Fabulous feature windows and bifold doors light up this converted barn


One of the best things about designing and building your own home is having views exactly where you want them.

We take a look at how one Bognor Regis couple utilised sliding doors and feature windows to make the most of valuable vistas…

new build home with patio doors and external decking

Image: Tim Crocker


Julie and Toby Oliver’s beautiful home was designed to make the most of sunshine, open space and amazing views. They don’t plan to move again, so the house is also futureproofed, planned as a home for their retirement and twilight years.

The house is a converted barn building that sits within land that was originally part of the couple’s former home. Loving the location, they had plenty of time to consider what they wanted to achieve with the conversion and to fund the building work with the sale of their existing property.

Planning permission relied upon the new building replicating the existing barn building as much as possible and on occupying the same footprint. Within these constraints the oak-clad, timber-frame building combines completely contemporary design married with a light and airy living space.

front view of new build house

Image: Tim Crocker

Let there be light

'We had a good idea of how we wanted the living space,' says Julie. 'We were looking for open-plan spaces that would be filled with light and sunshine. We love entertaining too, so we wanted to be able to simply open up the whole wall and have friends milling in and out of the garden.'

The solution included large Schüco sliding doors (ASS 70 HI) on both of the ground floor living rooms and one feature Schüco bifold door (ASS 70 FD). These provide the flexible living and entertaining space that the couple were looking for and also maximise the views over surrounding farmland.

'We loved the quality of the Schüco systems,' says Julie, who was responsible for finding many of the products that went into the build. 'We went to see them on display and talked to the local installer (Euro Aluminium) who gave us huge confidence. When you see the doors in position and have a play around with the sliding mechanism you immediately have confidence in the engineering. It just feels right.'

modern new build with floor to ceiling windows and outside seating area

Image: Tim Crocker

Benefits of picture doors

The picture doors are perhaps the most eye-catching features, but large Schüco windows (AWS 70 SC) were also used at ground and first-floor level where the charcoal grey aluminium frames complement and contrast with the lighter, silver tones of the oak-panelled facades.

On working with Schüco, Gabriel Andrisan, Managing Director of Euro Aluminium Ltd, commented, 'As a company we need to make sure we chose the best when it comes to quality, engineering, aesthetics and versatility, the answer for us is: Schüco. They provide us with a top of the range system and service, the results can easily be observed in our reviews and in projects like Westward Hoe.'

patio with seating outside modern home

Image: Tim Crocker

Emission impossible

Energy efficiency was an important consideration, and architects JRR Designs always look to exceed current building regulations. With energy-efficient aluminium frames and insulating double glazing, the windows and doors made a strong contribution to the overall energy efficiency and airtightness of the building – which has an energy performance rating of C.

Living in a low-maintenance, energy efficient home, Julie and Toby are very happy with the decisions they made during the design process. 'We were looking for a sunny, bright home with lots of space for informal entertaining and that’s exactly what we have.

interior of open plan home with floor to ceiling windows

Image: Tim Crocker

'The extra benefits include a home that is light and warm throughout the year.  We actually have lower energy bills than we expected and the added pleasure of our garden acting as an extension of our living space.'

To discover more about how sliding doors and windows can help transform your home, visit Schüeco.uk/view and download their free brochure.

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