ContractorKJA Services

Properties on one of England’s most famous country estates have had their windows replaced using modern versions of the original Universal Suite steel frames.

The historic home of the Duke of Devonshire is regarded as one of the finest country houses ever built and it is frequently featured as the setting for television programmes or films, as well as being a very desirable wedding venue. The extensive estate, meanwhile, contains many smaller properties, including a group of eight cottages in a settlement known as Pilsley.

Here, Crittall Windows’ Midlands based distributor has undertaken a carefully planned replacement contract on behalf of Chatsworth’s Building Department: removing the old steel windows and installing the manufacturer’s tried and trusted Homelight units. KJA Services fitted more than 80 of the double-glazed and corrosion protected replacements over a period of two months.

The Estates Manager for Chatsworth, Malcolm Holland comments: “There are eight cottages in two groups of four, dating from 1959, which are occupied by retired staff from the estate, or private tenants. These were the original windows that we had to replace – also manufactured by Crittall – but they were obviously ungalvanized and featured a single pane of glass.

“We have therefore taken the opportunity to not only fit double glazing, greatly improving the energy performance, but also to change over to smaller panes which are much more in keeping with the style of the properties. While we did consider fitting timber windows at one stage, following discussions here we realised that Crittall was the right option. This contract has greatly improved the cottages’ appearance, while we were very pleased with the service we received from KJA and from Crittall as the manufacturer.”

The Managing Director of KJA Services, Mr Alan Davis recounts: “What a lot of people don’t realise is that the modern Crittall window is a completely different animal from the product that went into so many flats and houses in the last century. The ones which are probably 70 or 80 years old were only treated with red oxide as an anti-corrosion coating, and needed to be frequently repainted. Nowadays they are not only galvanized but the polyester powder paint coating is guaranteed from 20 years so they are unlikely to need repainting in the life of the building.

“Then the locking handles, combined with the strength of the steel sections offer excellent security. In fact security is a characteristic of steel windows and doors – steel frames being much stronger than aluminium, wood or PVC. As well as deterring break-ins and giving improved security, steel windows have very slender sight lines, giving a light and airy feel to any room.

“Meanwhile double glazing and the draught-stripping makes them very much more energy efficient, and helps them comply with Part L of the Building Regulations. Basically the contemporary Homelight and W20 Crittall Windows present the same section and sight-lines as the old windows, but meeting all modern day standards as a direct replacement.”

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