Cottage in Shakespeare country

Melanie and Martyn moved into their 200-year-old thatched cottage in Warwickshire 10 years ago aware that the property would need a considerable amount of work to transform it into a family home for them and their young daughter.

Originally a one-up, one-down estate cottage, the property had been extended in the 1930s and then in more recent times to include a flat-roof kitchen and conservatory at the rear.

Melanie, a pharmacy terminoligist with the NHS, says: “We already lived in the village and we knew the house and the family, but were aware the cottage needed some modernisation. It was a project for us.”

Melanie and Martyn, who works in motorsport and aerospace engineering, demolished the back of the house and re-modelled it, putting on an extension that comprises a kitchen, dining area, utility room and bathroom and an additional bedroom.

It then became clear, however, that the windows at the front of the cottage still needed to  be replaced.

“The windows were steel-framed and,” says Melanie, “the previous owners had taken out the windows and put in very thin double-glazing units, however this still did not prevent draughts coming in between the frame.

“The old windows were a nuisance as they streamed with condensation in the winter which in turn made the paint work mouldy.

“Some friends had wooden frames from Jack Brunsdon and we asked their advice. And, because we are very similar in our tastes and we liked what they had had done, we visited the Jack Brunsdon’s excellent showroom in Oxford where we were made to feel very welcome and looked at the extensive range of windows on offer.

“We talked to them about achieving the lowest profile windows and went from there. It is quiet in the village, but in terms of sound insulation the good seals and the glazing do make a difference.

“We went for leaded windows with a black finish on the exterior frames and Farrow and Ball Slipper Satin on the inside. It has transformed both the exterior and the interior of the cottage.

“The windows were replaced over a couple of days in February. The Jack Brunsdon fitters were fantastic. They were very efficient. The windows were taken out and the debris placed on the drive. They said someone would come the following day to collect it all and they did.

“The finishing off work was also very good. I was working from home during the installation and they were very considerate. I would thoroughly recommend Jack Brunsdon for service, quality and fitting."

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