Installation of Smart Systems aluminium bi-fold doors – before and after


Alu bifolds before


Alu bifolds after

If you have an area of patio that needs bringing to life, get your free no-obligation quote by calling Admiral today on 01865 788333.


Well I never!

This blog-post shows the work that goes into even a small lean-to conservatory. We think that the result here on the Berkshire Downs looks fabulous.

Let’s begin with some shovel work. If there’s one thing that’s better than actually doing shovel work, it’s writing about someone else doing shovel work.


Err … Houston … we have a problem.


Extra ground work was required to cap over the remains of this historic well. Thanks to project manager Simon, this complication added just one day to the build.




This conservatory has blockwork walls, which we shall render later. The picture above shows the outer skin of blockwork, with the damp-proof course in-situ.


Lee constructs new steps up to the conservatory.


Happy workers; hard at it. That’s what I like to see.


Once the foundations, the floor screed and the new walls have dried, our construction team arrives on site. It doesn’t take long for them to fit the new frames.


A good sense of balance is an important attribute for our fitters.



It’s not yet lunchtime on construction day 2, and already the glazing has been installed.


A few days later and the rendering is completed. In this case, our customer has opted to do the internal plasterwork and flooring themself, so all that remains is for our electrician to install a wall light and a power socket.

img_0472 straightened

If you are interested in having a new conservatory or extension added to your home, do give us a call on 01865 788333. You can also visit us at our Chilton show site, where examples of various conservatory styles can be seen.

Installation of bi-folding doors: a time-lapse video

Watch as we replace a pair of French doors and side windows with new uPVC bi-folding doors. You’ll see that the installation was completed comfortably in one day. The video can be found on Admiral Windows’ Facebook page here. For those without access to Facebook, here are two screenshots taken from the video.


Replacing French doors with uPVC bifolds_BEFORE


Replacing French doors with uPVC bifolds_AFTER

Building a conservatory

We were contacted by a customer who lives near Steeple Claydon in Buckinghamshire, who wanted to extend their living space. Following a visit to the property, we produced 3-dimensional drawings, of which this is a sample.

Woods with sign_sml

Our customer liked our plans and commissioned us to build this Georgian-style conservatory.  Because there would be no door between the house and the new conservatory, we would need to construct under a building notice, with the council’s building inspectors approving each step. Read on to see how we went about realising the vision.

First, we needed to know what was under our feet. A little digging revealed that the house had been built on made up ground – this was the site of an old brickworks.

ground survey

We brought in a structural engineer, who designed a reinforced cage to take the concrete foundations.


The build is now well underway. The foundations are down and the damp proof course is about to be laid.


Installing wall ties and insulation ahead of construction of the inner blockwork  …


CHRIS: ‘Keith! Keith! You going to be long, mate?’

Phil Chris and Keith

KEITH: ‘Okay, okay, tea breaks don’t have themselves, you know.’

PHIL (pointing): ‘Left a bit, right a bit, up a bit, down a bit …’


The roof bars are up and the patio doors are placed in position.




The glazing units have now been installed and we’re watching the plaster dry. When you’re tired of watching plaster dry, you’re tired of life.


While the new boiler is being fitted, let’s take a look around the back. The new brickwork matches the old – we’re always keen to get this right.


Nearing completion now – the boiler’s in, the radiator’s in, walls have been painted and the flooring has been laid.



The new build is signed off by the building inspectors, and we clear away our tools and equipment, leaving our customer to enjoy their new extension.

Complete 1

If you are interested in having a new conservatory or extension added to your home, do give us a call on 01865 788333 to book a no-obligation visit. You can also visit us at our Chilton show site, where examples of various conservatory styles can be seen and you can pick up a brochure.


The Plum Pudding at Milton

Milton’s Plum Pudding is a proper village pub. Under its ownership of Jez and Mandy Hill, the former Admiral Benbow continues to grow as a hub for the village. The Plum Pudding is enjoying an increasing reputation for excellent food that is served in a welcoming atmosphere. It is drawing in repeat customers from across the vale.

To accommodate the increased demand, Jez and Mandy needed an extra room. Initially, their thoughts centred on the idea of adding a simple lean-to conservatory to the rear of the pub. Following a visit to Admiral’s show-site at Chilton, Jez and Mandy preferred the idea of an orangery – this would make for a distinguished extension.

