Jules Rimet still gleaming

Turned out to be a Wednesday of woe – but there’s still the strong possibility of giving the Belgian side a good spanking tomorrow. In brighter news, we managed to get two Admiral adverts onto Wednesday’s Oxford Mail front page. Can you spot the second one?

Oxford Mail with ad


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

Music for conservatories

Goethe called architecture ‘frozen music’.  Okay, he was likely discussing the grand Baroque architecture of his period – and the quote has since become something of a cliché – but how might this be applied to modern construction? If your house could sing, what would be its song?

A conservatory is the elegant bridge between house and garden – perhaps you enjoy yours as a meditative space – somewhere to unwind at the end of the day; a quiet retreat where you can enjoy the garden’s evening ambience? What then might be the sound of this place?

My answer is this: ‘Air in Resort’ by Hiroshi Yoshimura (1940 – 2003). Try it for yourself here. Apparently, Yoshimura’s ambient soundscapes are also liked by cats …



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.


Marquand Window


If only Henry G. Marquand would have come to Admiral, he could’ve had the real thing. As it was, he had to make do with a sketch.

This stained glass trompe l’oeil (deceives the eye) piece is now exhibited in the Museum of the City of New York.

Henry G. Marquand House Conservatory Window 1883 – 1884

Designer: Richard Morris Hunt (1827 – 1895)

Maker: Eugene Stanislas Oudinot (1827 – 1889)


Days out in Oxfordshire, part 1 – Oxford Bus Museum

As a well-established Oxfordshire home improvement company, we’re often contacted by people who are in the process of moving to our area from afar. The world famous city of Oxford needs no introduction from us – instead then, we would like to share some ideas for days out around the beautiful county of Oxfordshire. This post is intended to be the first in an occasional series.

If you’re stuck for something to do on the bank holiday, how about a trip in one of Oxford Bus Museum’s running fleet? On the two May bank holidays this year, the museum is running an hourly vintage bus service from Oxford Parkway station to Long Hanborough station, via Kidlington Woodstock and Witney. These are great opportunities to experience local travel the way some of us remember.

Now in its 34th year at Long Hanborough railway station, Oxford Bus Museum houses a collection of 40 vehicles, including buses and coaches that once served Oxfordshire routes and destinations. Oxford Bus Company’s handsome pre-nationalisation tri-colour livery is well represented here, and there is also a display of the products of Lord Nuffield’s Morris Motors, whose business began in 1912 from a small garage at 21 Longwall Street.

Hitching a Ride
Photograph © Brown, A.W. (2012)

The bus pictured isn’t one of the museum’s fleet by the way – it’s a 1966 Leyland PD3 that used to run services in Rossendale, before passing into preservation and then to Nostalgia Travel of Kingston Bagpuize, who maintain it to PCV standards and use it for private hires. Here, it awaits a wedding party outside Oxford’s Pembroke College. Your correspondent has driven many miles in this splendid vehicle – including a memorable day trip from Oxford to central London and back, following which my left leg went dead for a week.

Close the door, light the light

Your front door is a major part of visitors’ first impressions of your home. The door that you choose should match the style of your property. For example, a Victorian semi might look at its best with a door that contains two glazed panels at the top and two infill panels at the bottom, whereas a 1930s terraced house might benefit from a door with a smaller glazed area. Owners of listed buildings and those in conservation areas will be somewhat restricted in terms of material choices, sizes and styles – your local planning office can advise.

A front door must be tough enough to cope with keeping out the elements – including the criminal element! All Admiral’s composite and uPVC doors feature a host of security features to ensure that unwelcome visitors are barred from entry.

Composite or uPVC?

upvc_door with sidepanels

Admiral uPVC doors are made to the highest quality, and are bright, modern and virtually maintenance free. Available in a choice of colours and woodgrain finishes, uPVC doors don’t rot, flake, rust or fade. All you need to do to keep them looking smart is give them an occasional wipe with a damp cloth – it’s that easy. They add to the warmth and comfort of your home by keeping out noise and draughts. The hinges, locks and keeps are fitted directly to the door’s steel reinforcement for excellent security.

composite door with sidepanels

Our composite front doors are also excellent when it comes to security and insulation – typically 44mm thick and fitting into super-strong 70 mm structural frames, these doors stand up to the weather extremely well. Although composite doors cost a little more than uPVC doors, they offer the visual appearance of timber doors – but with better security and without the maintenance hassles.

Our door installations come with the Admiral 10 year guarantee and price promise. If you receive a lower quote from another supplier and installer then, provided the specification is the same, we will beat it. Call us to arrange a free no-obligation quote.