When it came to creating his dream home by the sea, Ian Stewart knew from the start that the design would need to incorporate lots of glass. Facing directly on to a gorgeous stretch of the River Hamble on the Hampshire coast, the plot Ian and his wife Kate had chosen was all about the view.

Here, we speak to retired office equipment specialist Ian about how Minima Sliding’s premium sliding doors helped to maximise the views at his stunning new property. Ian and his family can now enjoy those ever-changing river views in all their glory from the comfort of their own home.

Thornton Minima Sliding Ultraline anthracite grey sliding doors


Tell us a bit about your project…

We only lived about half a mile away from this site when the plot came up for sale. I knew it really well – I’ve been running along the towpath for years – and I always said the only reason I’d move from our old house, which we loved, was for a direct view of the river. I’d just sold my business, so we were lucky enough to be able to buy the land and set about creating our new home.

We wanted a property that would work well when it’s just the two of us, but that would also adapt easily when we have friends and family over. From the beginning, we knew we wanted lots of glass because it’s all about the view here. There are boats to watch, incredible sunsets, and all kinds of wildlife to spot including birds, deer and foxes.

We have four, very large glass sliding panels opening from the kitchen/living room on to the patio. All the panels can slide back to one side to create a massive opening. And when they’re closed, the frames are so narrow there’s hardly anything obscuring the view.

Thornton Minima Sliding Ultraline anthracite grey sliding doors


Why did you choose aluminium sliding doors from Minima Sliding for your new home?

Well, the key thing for us was the thinness of the frames and the weight of the glass panels. Each one of our panels is three metres wide so they are really big. But even at this size, they are really easy to slide, which was important to us. We wanted to make sure we can still open them easily when we’re old because we’re planning to be in this house for many years to come! Also, the frames are so narrow – only 20mm wide – so they don’t detract from the view at all.

We chose to have the glass panels built up into the ceiling so that the frames disappear as much as possible. Then we have blinds in concealed boxes in the ceiling which are completely hidden from view when not in use. Everything with this house is about maximising the view wherever possible.

The other thing to mention is that we chose to have a ‘frame first’ installation in which the doors were put in in two stages. On the first visit, Minima Sliding fitted just the frames which meant that our builders could accurately work out the levels for the ceiling and blind boxes. Then the glass panels were fitted at a later stage. It meant that nothing held up the build and everything went really smoothly.

Thornton Minima Sliding Ultraline anthracite grey sliding doors


What was your experience like working with Minima Sliding?

The service we’ve received has been absolutely brilliant and the attention to detail throughout has been incredible. On installation day, the team knew exactly what they doing and everything went according to plan. We’ve also had amazing after sales service. I couldn’t have asked for more!

Thornton Minima Sliding Ultraline anthracite grey sliding doors


What do you love most about your new glazed space?

My wife and I are happy to just sit here, looking out at the view. We never get tired of it, because it’s always changing. Everyone’s always so impressed when they visit our house for the first time. Even when lorry drivers were delivering stuff during the build, they’d say, ‘Wow! Look at that view!’

But we also really love entertaining at this house. We had 16 of us here for Christmas and no-one felt like they were on top of each other because there’s so much space. Someone might be playing the piano, or playing table tennis, and then the others might be cooking or watching TV. There’s something for everyone! It’s such a privilege to live here. I hope we never take it for granted.

Thornton Minima Sliding Ultraline anthracite grey sliding doors


Any advice for someone planning a similar extension project?

Yes. Talk to Dan Smith at Minima Sliding! He’s been absolutely brilliant. The doors do exactly what we want them to do. We’re so happy with them. And Dan is meticulous – he double and triple checked everything. It has to be the best service I’ve ever received. And not only has the service been brilliant, the product is fantastic as well.

Thornton Minima Sliding Ultraline anthracite grey sliding doors


Need help with your self-build? Contact us now to find out more about Minima Sliding’s market-leading minimal sliding doors.