Dartmouth, Devon

Aluminium Casement Windows, Aluminium Entrance Doors, Aluminium Screen Walling System, Aluminium Slab Doors, Aluminium Sliding Doors

Images © Bramshott

This project involved our bespoke glazing solution, featuring a Premium Aluminium Screen Walling System, Premium Aluminium Entrance Doors, Premium Aluminium Slab Doors, Premium Aluminium Sliding Doors, and Aluminium Windows in Dartmouth, Devon.

“A difficult location on a very steep site meant this project had its challenges when it came to access! The results speak for themselves and the clients can now enjoy the beautiful views of the Dartmouth estuary from their fully refurbished home.”

Our clients originally approached Green Circle Bespoke Glazing in July 2021, presenting us with plans (courtesy of BBH Architecture) for an extensive refurbishment of their existing Dartmouth property. We were able to sit down with the clients several times in our showroom and talk through designs, finishes and options before the final set of drawings was created. With the build not yet commenced on site, we had time on our side, which meant our clients could ensure they made the right decision for the different glazing aspects of their home.

The Challenges

From the minute we saw the initial drawings, we knew that accessing the site would pose a significant issue! The steep stepped design would make it very difficult to manoeuvre the heavy glass units and awkwardly large frames into position with the aluminium doors and aluminium windows in this Dartmouth location. If all this wasn’t enough, parking was also limited, meaning it would be difficult to manoeuvre vehicles near to the site.

Meanwhile, our clients also faced many obstacles along the way, with other elements of the build. After waiting for planning permission, they had to complete several different surveys, including geotechnical surveys, etc. Unfortunately, they encountered several structural implications of building up to the retaining wall and road, so they decided to scale back the extent of the project somewhat.

Part F of the building regulations was yet another stumbling block on this project. Whilst the clients understood the importance of background ventilation, it was a bit of a struggle to find a solution that performed well, and that they liked aesthetically. Our clients were also made aware that whilst trickle vents are ugly, there are plenty of other pitfalls that aren’t often mentioned, such as whistling in the wind, becoming a fly trap, and the lack of controlled ventilation.

Perhaps the most regular challenge we faced was weatherproofing these aluminium doors and aluminium windows in Dartmouth, which is such an exposed location. The prime coastal spot was sure to get a beating in the Great British Weather, so we needed to make sure that all the systems installed were appropriate for such an environment.

The Solutions

We worked closely with both the clients and the builders (Lilburn & Elliott Construction) to help overcome the challenges that were faced.

Some of the larger frames were built up to the full size in the factory for testing, and then split down into smaller sections to allow for the team to manoeuvre these onto the site. Our installations team then reassembled these on-site before completing the first fix installation of all products. We were also able to send additional labour to the site to help manhandle each and every frame of the aluminium doors and aluminium windows down the steep-sloping site to each level of the property in Dartmouth. After a very tiring and labour-heavy couple of days, the frames were all in place, and installation was ready for them to commence with their next fantastic project.

We understand that building projects don’t follow a strict schedule and that unexpected delays often push the schedule back. Our team were sympathetic to this, and worked alongside the builders to ensure our teams were on site at the right times to keep the project running smoothly. Our installations manager, Steve, has a great relationship with Duncan and Neil at Lilburn and Elliott, and together, they worked in liaison with our office to keep the glazing element of the project on track.

Adapting to our Aluminium Windows Project in Dartmouth

As trusted advisors, we discussed the advantages and drawbacks of different background ventilation solutions with our clients, including products not actually sold by us. At Green Circle Bespoke Glazing, the ethos has always been to give the client the best solution rather than selling a product with a problem for them later down the line. Whilst MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery) systems are the ultimate solution, sometimes budgets or property types prohibit this, which was the case in this scenario. The clients considered both passive wall vent solutions and traditional trickle vent solutions. In the end, they ended up with a compromise of using both. We tried to put the trickle vents in less obvious windows to minimise the aesthetical impact. In key areas where they might look intrusive, the clients utilised the passive wall vent solution.

Unfortunately, at the time of this sale, we weren’t aware of the Venti Fluxo product. However, for any future clients who are reading this and experiencing a similar dilemma, we would recommend you check out this alternative solution here.

The Results

Thanks to our Aluminium Doors and Aluminium Windows in their Dartmouth home, the clients now have a highly functional and completely transformed property. Thermally efficient glazing means the home retains heat much better and helps to conserve what would otherwise be wasted energy. Stunning large glass panes allow the clients to enjoy the beautiful vista from the safety and warmth of their home on a wet day. On a hot day, the clients can open up the Premium Aluminium Sliding Doors to entertain friends and accommodate alfresco dining.

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