The Last House in Salcombe, Devon

Aluminium Casement Windows, Aluminium Entrance Doors, Aluminium Sliding Doors

Images Ⓒ Lilburn and Elliott

“ The last house in Salcombe, this stunning new extension is a prominent wow feature to anyone cruising into the picturesque estuary, be it day or night.”

The clients were heavily involved in the design of this project, ensuring that every single detail from the lighting to the glazing was exactly as they desired. When they first visited our showroom they told us about how the existing property was actually a landmark for ships and therefore its red brick roof was a feature that could not be altered! 

For the new element however, the aim was to create a stark contrast between the old and the new, allowing this element’s unique character to shine.

The Challenges

With this extensive project came several challenges that had to be overcome; from the harsh coastal weather conditions to a mini on-site landslide, there was never a dull moment working on this fantastic project. 

One of the main problems the clients had, was how exposed they were. Whilst most people tend to visit Salcombe on a brilliant sunny day, they knew that this building would need to survive the brutal battering that coastal storms and winds could throw upon it at any time. They knew they required a system that was built to last and would allow them to keep safe, warm and dry whatever the outdoor conditions may be!

One of the big sticking points they found was finding a system that was suitable for this without having to compromise their views with bulky sightlines. They realised that having the slimmest possible system just wasn’t a viable option in such an exposed location, but they still wanted to maximise the benefits of their panoramic views.

Access was another major issue the clients faced on this project. The time of year we were set to work on the project meant that the site was particularly wet and muddy, and contamination was a cause of concern to both the clients and our installations team. The site had been dug directly into the cliff side, meaning that there were only select routes down to the building in addition to having limited space on site. The only available parking was on the road at the top of the cliff, and with multiple trades on site at any time there was simply no space for large vehicles to manoeuvre!

The Solutions

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

Weathering is always an issue that has been taken seriously at Green Circle, and is essentially the core feature of every product we offer. On this project, we recognised the significant exposure level and took extra steps to prevent leaks and draughts. The team agreed with the clients that we would source specialist stainless steel welded trays to fit under the products to further enhance the weather ratings.

At the design stage, the clients spent a lot of time considering their options and our friendly advisors helped them select products that would not only meet their basic requirements, but would complement their lifestyle. Through these discussions and a crucial visit to the showroom, the clients were able to see and try all of their options themselves before making a decision. With all large building projects, the decision between the ever-popular bi-fold doors or the sleek sliding doors is always a big one and it’s really important that you consider the benefits and drawbacks of both before you commit. On this project it was the slider that was chosen, mainly because it would avoid the problem of bi-fold sashes blowing in the heavy winds on the estuary, plus our unique night latch feature on our sliding system meant that they could still get subtle ventilation during slightly warmer weather. The sleek slim lines of the sliding system meant that the clients would be able to enjoy uninterrupted views of the boats passing up and down below them.

Although we encountered delays and setbacks on the way, such as a mini-landslide that put the project schedule back, our team was able to flexibly accommodate this and prevent the project having any further delays.

We knew from the start that access was going to prove difficult, so as a team we formulated a plan to help the project run smoothly. This included making sure that as usual all the frames were built in our factory including sealing all the cills in-house before departing to the site. This would result in preventing contamination from the mud and grime on site and ultimately enhance the weather rating. The team then carefully selected suitable vehicles to make sure that they would not block the road and that there would be adequate room at the top of the cliff for walkers and passers-by to use the footpath.

Upon arrival, several members of our installations team carried each product individually by hand down to the site and navigated them to the appropriate location – this meant that all products arrived on site clean, undamaged and sealed ready for yet another state-of-the-art installation.

The Results

The clients were extremely pleased with the service and finish of the project that they received, and are now able to enjoy their new build extension in the knowledge that they have a quality finish and a strong reputable company they can fall back on, should they encounter a problem in the future. The overall project really is as its name suggests ‘Above the Bar!’

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