This week was all about kit.
On Sunday we scooted down to Plumpton to visit a marble shop and look at basins for the ground floor WC.
We got all distracted by some awesome marble for the floors as well. I tend to veer off into silvery-grey and Clinton tends to like the beige colours.
On Monday we said goodbye temporarily to the brick team. They’ll be back to fill the gap under the roof between the current course and the roof itself when the roof gets built up. They’ve probably been onsite longer than anyone: maybe Nic was here as long but its close.
We took a couple of days to pay a visit to our windows. They’re made in The North.
Grantham is nowhere near Scotland, neither is it part of The North at all if you speak to anyone in Harrogate, but it’s still a long way from Kansas, and it felt quite North to me (cue GoT reference here).
The windows are cut, welded and polished before being blasted, treated, waxed and polished.
Now for a good dunking.
There are four tanks of different chemicals, and each stage is timed down to the minute of how long the frames sit in each tank of goo. They use an alarm system and headphones so the operator knows which windows come out when.
It was great to meet Ken who showed us around the factory, and he introduced us to Martin the shop floor manager. The two of them introduced us to our windows! Ta-da! How amazing to finally see the windows actually existing. My first correspondence with Ken was around May 2014, so this project has been a long time coming, we’ve had much hemming and hawing over whether to go expensive bronze or not, and Ken must be jolly relieved to see the project come to fruition and get us out of there!
That was the frames in a nutshell, and I haven’t even got to the glass yet! They buy the glass in, and then it’s inspected, hand cut to size, toughened, glazing bars installed and then vacuum sealed and cleaned. It’s quite a precision process and uses some of the best machinery in the country to do the job.
Andy runs the glass area, and Ken and he showed us around.
We knew the window package was just about the most expensive bonkers thing on the menu for the house. Everyone we spoke to, when we tried to value engineer the build early on, quite rightly suggested that we bin the bronze and go for a most cost effective (and normal) aluminum or wood window. I’m very grateful to Ken for showing us around and letting us see first hand that the job they do is not just about the materials, but more about the craftsmanship and the dedication to doing an excellent job. We were blown away.
Delivery date onsite is 09 Jan 2017.
Before venturing back down South, we paid a visit to an artisan metalwork shop with the idea of making some balusters for the stairs out of some sort of metal. Little did we know that we’d hit hip-and-trendy metalwork central. They cast all sorts of door handles and things out of all sorts of metals from their little showroom hidden upstairs in an old-fashioned industrial estate just outside Nottingham. I have my eye on a door push for the front door which is cast from an actual twig. Watch this space.
We even got to go to Belton House for a coffee before the sun set.
All good things must end, so back home we went.
And back onsite… James, Terry and Josh are working to get the dormers exactly right.