Two or three times a year, Langley Furniture Works are involved in large scale projects that fall under the category of ‘specialist joinery'. Recently we were brought on board to fulfill the timber and glazing elements of a unique high spec barn conversion in Thorngrafton.
The project was the culmination of many years dreaming, planning, financing and finally action for the client who had a lot invested in creating his family home. Architect Kate Wilson of Kevin Doonan Architects was employed to design the building and lead the process, administering the contract between the subcontractors including Dodwells and Langley Furniture Works.
"We were employed by the builders to come on board and take care of the specialist joinery. It had been a very wet winter so they had been up against it but as things started to dry out we mobilised our team into action. The client had a keen eye for detail and we were happy to work to a very high specification. He had a particular fondness for Elm and Douglas Fir, both of which we used throughout."
"Externally, at first glance it appears that the Douglas Fir is a structural component, along with the original iron posts, however this was a clever illusion as the architects had actually designed the entire structure around a steel frame."
"Internally, we made the big roof trusses here in the workshop before transporting them and fitting on site. They contain steel rods that add strength, which at first seems a little over the top but was deemed necessary by the structural engineers. Doing the majority of the construction in the workshop allowed us to make sure everything was sealed and simply needed lifted into place."
Alongside the external cladding, Langely Furniture Works was also responsible for installing the large glass panels that make up the curtain wall. The south facing gable would get the majority of the sun and consequently the glass was very carefully specified in terms of its thermal insulation and reflection. It's a high tech business and there are many options available that can be adjusted right down to suit the elevation of the glazing.
"The elm for the internal works came from our own locally sourced stock. It has been air dried for three to four years before being kiln dried for a week or so. We have to be careful not to over dry it as ideally it needs to match the ambient moisture content in the location it is being placed, in this case about 12-14%. We supplied the elm to make the skirting, door frames and external doors. We also used it for the treads of the magnificent staircase that was made by a specialist steel works company in Yorkshire."
"As you would imagine on a job this size, there was a little bit of snagging to attend to towards completion, however it's important for our reputation that we deliver the high standard that is expected. All timber moves as it settles in and we were more than happy to fine tune where necessary. The barn conversion was a stand out job for us that year and everyone in the team is proud to have been part of it."