Lovely timber windows and doors can transform a house. Here, Roderick and Jenny Smith from Oxfordshire explain in their own words how a new front door and replacement windows throughout improved their home in so many ways…
Our house is fairly modern – only 25 years old – in a small village in Oxfordshire. Many of the original wooden windows and doors had become stiff to open and close and, in some cases, let in draughts.
The double-glazed panes frequently lost their seal and would become misty. The rather ugly window furniture was also becoming loose – or even breaking – and lacked any security features.
The dark brown colour of the original windows was not to our taste; inside it made the window areas drab and ill-matched to the interior décor and outside it made the house look 'dated'.
We didn't want a radical change of style (except perhaps for the front door) and so first of all we considered a complete overhaul of the existing windows – replacement of the failed double-glazing panes, replacement of the window furniture, redecoration inside and out and a refitting of the stiff frames.
However, we soon concluded that we could not, as they say, ‘make a silk purse out of a sow's ear’. We therefore started to look for high quality replacement windows whose exterior colour we could match to the orangery, which was built three years previously.
We went to visit Jack Brunsdon & Son's showroom at Blenheim Sawmills after seeing one of their advertisements and were immediately impressed by the quality of the products, the range of styles and the ability to customise the installed product. We could even match the Farrow & Ball 'String' colour of our orangery windows externally while having opting for a bright white internally. The engineered timber we chose had all the natural texture of a wood product and held the promise that the frames would not warp or become stiff.
The end result was certainly worth it. Several friends and neighbours have commented on the transformation of the house’s external appearance and we have noticed the elimination of draughts and the ease with which we can now open and securely close the new windows and doors.
The installers did their best to minimise the disruption. We were particularly impressed with the surveyor, who not only made the precise measurements but also suggested some changes to the detail of the order. He guided us towards having chrome window furniture in the bathrooms and kitchen to match the chrome taps and equipment in those rooms while retaining our choice of brass handles in the rest of the house. We are grateful to him for making this suggestion and glad that we accepted it. He also suggested black spacers between the two glass panes – these give clean transition lines and match what we had in our orangery.
16 lipped casement windows and three bay windows in Meranti hardwood with 27mm horizontal astragal bars, finished to closely match Farrow and Ball ‘String’ externally, white internally. One stable door, two back doors and a front door in oak.
Designer Andy Grain
Lead installers Wayne Clanfield and Martin Tite