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JELD-WEN Timber Stairs Deliver Major Benefits For Bovis Homes 

One of the UK’s largest joinery manufacturers, JELD-WEN has been working in partnership with Bovis Homes to demonstrate that timber stairs provide the answer to improved aesthetics, as well as meeting building regulations requirements, for apartment developments.

Using timber stairs as the main form of access in apartments became possible only recently when JELD-WEN launched its common flight specification that meets all the requirements of Building Regulations, as well as British Standards.

Bovis Homes was keen to include timber stairs in their medium rise apartments, as part of creating a warmer and more welcoming, less institutionalised feel for occupants within the communal areas. The national housebuilder also wanted to try out a number of different installation methods to find out where timber staircase installation best fits into the build schedule.

Trials were carried out at Bovis Homes’ developments in Grantham, Bristol and Swindon, where the building designs required either two or three flights over the three or four storey buildings. JELD-WEN incorporated its Part M-compliant fire protected timber common flight specification in the developments to enable the project to meet its requirements.

Bovis Homes tested three different approaches to installing the stairs, discovering that the most effective way was to crane in the stairs before the roof trusses were positioned. This method optimised ease of installation, with minimum risk of weather or site-use damage. Fixing was made easy due to purpose-built brackets supplied by JELD-WEN.

Once the second stage fix was reached, the stairs were in constant use by the different trades. This made the stairwell noticeably easier to work in, with much of the electrical installation being easily installed within the additional space under the trunk. The underside was then closed with sound deadening insulation and fire resistant boarding.

“There should be significant cost savings of using timber stairs in our apartment developments,” said Michael Black from Bovis Homes. “Not just in the stairs themselves, but also in their assembly and in the need for less scaffolding. However, the true benefits are to the customer. Timber stairs avoid the institutionalised feel of other materials, such as concrete and metalwork, that is often used in apartments. It also ensures that a development stands out from the rest, creating a more aesthetically pleasing feel that buyers will appreciate and that adds value in the long term.”

It is three years since JELD-WEN developed a common flight specification that met with British Standards and Building Regulations, increasing numbers of housebuilders are now recognizing how it makes their apartments more appealing to potential buyers.

“Timber stairs are really capturing developers’ imaginations about how they can make their apartments stand out from the rest, as well as being stylish and inviting to occupants,” said Ian Purkis, Technical Director from JELD-WEN. “Bovis Homes has recognised the huge difference that timber stairs make and how new apartments can be given a distinctive, luxury feel that makes them stand out from the rest.”

The company offers two styles of common staircase, a traditional stair with decorative handrail and a contemporary design to suit more modern apartments. JELD-WEN provides a made-to-measure service once an order is placed to ensure the staircase fits right first time when delivered to site. Another great benefit of timber stairs is their versatility. Unlike other materials they can be altered prior to installation if the final apartment design changes, which means there is less downtime and potentially less expense – benefits that are not lost on housebuilders.

As well as investing in production equipment, JELD-WEN has introduced a new 3-D modeling system to enable customers to visualize how their stairs will look in-situ.

JELD-WEN offers a choice of factory finished options that enhance performance and prolong the lifespan of the staircase. Common stairs are also available pre-assembled as part of Modern Methods of Construction and with full FSC Chain of Custody Certification, on request.


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Arundel Jones Associates Ltd Registered in England and Wales No. 07334149
Hill Farm, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME 17 4AL
Tel : 01622 745333 email
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