From our perspective, we are happy to work directly with any person in the build process. Mostly, we talk to the end customer. But we often make sure we have a good discussion with everyone involved so that we are certain that the customer, the builder, the architect and everyone else is on the same page. For this project, one company took sole charge of the design and build, so we had a very knowledgeable single point of contact to work with.
The result is a very cohesive project that combined three different products (and two different external surface materials as a result) in a natural and united way. The fact that a timber Lacuna bifold door can be fixed directly to an aluminium-clad Rationel corner post and fixed light, just around the corner from a tilt-turn and a sliding door, with faux-sliding sashes above and all this looks perfectly integrated is a testament to understanding and skill of our manufacturers.
Replacing sliding sashes can present a small problem for us. As a supplier who prides themselves on offering the most airtight and well-insulating products, sliding sashes are inherently terrible at both these qualities, so we are not the biggest fans… One solution would be a Vrogum’s class 4 airtight sliding sash but, for this project, the solution was a fake sliding sash. Using Rationel FormaPlus as a base, the “sliding” units actually open outwards with a typically traditional British glazing bar layout.
The FormaPlus in general is a fantastic product to create a modern, yet traditionally-styled build. The angled glazing bead and interior timber moulding take care of the traditional aspect. And the aluminium exterior provides a low-stress and low-maintenance surface – no re-painting will ever be required.
The Rationel AuraPlus sliding door is created at the maximum possible manufacturing size. For some builders, maximum window sizes create understandably frustrating situations. However, we never make exceptions or try to push a factory to make something that they’re uncomfortable with. Subsequently, we are confident that this very large item has not been stretched beyond the system’s capabilities and will be trouble-free for many years to come.
Speaking of maximum sizes, the slim-framed 3-leaf bifolding door from Lacuna is also created at the maximum possible width. This prompted an interesting conversation in Denmark, where Lacuna decided to conduct further testing to their product. The result is that the factory have increased their maximum size; confident that their product is more than capable of handling the stress.
RAL colours form a fundamental part of every product in our range. They allow us to offer different products in the same home without worrying about how different materials will affect the colour match and whether certain paints will react poorly with certain materials. When we order a product with a painted surface, we know the exact RAL code and the precise gloss level. We also know, because the paint is exclusively water-based, that our timber windows and doors are free to breathe, and moisture will not be trapped within the product.