Rehau windows and doors have been installed in a luxury houseboat in Belfast, providing a clean and bright finish to the Scandinavian inspired boat, while keeping it cosy and warm inside.
Now listed on Airbnb as one of the top featured properties in Northern Ireland, the boat – affectionately known as Nolly – was once destined for the scrapyard. She was rescued by newly retired couple Gillian and David Campbell, who bought the barge as a renovation project with the intention of transforming her into a houseboat to be moored in the marina of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. As well as being a home for the Campbells, it can also be rented out as two apartments.
Gillian Campbell said: “We travelled a lot over the years with David’s job, and during our time in Denmark, we just fell in love with the houseboats we saw in Copenhagen. So, when David retired, we decided to take on a project to build our own houseboat.”
While some of the boat’s original portholes could be salvaged for reuse on internal doors and walls, the exterior windows all needed replacing with new ones. When consulting with the project team about options, Gillian was very particular about the aesthetics of the new windows and also their ability to retain heat and reduce condensation.
She said: “It was really important to us that the boat was warm so the choice of windows was an integral part of retaining heat and also reducing condensation, which can be problematic on houseboats. We were advised against using timber frames that can rot, so PVCU was the best alternative.”
Gillian was advised on the window and door specification by Rehau’s trade counter partner in Belfast, Windowmate. Thomas McAllister, sales manager for Windowmate in Northern Ireland explored a number of options for the houseboat and ultimately recommended the Rehau Total70 range. The casement and fixed windows could be easily installed in the steel frame of the boat and offered a high U-value for excellent thermal efficiency.
Thomas said: “The project was unlike anything we had done before and came with some very unique challenges. Just getting products onto the boat and fitted safely was a different experience for us, but we worked on each problem as they came up to ensure the best installation possible. This included using an odd-leg profile to help seal the windows better onto the boat.
“Because the dimensions of the boat are not like a normal brick-built house, not all the door sizes are standard, and this posed one or two challenges. When it came to fitting the doors, which led out onto the boat’s outdoor seating area, we couldn’t use a standard Rehau door product so instead we manufactured a large casement window and used this as a French door. We used heavy duty hinges to carry the weight of the glass door and used the Rehau Total profile to match the rest of the windows. Problem solved.”