Lee and Pauline Hart bought this Edwardian house in Kent several years ago and reworked the interiors before embarking on a project to add a modern glazed extension at the rear.
Here, we speak to Pauline, a self-confessed property-obsessed sales director, to find out how Minima’s slimline patio doors added an instant wow factor to the house.
Before we added on the glazed extension, the back of the house overlooked the garage and a gravel area where we parked the cars. It wasn’t a great outlook. Instead, we decided to move the parking to the side of the property and create a large open plan kitchen living room at the rear looking out to a newly landscaped lawned garden.
The house has been our home for nearly 10 years. It was built in 1909 and since buying it, we’ve redesigned the interior and have been waiting for the right time to do this extension. The front of the house faces a main road but the back is more rural and tranquil, so we really wanted to make a feature of that.
At first, we considered having bi-folding doors for the glazed extension but quickly realised that slimline patio doors would be a better option. Not only did it mean we could go higher and wider with the glass—the ceiling height in the extension is nearly 3m–but the sliding doors have minimal sightlines so nothing interrupts the view. The cost of having slimline patio doors was significantly higher than what we first planned but the results are stunning. We love the mix in design between the old part of the house and the new.
We looked at loads of different glazing manufacturers and came across Minima at one of the big design shows. Having chatted with the team on the stand, we went to the showroom to test out the doors in real life. One of the most important things to me was a practical point: I’m quite small and wanted to make sure I’d have the strength to open them easily. Despite their size, our slimline patio doors are relatively light and easy to move.
We ended up with three panels of sliding doors along the main façade, measuring nearly 10m by 3m, with a pocket side return that is 3m wide. It slides away into the wall cavity so we can pull open both sides on warm days. It feels great to be in the space when the doors are open in the summer. The patio doors also move in either direction, so we have complete flexibility.
We were really fortunate in that we could offer the installation team easy access to the back of the garden. We didn’t start any landscaping work until after the extension was complete. They were able to bring the glazing in seamlessly with a robot lift.
When the slimline patio doors went in, it felt like a very significant moment. We realised that all the hard work had been worthwhile and the doors were definitely the best investment. Anyone who comes round now and walks into the room is often taken back by the view to the garden.
It’s the hub of our home. I’m in here every day either preparing things to eat or watching a film in the main lounge area or catching up with friends. It’s our perfect hang out space. My mum loves to sit here when she’s visiting because it feels like being outside while being warm and cosy inside. When it snows in the winter, it almost feels like living in a snow globe. And at night we can watch the stars when the sky is clear—that’s pretty special.
Yes, they are very good. We’re extremely happy with our Minima slimline patio doors.
If you’re planning an extension with a large amount of glazing, it’s worth spending a bit more and going for slimline sliding doors to maximise the views. I would then recommend installing a series of garden lights. We briefly considered adding electric blinds to give us some privacy at night but I’m so glad we didn’t. Instead, we had an electrician light up certain areas of the garden, including some tropical planting. Not only does it mean we have something to look at when darkness falls but with the correct amount of outside light, it also prevents the sliding doors from turning into black mirrors.
Related read: How to manage sunlight with patio doors
Need help with your extension or garden room project? Contact us now to find out more about Minima Sliding’s award-winning, slimline patio doors.