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
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~