3 Apr 2014

Pausing & "The Window Order"

It's been a couple of weeks since you got a site update, and that's because things slowed down to snail's pace.  Once the blocklayers got to the upper floor window openings, work on site stopped until the steel lintels were delivered.  We have some massive window openings, which look amazing, and two corner windows.  They needed heavier duty lintels than the concrete ones used elsewhere.  

It ended up taking two weeks, during that time Andrew and Paul did pop up for a couple of days to put in the floor joists but other than that there was no site activity. Frustrating for everyone, especially after the speed of progress in the proceeding fortnight.  These waves of pace seems to be a theme which is not limited to just our build, but it takes some getting used too.  It's very easy to become accustomed to visible progress and forward movement.  You have to learn how to pace yourself emotionally and with corresponding energy levels to crest and fall like waves also.  But the room spaces are emerging and it looks and feels beautiful (the bathrooms feel small but I'm told that will change!).

During this break though we managed to finalise and sign off on the window order. Our windows are being supplied by Rationel. We have selected the very gorgeous AURAPLUS range. Beautiful, slim & elegant, argon filled triple-glazed windows.  They are also super efficient and will have a coating on the inside which means it lets more solar energy in than out.  Timber composite means they are aluminium clad on the exterior and timber inside which means a lot less maintainance - HOORAY to that!

Rationel have been fantastic and have agreed to make our huge picture window which will look out over the valley.  For a long time we kept looking at different ideas of how to break this large opening up into smaller units as it was too big for standard off-the-shelf sizes and nothing quite worked. It's going to be a big one measuring 3218 x 2233mm and weighing 369kg!  It's going to be breath-taking...

Joolz (from CLD) has been an absolute hero as she as meticulously detailed, checked and corrected the order - it has taken hours. The days leading up to the final deadline was a flurry of phonecalls and emails.  The order needed to be signed off, and in doing so you accept all responsibility for it being correct.  A very scary amount of money had to be transferred.  Lots of pressure.

Joolz handled all the technical stuff of window sizes, opening directions, grooves for window boards, corner posts and cylinders. We had the decision of exterior & interior colours. For the exterior we've gone with Noir Sable as it has some texture and will look very sleek alongside the blue-grey slates. The inside colour was much more difficult.  Charlie suggested white or an off-white.  It was either going to be a near white, or a near black.  My friend, Marion, who has an incredible eye for detail, explained that a dark colour would frame the views whilst a white would allow the outside view to connect more with the interior. Darker colours would also make the window appear smaller, and Charlie advised that it can make interior colour choices more challenging.  Dimitri and I both leaned towards the stronger statement of the dark window frames - it felt like a bolder choice.  As upstairs is open plan with huge windows we didn't worry about a dark colour choice here but we wondered whether in the smaller rooms downstairs white would be a better choice. In the end we decided it would be too risky that we'd get some mix-up in the order - keep it simple, remember? So dark grey, RAL 7024, is what we've gone for. And with a delivery date of sometime during the last week of April we've only got 4 weeks until we see them!

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