Together with the Hills and their architect, we drew up plans. Here is the result:

Bifold windows and doors Milton

The extension not only harmonises with its surroundings, it adds interest and functionality. Key to this design is its flexibility. Aluminium framed bi-folding doors and bi-folding windows seal tight against winter storms yet allow for this new room to be opened to the outdoors in summer. Anthracite grey was chosen as the colour for the Smart Systems aluminium bi-folding doors and windows. This hardware is complemented by an oak foiled lantern style roof. The combination represents not only a link between the pub and its immediate surroundings; it reflects a link between past and present.

Plum Pudding completed

Builder Lee Myers oversaw the project, from concept to completion. Lee constructed new brickwork in the Sussex bond style, to match the Plum Pudding’s existing brickwork. Sussex bond features three stretcher bricks for every header brick, resulting in a pattern of subtle crosses. Sussex bond has traditionally been used for long stretches of masonry such as garden walls, and is a suitable load-bearing alternative to the more common stretcher bond style.

Plum Pudding evening

The internal wood cladding, the skirting boards and the structural timberwork, were constructed by experienced carpenter Albert. Most impressively, all the high-quality plasterwork was completed by Jez Hill himself. We’ve been pulling Jez’s leg by suggesting that he might spend less time pulling pints and, instead, come and do some plastering for us.

Plum Pudding_intIf you would like to sample the Plum Pudding’s renowned menu for yourself, the Plum Pudding can be found here.


Back to school for Admiral Windows

St. Swithun’s is a Church of England primary school in Kennington, a few miles to the south of Oxford. The school asked Admiral Windows to create a new administration office within their main reception area, as part of a larger renovation and improvement project.


The school and their architect for this project were looking for a modern design, and chose slim aluminium frame profiles in the increasingly popular Anthracite Grey colour (RAL 7016). This versatile grey tone integrates well with other colours, making for a balanced aesthetic.

Key stswithun3to ensuring success of the project was precise surveying, making sure that the window and door frames would sit neatly on the new walls and directly under the suspended ceiling. For safety and durability, we used an anti-finger trap commercial entrance door.

The clean lines and the harmonious modern design have created a practical and attractive architectural feature to welcome visitors to the school.


A kind of hush

gg-mainVisitors to Oxford’s Green Gables guest house will need to set their alarm clocks because, thanks to Admiral Windows, the roar of the morning rush hour will now be a thing of the past.

Green Gables is an AA ‘highly commended’ guest house situated on Abingdon Road, the main thoroughfare into Oxford city from the south. The large Edwardian building features over sixty individual windows, most of which were vertical sliding sash units featuring weights and pulleys. Because of the style and age of these windows, secondary glazing units had been fitted inside guest bedrooms, in an attempt to improve heat and sound insulation.

Green Gables’ owners tasked Admiral gg-old-sec-glazWindows with fitting suitable replacement windows for the building. These new units would need to eliminate the need for secondary glazing, while reducing maintenance requirements.

I asked Admiral Windows’ installations manager Ashton Crawley about the challenges of the job.

‘There was much making good to do, where the original frames and secondary glazing had been fitted,’ Ashton told me. ‘In all, we fitted fifty-six individual windows, including a new door combination to the rear of the property.’

How did Admiral tackle the issue of road noise?

‘We used laminated double-glazed sealed units. These break up the resident frequency of the sound waves and reduce outside noise by a considerable amount. In my opinion, by a lot more than either standard double or even triple glazed window units.’

And these are low-maintenance designs?

‘Yes. The design we agreed with the client was for a much simpler top hung with bottom opening sash window unit, with chrome coloured handles. These made for a transformation of every room where they were applied. Once we had finished the fitting job, I went from room to room with Green Gables’ cleaner, who was delighted by the reduction in her workload!’

How long did the whole job take?

‘The complete installation, from start to finish, took us less than a working week, including removing all waste from site and separating out the recyclable items. This meant the least disruption was caused to their business and they could continue boarding customers as usual.’


Many thanks to Green Gables’ owners Mr and Mrs Bhella for choosing Admiral Windows. We hope that their clients will enjoy peaceful stays at Green Gables for many years to come.

Green Gables guest house can be contacted on 01865 725870gg-new-win-2