Masterframe thinks outside the box sash
When Southern Housing Group needed a fenestration problem to be solved, they turned to a southern Halo fabricator: Masterframe.
Based in Essex, Masterframe specialises in sash windows and has a reputation for exceptional quality and attention to detail. This led to the company being contacted by Southern Housing Group, who wanted to restore their property – the Amhurst Park Estate – and recapture its original character.
Managing Director of Masterframe Windows Alan Burgess explains: “our client, Southern Housing Group wanted to restore their building to its former glory, and improve the property for residents who could then, once again, take pride in their home.
“The brief was somewhat of a challenge, but we knew we were up to the task – thanks to our specialist skills and the high quality of the Halo profile we use.
“The new windows needed to be energy efficient and approved by planners, while also paying homage to the character of the building by authentically replicating the look of the original timber sash windows with their very fine sightlines. As a Halo customer, we are able to benefit from The VEKA UK Group’s Variations foil range which means we can specify woodgrains that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.
“Although some sash window manufacturers make single windows and then couple them together, Masterframe has always offered the windows on one continuous cill. This is typical of the construction methods used in the past.
“These coupled frames result in a mullion in excess of 140mm wide (225mm if you include the sashes) but the existing timber frames of this project had mullions of much less, circa 100mm – plus the sashes. This dimension would need to be achieved if the new windows were to perfectly resemble the old.
“Once the design of a slimmer mullion section commenced, it became apparent that PVC-U would not be a viable option. A specialist supplier in Europe was approached and a prototype butt-jointed mullion was built and tested for adherence of the woodgrain foil that would provide the ideal authentic finish. Because the mullion is screwed together rather than welded it has the added benefit of being butt jointed like its timber counterpart. The staff bead detail beautifully ‘frames’ the sashes, effectively imitating the look of the timber box frame original.
“We’re very proud of this innovative solution, which worked out even better than we anticipated. It was ideal for this project and we received some extremely positive feedback from the client.
“We’ve found that the authentic look of this new system has advantages above and beyond this particular installation. It’s perfect for historic homes and heritage properties, where the original character needs to be maintained. We’ve gone on to use this integral mullion for numerous other customers who have been most complimentary about the result.
“The consensus is that the new design is identical to heritage timber frames, eliminating the need for coupled windows and elevating the aesthetics of multiple sash windows to a new level of authenticity. We’re very proud of this result and we’re looking forward to sharing this innovation with more of our customers in the year ahead.”