Mr and Mrs Virani bought a two-storey 1930’s house in October 2013 with the idea of redeveloping the space to accommodate their living needs. It had never been refurbished or redecorated. Dark interiors featured maroon and mustard wallpaper and Tom and Jerry lampshades back from when the previous owners, now in their 60’s, were kids.
The family moved in, and merely did some cosmetic works that gave the Virani’s and their two children a more homely feel and lived there until they worked out exactly what was required and then began planning from there.
“It took nearly 15 months to get the planning permission. The property is in a conservation area. After a lot of back and forth we eventually got the best that we were probably going to achieve. We moved out and the builders moved in. The building was totally stripped down.”
From start to finish, the entire building project took 11 months. First thing they did was completely gut the property - which included all the floors and the roof. The property was extended up, back and sideways and completely modernised.
We chose PCW for various reasons. We liked their attitude; although it’s a fairly large company it still has that "family business" feel. Certainly no regrets. The quality of their timber windows and the doors is outstanding.”
Single glazed windows that came with the property, had seen their better days. Old and tired, weren’t keeping the heat in. Their timber frames were falling apart. As a result it was just extremely hot in the summer, really cold in the winter and the noise from the nearby road was a real nuisance.
The couple loved timber and they weren't looking at replacing it with any other material. "It is by far the nicest material. Especially for residential, old period houses" said Rahim. "The council wouldn’t have allowed us any other. But we were very happy about that."
“We checked 3 or 4 different timber specialists, and had a variety of quotations. They weren’t the cheapest. They certainly weren’t the most expensive. They were the second cheapest to be honest. We chose PCW for various reasons. We liked their attitude; although it’s a fairly large company it still has that "family business" feel. We could deal directly with one of the owners. Certainly no regrets. The quality of their timber windows and the doors is outstanding.”
PCW manufactured and fitted the entire front and back of the property with the energy efficient double glazed hardwood timber windows. Factory finished white timber casement windows, seventeen in total in different configurations, are extremely durable and require minimum maintenance.
Front facing windows were given a leaded design to enhance the period look of the property and keep it in line with the rest of the area. Installation of all the glazing took place in stages starting from the top of the property right to the very bottom. Solid modern timber doors, in bespoke RAL - Signal Grey, were installed at the very end.
The couple had a project manager and many subcontractors, but remained quite involved themselves all the way through.
The patio doors for the newly extended part of the house were definitely the major investment.
During the design stage the large bifold doors were Rahim and Shemi’s preferred choice. They seemed to be the “it-doors” of the moment. But then they visited PCW Park Royal Showroom where they had a chance to see the choices of doors and how they operate.
Rahim said: "I have to say we were asked a valid question by one of the PCW consultants. We live in the UK, so how many months would you have your doors completely opened? So we looked at them closed. That made us rethink our preferred choice of doors for the extension. Sliding doors had those tiny frames. Bifolds had those substantial, chunky frames. After seeing them both in the showroom - we gradually realised what would be the best fit for our new kitchen - living room extension."
Shortly after, when designing the back of house extension, they dropped the floor by about a metre and ended up with a very high ceiling. This created an even larger opening for potential new doors. Now they could instal the doors that were floor-to-ceiling 3 metres high. With PCW signature 26 slim sliding doors that was not an issue. Now each of the panels is approximately 3 m high and 1.5 m wide. With large panes of glass, slim but sturdy aluminium frames, and a south facing garden this room is now flooded with light.
Despite the size, the sliding doors are very practical. You would think they are quite heavy, especially with the double glazing. The sliding mechanism is of a very high quality. You can move these doors with one finger! And obviously the frames are so thin in between so you can barely see them.
“We often have parties and entertain, and people like those slim frames. Another practical issue is when you’re cooking you can open them just a bit - which isn’t possible with bifolds. Previously we were in favour of bifolds. Bifolds were more in fashion - now we feel it reversed.” said Shemi.
Initially the Virani's were hoping to have an entire back of the house opened. Unfortunately, due to building permission restrictions, it wasn’t possible to have an entire space extended the same way and close with the large glazed wall. Half of the wall had to be moved one meter back. So PCW manufactured and installed 2 sets of 4.5m long door sets consisting of 3 large glazed panels each.
The couple were able to smoothly merge the inside with the garden, by allowing similar materials, colour and texture to continue from their spacious living room onto the patio. With even surfaces and no steps involved this created a perfect extension to their living room, for when they entertain their friends.
"I have recommended PCW to many of our friends on many occasions. A friend of ours was refurbishing his house and needed 45-50 timber double glazed windows. He was very pleased not only with the quality of the windows they installed but the price for the whole lot. He still thanks me for that to this day." said Rahim.