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~Case Study - Chipping Campden~

Location: Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire.

Project Date: April-July 2009

Objectives: Replace windows and doors in house, remove old conservatory and install new European oak conservatory, create two oak garden gates and build new oak porch over front entrance door.

Kevin Poole gives his design and project manager’s overview:

The client wanted something quite special and already had various ideas formulated with specific aesthetic requirements for this project.


Ellwood was one of four potential suppliers (2 national and 2 local companies) invited to quote for the whole project and we were deemed to be the best option for fulfilling this complex contract.

The conservatory was to be in European oak but the replacement windows and doors for the house were to be in hardwood, Sapele with a French Grey paint colour exterior and oak stain interior. The new front door, internal conservatory French doors and porch were to be in European oak. The conservatory was to match the exterior paint colour of the house windows but have a natural (oiled) interior finish. Two substantial garden gates with heavy duty gate furniture were also part of the overall brief, finished in natural, oiled, European solid oak.


As in all projects undertaken it’s attention to, and care for, the detail that counts - not only from a technical or build point of view but aesthetic considerations also. This conservatory was obviously the most involved part of the overall contract and our skilled craftsmen at the Ellwood factory as well as our professional fitting team, took great care in creating not only a perfect fit with each element but ensured highest skill levels employed such as in creating the superb cartwheel in the gable - lovingly hand crafted from solid oak.


The starting point for the conservatory was a rather shoddily built existing structure where leaks were obvious from various points where it joined the main house walls, the original floor sloped to one corner and the old roof rafters merely sat on the high wall without an eaves beam or bearer; mortar had been simply piled in between the rafters to close off any gaps. With that demolished, Ellwood then crafted a beautiful oak structure where the high wall was modified, the floor levelled and replaced with Mandarin Stone’s “Fleur Honed” stone tiles - complete with a conservatory underfloor heating system. Even the opening windows are built as French casement (floating mullion) style. The client’s garden is rather lovely and so being able to fling open the French doors and the windows in similar fashion, lends a fresh and open air feeling without any heavy timber work spoiling the viewing experience. The roof vent is electrically operated.


The double glazing used is full solar control type (neutral - not tinted) complete with self cleaning (“BioClean”) properties.


We are aware that oak - even properly seasoned and dried material - is difficult to use for windows and doors as it is prone to movement and certainly not as stable as say Sapele. This was overcome by using solid oak in some areas but in sensitive areas such as the door and window sashes, laminated oak timbers were used instead. Bright bronze handles finished off the look with matching bronze coloured downlighting incorporated in the under ridge “surf board”. The single, colour matched roof vent is electrically operated.


Solid oak internal windowboards complete the warm natural timber look inside and the overall structure gives an all year round, comfortable living space that is soft on the eye and melts into the garden beyond. Finally, we even matched the external French Grey colour to the elegant cresting and capping detail on the ridge and roof.

The house front door was also created in European oak as were the garden gates and porch structure. All the other windows and doors are constructed in Sapele. The front door has a ribbed and wrought iron studded almost Gothic look.


Overall the house has taken on a new life and the French grey external paint finish sits easily against the stone used in the original house construction, with the oak lending a warmth and richness to the setting.    END~