Homes by Carlton aims to build properties of the highest quality and favours good design above all else. It extends the same discerning approach to partnering companies and the products chosen for its bespoke developments.
In 2020, REHAU’s Rio Flush Fit window system was selected for a large-scale build at Middleton St. George in the north east of England. The product has transformed the facades and supported the business’s ambition to be the best housebuilder in the region. The results have been so successful that Homes by Carlton now plans to use REHAU’s product at two other landmark sites.
|Type||New Builds Project|
|Installer||Homes by Carlton|
REHAU Rio Flush Fit
High Quality Homes
Homes by Carlton (HBC) is an award-winning housebuilder operating in Yorkshire and the north east of England. Founded 20 years ago, the company prides itself on quality construction and has built a reputation for delivering homes of exceptional quality.
The company currently has a number of developments across the region, featuring traditional family homes between two and five bedrooms. As with all of its projects, these properties are built to a high specification and strive for the best the market has to offer.
The housebuilder has a long-standing relationship with Chatsworth Windows, the largest in-house manufacturer of windows in the north east. Much like HBC, the fabricator aims for quality fittings and a window finish that’s in keeping with high-end developments.
As Simon Walker, Managing Director of HBC points out:
“Design is typically 20% of a build’s overall cost but we believe that figure underplays how important it is to potential buyers. Homes are often sold on first impression so every feature has to look as good as it functions”.
Windows with appeal
One of HBC’s recent projects is in Middleton St. George, a development of 198 homes found just outside Darlington. The north east has experienced a construction boom in recent years and thousands of homes having sprung up in the local area. Keenly aware of this, Simon Walker wanted to stand out from the crowd by installing windows that were not only constructed to a high standard but would also complement the development’s overall look and feel.
“I was looking for windows that had curb-side appeal,” says Simon, “with a finish that reflected our ambition to be the best housebuilder in the region.”
It was this search that eventually brought REHAU to Middleton St. George. Simon Walker approached his long-time associates at Chatsworth Windows about products that could fit the bill. “There is a trend among developers to buy more cost-effective windows and install them without the help of a specialist,” says Mark Griffiths, Sales and Marketing Manager at Chatsworth Windows, “but Simon was insistent the job was done properly using a premium service and product”. Griffiths and his team were then asked to survey the development and recommend a solution that would enhance the properties, eventually settling on REHAU’s Rio Flush Fit profile.
Chatsworth Windows was initially approached by REHAU when interest in flush fit systems was increasing. “There was a demand in the market for this type of profile and REHAU brought examples to our factory,” says Griffiths. “we were impressed with the build quality and decided to invest in the product.” REHAU technicians subsequently visited the fabricator’s factory in North Yorkshire, helping to calibrate the machinery that would be used to manufacture the new range. Within weeks the first examples had reached the showroom, and the different grains and colours on offer quickly proved popular with customers.
“We had already experienced an uplift in demand for these windows at our showroom in Northallerton,” says Griffiths. “Customers liked the symmetrical, contemporary design and there’s a growing market trend to add value to properties with these types of statement fittings. Plus, we had worked with REHAU for some years and knew its products were of the calibre Simon sought, so it made sense to put the Rio forward as an option.”
Installation at Middleton St. George has been a big undertaking for Chatsworth Windows, with the company deploying three dedicated teams to install six-to-eight frames per day.
“We have a team that visit the site regularly to ensure everything is on track,” says Griffiths, “and while the speed of development can be a challenge, particularly when conditions are poor, it’s relatively simple as we’re fitting into fresh openings. This means we get a cleaner finish than when you replace old frames.”
Having a dedicated team installing the Rio Flush Fit system has also helped to speed up development times.
“Getting the windows in quickly is key as the second fix on the electrics can only be completed once the buildings are completely weatherproof,” says Griffiths. “Fortunately, the profiles are made off site so this process has been fairly straightforward, allowing HBC to complete homes more efficiently.”
Window in to the future
Now nearing completion, construction at Middleton St. George has been successful and the installation of Rio Flush Fit windows has maintained HBC’s high-end vision.
“We ended up choosing cream frames,” says Walker. “We felt these improved the façade and matched up with the brickwork. Small details like these really help to elevate a development from others on the market and single out Homes by Carlton as a housebuilder with attention to detail.”
However, as Walker is keen to point out, the product has also served a purpose beyond aesthetic appeal. The houses now also achieve a good U-value, in no small part due to REHAU’s windows.
“Houses are now built strict standards, particularly when it comes to thermal efficiency,” says Walker, “and the windows and profiles have certainly helped us raise the ratings. This has not just been useful for regulation but also has also helped us appeal to customers who are conscious of the home’s impact on the environment.”
The housebuilder has been sufficiently impressed with Chatsworth Windows and REHAU’s product that it’s now committed to using them at a further two projects. The first is a 31-house development in Thorpe Thewles with over 500 windows being installed, while second is a bespoke site of 11 properties each with over 3,000 sq. ft of floorspace.
“I wouldn’t hesitate in using the Rio Flush Fit again. Chatsworth have been an excellent partner and REHAU provided the exact finish we were looking for. I look forward to working with both companies again,” says Simon Walker.