Things have slowed down a little over the last couple of months on the build for a variety of reasons though nothing unexpected. The weather has not been particularly helpful either. Mostly it has been rain, rain and more rain! I spent a day digging channels around the house to help drain the water. Good exercise though so it had its merits.

Glazing can be particularly complicated in an oak framed house and mine is no exception. I ended up using no less than four types of glazing system. This included casement windows and doors from Rationel, bi-fold doors from Sunfold, fixed Oak Glazing by Carpenter Oak and roof windows from Fakro.

rear glazing of hempcrete oak frame

The decision on casement windows had to be made very early on in the build. Some parts of the house have a fixed oak glazed system. These are areas where glazing is applied directly to the oak frame. A mixture of glazed fixed panels and casement windows are used. When they manufacture the oak frame they cut a rebate to house the casement windows. The rebate dimensions depend upon the window frame width. They can be cut on site, but it is easier and more accurate to cut the rebate in the workshop.

casement windows on the west elevation of hempcrete oak frame self build

It was not an easy process to decide which casement windows to choose. I considered: appearance, performance, price, functionality, fitting, customer service, longevity and maintenance. There were a wide variety of options on the market. As well as requesting window ‘chop samples’ it had been helpful having seen several different manufacturers’ products at Homebuilding & Renovating shows.

For my project’s casement windows and doors Rationel was a clear winner. Their double glazed windows easily met my U-value requirements. They offered good security and excellent weather resistance. Outward opening casements were essential due to the oak braces and fixed glazing. I wanted a window that offered a blend of traditional and contemporary styles. The Aldus window and door range from Rationel was perfect for this. The Aldus is constructed from a substantial treated softwood frame and uses simple Scandinavian style window furniture. Externally the window is clad in aluminium giving a sharp modern look and significantly reducing the need for external maintenance.

bi-fold doors and a juliet balcony and casement windows on oak frame self build

The aluminium window cladding allowed me to have different colours internally and externally. I found my local Rationel distributer Landmark Windows to be extremely helpful throughout. They provided a high level of customer service before and after delivery.

Choosing a suitable bi-fold door required careful consideration of the wide variety of options on the market. Due to the complexity of bi-fold doors I looked for a well-engineered and robust solution to avoid trouble later down the line. The bi-folds were to connect the house with the outside when opened and closed so a thin frame profile was essential.

I chose a Sunfold SFK-70 bi-fold door and am delighted with the product. It has thin elegant aluminium profiles and has been colour matched internally and externally to the windows. The semi-weathered track means I can have a flush floor finish internally but keep the weather and draughts out. The high quality finish and small touches like anodised hinges; finger safe seals and intelligent key system are impressive. Customer service has been excellent and the fitting team did a sterling job.

I am very pleased with my doors and windows I think they look fantastic and really add to the architectural details of the house.

The oak applied glazing and the run up to this was another story in itself…. More on that in my next post.

Comments
  • aduser_1171531

    I have grey Rationel windows and doors from the Domus range, because I wanted a softer look. The aluminium cladding is great though. I love our windows, but the south facing ones have needed a re-coat at 7 years. The windows get lots of compliments!

  • Mark Read

    Excellent article Joe. We have a similar project, but have been surprised by the cost of the windows, doors, bifolds etc. What was your budget for all your windows, doors etc? Cheers. Mark & Donna

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