologies

We will construct timber frames from your own architects design or we can provide a full design and CAD drawing service for your timber framed building project.

These are screen shots from our Viskon CAD draft design of a proposed new build barn.


Traditional Timber Framing: Materials and Methods. (How we do it!)

We are committed to supporting our local forestry industry which in turn will encourage the local managed sustainable production of timber as a source of and carbon neutral building material. We have our own sawmill and we buy good quality local timber from managed woodlands in Devon & Cornwall, and sawmill the timber as required in our wood yard. This allows us to control timber quality, select suitable timbers for each project and ensure a supply of naturally curved timber for use in curved braces and tie beams. Because we are able to source local timber, we are able to compete favourably on cost with imported timber.

Nigel sawmilling locally grown English Oak on our Heartwood sawmill above and below is some English Oak extracted from managed local woodlands.


A pile of naturally curved timber, sawmilled and destined to become curved braces in our timber frames.


The frame is then dismantled and loaded for transportation to site.

The Carpenters Fellowship

The Carpenters Fellowship meeting where timber framers meet to share beer, knowlege, attend lectures and socialise. This is the Tamar Joinery Team, consisting of Nigel, Sascha Nitsche, Andy and Tom taking part in the Perrier competition.


Whilst our passion is for traditional English scribe timber framing, and we continue to use the same structural and jointing carpentry techniques which have been used for centuries, we also embrace the use of modern machinery which makes our work much faster!

This photo shows the detail of the Lap joint between tie beam and wall plate

Shown below are sections of green oak frames laid out in the workshop with temporary iron hook pins during construction.


Green Oak Glazing

Glazing green oak requires specialist techniques to overcome problems which could be caused by movement of the timber. The demands of building controls as well as a basic need for good energy efficiency means that efficient glazing is an essential part of modern timber framing. We offer a glazing service for our own oak timber frames. As the quality of the timber used and the finish of the frame to be glazed are both critical in ensuring a successful glazing system, we will not glaze timber frames made by others. . The glazing system we use is the tried and tested Scandinavian drained and ventilated system. This system glazes directly onto the outer surface of the frame allowing for flexibility if there is movement in the oak as the seal is kept intact. The best quality stainless steel fixings are used and the air dried oak cover boards are machined by ourselves from the highest quality joinery grade timber.





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The Tamar Joinery Company

01822 840848