At Enlightened Windows, we are truly fond of projects that bring together many different aspects to create a carefully designed and executed result for the client. This renovation combined two different Danish factories, unique polished chrome handles, special RAL colours and a bespoke groove pattern within the front door.
The owners of this property in Cumnor Hill in Oxford wanted to replace their current white UPVC windows. They were draughty and difficult to open, making the house very cold in winter. Purchasing the windows had been unsatisfactory, despite buying expensive PVC. After just eight years of wear, many of the handles had broken or seized and the glass had failed. As a result, the owners decided that they wanted to purchase a product with the longest possible life expectancy, but with very low maintenance as they were intending on staying in the property for many years. They looked at aluminium windows but realised that these suffer from condensation on the frames, noticing too that many companies try to make aluminium-only windows look good with clever presentation of performance statistics.
So in order to meet their requirements, the owners contacted Enlightened Windows, looking for a German or Danish-style product which is extremely well-made.
After meeting the interior designer the client had employed at the property and looking through all suitable options, it was decided that the windows should be made by STM.
The client chose STM Tinium 2+ Double glazed wood-alu composite windows. These have earned their reputation for durability in the harsh environment of Denmark, which has a similar climate to the UK.
As well as offering the exceptional quality and airtightness that we expect from all of our factories, the aluminium-clad timber STM Tinium 2+ has the added bonuses of being very flexible for handle choice and choice when interacting with the rendered areas of the home. The traditional flush finish and low gloss paint suit the surroundings perfectly. And the aluminium exterior means that the appearance will as good as new for many years to come with very minimal maintenance.
Compared to the old windows, the main two design changes (aside from the colour) were the removal of the leaded light, enabling more natural light to enter the home, and the lining through of all the sashes to avoid the odd-looking step between fixed and opening sections. The result is a much cleaner and much more symmetrical appearance.
The old white PVC windows were eight years old and already had lost much of their performance with many of the cheap fittings used by PVC companies having either broken or seized.
The client’s choice of RAL7038 Agate Grey transformed the appearance of the house by softening the previous bright white of the PVC windows and adding a bespoke soft blue-grey to the finish of the property. For the owner, the house feels significantly warmer and quieter with the high-quality Danish glass flooding the property with natural light.
After we learned that the customer and designer had a very specific style of handle in mind, we looked outside our normal options. We found a highly-polished chrome solution for both window and terrace door handles that matched the security, spindle and screw-spacing requirements.
We discussed the front door as a totally separate item. It was to be panelled, without any glass and positioned at the dead centre of the house. Consequently, it did not necessarily have to be a perfect match for the windows. We discussed many ideas with the client before they opted for the Rationel FormaPlus. This is one of the most well-insulating and highest-rated security doors that we offer. Overall, the U-value is 0.62 W/m^2k, which far exceeds the Passivhaus standard. And the door is approved by Secure By Design as well as the regular Part Q compliance. A smart choice by the client!
Furthermore, the client considered the letterbox placement carefully, before finalising the final height above the floor level. And we instructed the factory to position the spy-hole precisely in the centre of the grooved circle – which was executed perfectly.
The carefully-crafted aluminium cills complete both the superb weather tightness and architectural look of the windows. All in all, a happy client!
Enlightened Windows provided a full supply and fit package for the project, using the latest German installation methods and materials. We only use time-served carpenters to install our products and all of our installers are fully factory-trained and endorsed.
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