When Southern Housing Group needed a unique fenestration solution, they turned to a southern Halo fabricator: Masterframe.

Based in Essex, Masterframe specialises in PVC-U sash windows and has a reputation for exceptional quality and attention to detail. This led to the company being contacted by Southern Housing Group, who wanted to restore their property – the Amhurst Park Estate – and recapture its original character.

Managing Director of Masterframe Windows Alan Burgess explains: “our client, Southern Housing Group wanted to restore their building to its former glory, and improve the property for residents who could then, once again, take pride in their home.

“The brief was somewhat of a challenge, but we knew we were up to the task – thanks to our specialist skills and the high quality of the Halo profile we use.

“The new windows needed to be energy efficient and approved by planners, while also paying homage to the character of the building by authentically replicating the look of the original timber sash windows. The high spec, Halo PVC-U systems that we use allow us to combine the traditional aesthetics of a timber window with the many benefits of this modern material. Unlike wood, PVC-U won’t crack, well, rot or warp and will never need repainting. It offers low maintenance and energy-efficient performance.

“As a Halo customer, we are also able to benefit from The VEKA UK Group’s Variations foil range which means we can specify woodgrains that are virtually indistinguishable from real timber.

“Although some sash window manufacturers make single windows and then couple them together, Masterframe has always offered the windows on one continuous cill.

“These coupled frames result in a mullion in excess of 140mm wide (225mm if you include the sashes) but the existing timber frames of this project had mullions of around 100mm. This dimension would need to be achieved if the new windows were to perfectly resemble the old.

“In order to create a slimmer mullion section, we approached a specialist supplier in Europe who was able to create a prototype butt-jointed mullion which would also provide enough adherence for the woodgrain foil. The butt joint of this mullion, makes the overall finish even more timber-like.

“We’re very proud of this innovative solution, which worked out even better than we anticipated. It was ideal for this project and we received some extremely positive feedback from the client.

“We’ve found that the authentic look of this new system, combined with our fantastic PVC-U sashes, has advantages above and beyond this particular installation. It’s perfect for historic homes and heritage properties, where the original character needs to be maintained. We’ve gone on to use this integral mullion for numerous other customers who have been most complimentary about the result. We’re very proud of the new design and we’re looking forward to sharing this innovation with more of our customers in the year ahead. We will be showcasing it at The FIT Show, and it will be available to VEKA customers, and Network VEKA members, thank to our status as a Network VEKA affiliate partner.”