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Rehau used for luxury houseboat installation

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 Air B&B 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 Campbell’s, it can also be rented out as two apartments.

The Campbells’ fell in love with houseboats when they travelled to Copenhagen as they were so cosy. So, when they retired they took on a project to build their own houseboat. They needed a big and wide barge which would provide the base for a spacious and light living space, and when they found Nolly they knew she was perfect for their requirements.

Nolly was not without her challenges though, and there was a lot of renovation work to be done as they essentially had to strip her back to the steel and rebuild her from scratch.

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, they were  very particular about the aesthetics of the new windows and also their ability to retain heat and reduce condensation.

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The choice of windows was an integral part of retaining the boat’s heat and also reducing condensation, which can be problematic on houseboats. They were advised against using timber frames that can rot, so PVC was the best alternative. Initially, they were a bit unsure about how they would look but the end result is  clean and bright windows which let in so much light, particularly in the upstairs living area.

REHAU’s trade counter partner in Belfast, Windowmate  recommended the REHAU TOTAL70 range for the installation. 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.

The project was unlike anything that they had previously undertaken and came with some very unique challenges including using an odd-leg profile to help seal the windows better into the structure of the boat.

Windowmate supplied 12 standard casement windows, two fixed light screens and two standard residential doors for the houseboat. However, the French doors to the outdoor living areas presented some issues to the team.

Living on the water means being up against the elements, but the PVC has worked really well on the houseboat. The windows are very easy to look after, and they make the barge look fresh, clean and new all the time. With the stunning views of the Titanic Museum and the harbour from Nolly, the windows provide an important connection to it for the couple and their Air B&B guests.”

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Building TypeRefurbishment of Houseboat
SupplierWindowmate, Belfast
 REHAU TOTAL70 Casement Windows and Residential Doors

Engineering progress

Enhancing lives

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