Each of these home builds and renovations make use of structural timber in interesting ways.

timber and glass conservatory extension - self build homes - grand designs

Image: Ståle Eriksen

When it comes to finding the best of the best build projects using timber as a building material, the annual Wood Awards is a good place to start. For 2020, its expert panel has curated a list of 17 architectural projects and nine product designs for its shortlist.

Take a look at some of the inspiring residential properties that have made the list this year.

Wooden roof, Tsuruta Architects 

 birds eye view of glass and timber extension - grand designs - self build homes

Image: Ståle Eriksen

In the north-facing garden of a Grade II-listed property, Tsuruta Architects could create this modern take on a conservatory without fear of an over bright space. 

The roof, which is pitched shallow so that it sits lower than the existing boundary wall, was fabricated on a CNC machine and constructed manually on site. Each of the sections framing the roof panels is deep, creating an interesting relationship between light and shadow in the space. 

Red Hill Barn, TYPE

 converted barn exterior in countryside - grand designs - self build homes

Image: TYPE 

While the original stone walls stand from this large, once-roofless and ruined stone barn, inside TYPE have used timber for all the new elements that have transformed this structure into a home.

modern barn conversion with wooden truss roof - self build homes - grand designs

Image: TYPE 

The Douglas fir trusses are a defining feature of the space, used in a way that lets them sit higher in the building than traditional trusses. The first floor has been reinstated with timber, while standalone timber boxes across the two levels form individual rooms, without losing the openness of the barn space.

Read more: Barn conversions: 9 of the best contemporary rural homes

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Bumpers Oast, Acme

exterior of modern oast house in kent - grand designs

Image: Jim Stephenson

Knowing that something not out-of-the-ordinary wouldn't likely get planning permission on this plot in Tonbridge, ACME based the design of this new build home on traditional local oast houses in Kent. 

interior bedroom with timber shingles of self build oast house - grand designs - self build homes

Image: Jim Stephenson

While the entire building is a highly insulated timber structure, timber has been used to add interest to the interiors of the roundels too. Each oast contains a bedroom and ensuite, where plywood shingles have been used to clad the cones, leading to a occulus skylight.  

Read more: Explore this re-imagined oast house in Kent

Two and Half Storey House, Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects

 renovation project to add an extra bedroom - self build homes - grand designs


Looking to add an extra bedroom to their existing two-bedroom, two-storey home, but denied planning permission for a single storey loft extension, these clients worked with Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects to explore other ideas to unlock the potential of this space. 

bvds architects whole home renovation using timber plywood - grand designs - self build homes


The concept was to create two interlocking floor levels, which would offer the space for an extra bedroom, by using the ceiling of the bedroom below as a bed platform for the bedroom above, creating a two and a half storey home in the process. 

Birch plywood has been used to create a space that is visually harmonious, and disguises clever built-in storage throughout the reworked space. 

Read more: 6 clever ideas for gaining an extra bedroom

House for Theo + Oskar, Tigg + Coll Architects

accessible home extension with grid timber roof - grand designs - self build homes

Image: Andy Matthews

As part of a competition to design a home for clients with two young sons who suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Tigg + Coll Architects transformed an existing 1930s bungalow to meet the children’s current and future needs with generous bedrooms and a better connection to the garden. 

children's bedroom with exoposed timber roof - self build homes - grand designs

Image: Andy Matthews

The glulam timber roof has been left exposed throughout the extension, not only adding warmth and interest to the boys’ bedrooms, but also allowing for hoists and other health equipment to be supported directly off the joists.   


For more of the latest award-winning homes, read Grand Designs magazine digitally for free now by registering your details

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