The next stage I want to update you on is probably the most exciting for me as I really feel that the windows and doors of a property complete the whole look of the house. In our home there was an array of different styles and types of windows, ranging from wooden single glazed to new(ish) double glazed, a box window and a random fixed skylight in a flat roof. There were six doors to the property, including the front door, a back door, a set of patio doors, French doors, a window/single French door and an old window/door combination that required you to step over a window sill into the garden 😂 I thought the amount of doors was excessive but could see so much potential for them all.
We started researching window companies on the internet and of course the usual large companies came up first, but we also wanted to try a local company that we could trust. My husband decided to write a Facebook post asking for recommendations and we got so many responses, many of which were for the same company. I arranged for four companies to come and give us quotes over two days. We went round each room and they measured the windows as I discussed what I wanted in each room.
Most windows and doors were simple requests:
– Three panelled windows in most rooms where the outer windows were bottom openers.
– All single windows as bottom openers.
– Anthracite grey colour on the outside of all windows and doors.
– Anthracite grey colour on all windows and doors on the inside in the family room, dining area, kitchen and utility.
– White on the inside of all other windows and doors.
– Bifold doors in the family room
– Changing the window/single French door in the dining area to a single fixed pane of glass.
But the snug lounge box window was an unusual request:
– I wanted something as close to an oriel window as possible. A seamless glass box that would be a real feature. I asked each company if I could have one fixed pane of glass floor to ceiling at the front with two side glass panels that open.
– We asked for the quote in both uPVC and aluminium.
As stated in a previous blog post, I knew after the first day which company we were going to go with. There were a few reasons for this; the owner of the company himself came to the house not a salesperson. He started out in the industry as a window fitter so knew exactly what he was talking about. He was also the only one out of the four that considered my request for the box window and said would come up with an idea for me. They were also the most recommended to us 👍🏼 and I just had a really good feeling about them.
There were a total of 17 windows and 3 doors that we decided we wanted to change.
One company couldn’t give us a quote as they didn’t have the resources to do what we wanted for the box window, another company kept delaying giving us a price, again, based on the box window and the remaining companies gave us quotes that were very similar. The company we decided to go with was Goldseal.
The full aluminium quote was more or less double the quote for the uPVC which I had a feeling it would have been before we got it. Goldseal were fantastic in not pushing us into the higher price option and even sent us pictures of each style so we could compare. Personally I wanted all aluminium as I thought they looked sleeker and more appealing but as they are metal they are obviously good conductors of heat. Due to the sheer amount of windows and doors in the property, this meant a lot of our heating would be lost just through the windows. After much consideration I decided to compromise and opted for mostly uPVC but kept the bi-folds, single pane in the dining area and the box window as aluminium.
I did also contact a company that I found through Pinterest to get a quote for an oriel window. As you can see, an oriel window is a seamless glass box that is sealed in the corners by silicone rather than metal or plastic. To me they look like 1/2 a fish tank stuck on the side of your house and I loved them. I emailed them the measurements of the window and got a very quick response. A rough quote of £13,000 was given for just the window with an extra £6,000/£7,000 top up for the structural steel supporting it.
So altogether around £20,000 for one window. 😱 To be fair the gentleman I was in contact with was very helpful and admitted they were crazily expensive due to fact you end up with a product that it essentially floating with no visible framework. If your interested in a window like this then contact IQ Glass UK or Contemporary Glazing or go and have a look at their amazing show room. I, on the other hand, had to lower my expectations and waited to see what Goldseal came up with.
Once we’d agreed a price and paid our deposit, a window surveyor came to the house to take more accurate measurements and discuss the details. After these were taken, it was 9 weeks until the work started and took a total of 7 full days to complete. Both sets of parents were on hand to answer any questions the fitters had and it just so happened that my husband was also back in the UK on business so could see progress each night also.
They fitted all the upstairs uPVC windows first and then the downstairs.
Next the aluminium bi-folding doors went in the family room, along with the single pane in the dining area. I feel like both of these additions have really transformed the family room and I can’t wait to decorate and start using this room.
They started the box window; the single pane of glass at the front weighed 350kg and needed 8 guys to move it. The side openers weren’t ready yet so they were fitted a couple of days later. I originally wanted tilt and turn for these but was told that the manufacturers couldn’t get the mechanism small enough to fit in the narrow size. So a bi-fold mechanism was installed that meant they open fully from top to bottom, like a door. The frame is aluminium and anthracite on both sides. I am absolutely in love with my box window as it’s unique and such a feature to our snug lounge.
Finally the Rock door was installed, along with the side porch window. I love the style that we chose and am very happy with the final result. As the top of the door was slightly too narrow to fit another pane of glass in, we decided to have it boarded and rendered instead. The original door did have a key lock that also needed a key to open it up from the inside, instead we had it changed to a thumb lock which is a lot easier. We just have to remember to not lock ourselves out now 😱
Unfortunately we did notice that there were four small ‘flaws’ in the box window glass that distorted the image behind it, we raised it to the company and they came round to the house with a buffering machine to try to smooth it out. Unfortunately it did not work and another piece of glass was ordered. There were also a few other odd jobs that needed finishing with the other windows around the house but they were completed at an agreed time.
Overall, we are very happy with our windows and doors and are looking forward to getting in the house to make use of them properly.
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