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Blenheim Palace is a monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the only non-royal non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. It was built between 1705 and circa 1722. Its construction was originally intended to be a gift to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, from a grateful nation in return for military triumph against the French and Bavarians at the Battle of Blenheim. However, it soon became the subject of political infighting, which led to Marlborough’s exile, the fall from power of his duchess, and irreparable damage to the reputation of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh.
Designed in the rare, and short-lived, English Baroque style, architectural appreciation of the palace is as divided today as it was in the 1720s. It is unique in its combined usage as a family home, mausoleum and national monument. The palace is also notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.
The building of the palace was a minefield of political intrigue by Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. Following the palace’s completion, it became the home of the Churchill family for the next 300 years and various members of the family have in that period wrought various changes, in the interiors, park and gardens. At the end of the 19th century, the palace was saved from ruin by funds gained from the 9th Duke of Marlborough’s marriage to American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. The exterior of the palace remains in good repair and the gardens, which contain a miniature railway, pleasure garden, maze, rose garden, cascades, historical monuments and fantastic views, are truly beautiful. It is a great place to visit for people of all ages.
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Replacement windows are quickly raising in the ranks as one of the top home renovation projects being done in the marketplace today. Like any project in the home renovation marketplace, you will find good installers and bad installers; often times, you will get what you pay for.
Depending on where you live, the stakes in this game can get pretty high, it is easy to install windows in a hot, dry climate that hardly ever gets any rain or snow, but if you live in a city like Vancouver, British Columbia, where you usually get 5 months of almost solid rain a year, or if you live on the East Coast that gets pounded by Hurricane force winds, it becomes imperative that you have your windows installed by a company that understands “water management”; this means that if water gets in, it also has to get out, or you will be faced with some costly repairs in the near future.
Here are five things you need to know before hiring a window installer in a challenging environment.
- Ensure that your window installer knows more about construction than just installing windows. If your installer has a background in construction (builder, renovator, etc.) you will likely be miles ahead with an installer experienced in construction as they understand how homes are build and how to properly install replacement windows.
- Ask them what kind of tools and materials they use in the process of their installation. If your installer says they just eyeball the windows and slap them in with a couple screws or nails, then run away. Find an installer who cares that the look of your home will be taken into consideration; you want your windows to be square and level, if they are not, then they will likely not operate properly and will likely look odd and out of place. To install windows properly you need a level (laser levels are best) you need a good set of tools, proper shims that are meant for windows (beveled shims will cause the windows to fall out of square as the shims are larger on one end than the other) and a good caulking that will maintain flexibility for a long period of time, in particular to your environment.
- Find out how many people they have in their installation crew and what experience they have. While you may have one person on the installation team that has experience in the area of construction, the people that they have helping them may not. It is always good to have more than one set of knowledgeable eyes on the jobsite.
- What will they do to protect the inside and outside of your home when they are installing your windows? If your installers are walking in your garden, then into your house with muddy boots, you will quickly become upset with the fact that your home is now a complete mess. Choose an installer who will lay down drop sheets and will clean their work