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« Case Studies

Brighton, The Glassworks

Authentic full-width doors, front door, balcony door, and sliding sash windows

In the heart of Brighton, this 19th-century former glassworks factory had fallen into disrepair. With the site laying empty for almost a decade, the sea air had taken its toll on the exterior while the interior slowly decayed. After buying the building, our client had the vision to transform this industrial unit into a stunning living space, complete with authentic full-width double doors, a characterful front door, and balcony door and sliding sash windows.

Authentic windows and doors of distinction

At the heart of this project was authenticity. The client was insistent on using original fixtures and fittings from the building, including the internal floorboards, brickwork, and iron pillars, all restored by dry-ice blasting. And while our commissioned windows and doors would be one of the few new additions to the building, their final aesthetic took inspiration from time-honoured designs.

Following initial discussions with our client, we put forward our proposal for a complete set of custom-designed and handcrafted doors and windows that would feature on the building’s front elevation for the requirement of:

  • Three large, ground-floor, double-width doors with opening fanlights
  • One ground-floor front door with a centre door knob
  • Two first-floor balcony sliding sash windows
  • One first-floor balcony half-glazed door

High-performance timber

For their resistance to the effects of sea air, all door and window material specifications included high-performance, sustainable Accoya wood. Though one of our timbers of choice for our windows and doors, supplies of Accoya in the UK had been excessively low at the start of this project.

We were fortunate to be able to rely on the efforts of Latham Timber to organise what we needed as quickly as possible for us. Once complete, all windows and doors had a Sikkens RAL 9017 Traffic Black paint finish.

Handcrafted hardware

Complementing these were uniform Satin Brass hardware supplied by long-term suppliers, Coastal Group and the team at Croft. These included sash window fittings, casement fasteners and stays on each fanlight, and door ironmongery.

Due to the ironmongery supplied by Croft being British-made and in high demand, it had a 6-8 lead time and only became available a week before fitting. We’re grateful they did all they could to speed the process up for us.

Specialist glazing

We also specified transparent, laminated 24.8mm toughened double-glazing for the sash windows and half-glazed door. In contrast, the three ground-floor double-width doors and fanlights featured obscure, vertical ribbed glass for privacy.

Due to a change in specification – original plans included mirrored glass for the ground floor double-width doors – our glazing supplier, Mid Devon Glass, pulled out all the stops to manufacture what we needed within two weeks to help us hit our deadlines.

Reduced turnaround times

Due to conflicting schedules and delays in supplies and materials, we couldn’t carry out a full site survey. This is usually crucial in getting to know the building, checking access, and taking precise measurements. But following joint discussions with the client and team, we all agreed to use the architect’s universal measurements.

Though we always recommend a site survey, we were happy to move forward with the designs, materials, and fixtures already approved for this project. With all the combined delays, the project gave us a reduced turnaround time of just two months to manufacture and complete all seven items for the first week in December 2021, ready for fitting.

ch4 external top bottom

A remarkable renovation

This project was slightly unusual for us as it was part of a larger renovation project over 200 miles away. But our off-site location makes little difference to any heritage renovation or refurbishment projects anywhere in the UK.

Despite our physical distance from the renovation, and the tight deadlines, having full contact with James and his on-site team throughout the project helped us keep everyone informed at every step and provide a stress-free service.

We exceeded expectations in giving James the characterful, handcrafted windows and doors he needed as part of his unique and authentic building transformation that would last another 100 years.

And this project was extra special for us because we were part of a renovation journey that would air as an episode of Channel 4’s George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations featuring our windows and doors. You can read more about that in our blog.

Contact Us

For more information and advice on our door and window joinery services, to arrange your visit to our Tavistock workshop, or to arrange a personal site visit if you’re further afield across the UK, get in touch with the team today.

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  • Plot 14 and 15 Pitts Cleave,
  • Tavistock,
  • Devon.
  • PL19 0PW.

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