Stairways case study Colebrook Street Almshouses

Colebrook Street, Almshouses case study

Opening the doors on modern almshouses in historic Winchester

Stairways Midlands delivered more than 70 bespoke door sets for a development of sheltered almshouse accommodation in Colebrook Street, in Winchester’s historic city centre. The high-quality doors, worth more than £26,000 in total, were provided along with onsite consultation and support as part of the superior Stairways service, described as a breath of fresh air by the client Feltham Construction.

The Development

This important development saw sleek modern-looking apartments constructed within an historic setting to provide supported affordable accommodation for older people locally.

St John’s Winchester, one of the oldest charities in the country dating back to the 12th century, has developed 15 modern apartments at the Colebrook Street site, which are connected to its existing sheltered almshouse accommodation, a provision for older people in the community.

The 15 new almshouses have a high-quality modern design and sit within an historic part of the town. They connect directly to the charity’s existing city centre almshouse community, and comprise a state-of-the-art block of level access apartments, adaptable to the individual needs of the residents to enable older people to live independently for as long as possible.

The development, undertaken by Feltham Construction, also includes the reformation of a listed building at 108 Colebrook Street, creating two flats and a maisonette suitable for older people, as well as a beauty salon, assisted bathroom, and a treatment room.

Working with Stairways

Stairways, one of the largest manufacturers of staircases and door sets in the UK, was engaged by Feltham after Stairways made the initial approach proactively.

Richard Lake, Stairways’ Field Sales Manager for the South-West, won the contract after spotting the development site as he drove through Winchester. He parked up, contacted the developers’ offices to contact the onsite team, and was invited on to the site, spending an hour looking over specifications and discussing plans with the Contracts Manager at Feltham Construction.

Feltham were quickly impressed with Stairways’ know-how and ordered both internal and external doors for the project and engaged the company, which is experienced in providing door set solutions to meet the fire and smoke regulatory requirements applicable to a development of this nature.

Stairways has delivered Securdor Flat Entrance door sets with Secure by Design accreditation, security, fire and smoke resistance as standard. Internal door sets include the high performance, custom made Ecommercial doors, and Shaker-style doors, delivered on time and in budget.

Richard Lake and Richard Kowalski, Technical Manager for the Doors Division, both attended the site several times in the early days, engaging with the client and addressing concerns at a technical level, as well as meeting with architectural specialists and other suppliers, and the trustees of the charity behind the project.

Richard Lake said:

“The first time I met with the Contracts Manager he mentioned that he had been dreading the process of sourcing a door package, but we were able to make that process very straightforward for him and his team.

“Our ability to engage at a technical level, answer queries, spot potential issues and advise on solutions, was certainly to the clients benefit. They’ve been impressed with what we can do and how we work, and we both very much hope to work together again on future projects.”

A great result

The on-site presence and technical support helped make Stairways a key part of the project delivery. The level of service was recognised and appreciated. 

The Contracts Manager at Feltham Construction, said:

“Stairways consistently showed a proactive and diligent attitude towards getting this right which was extremely good – in fact they are a breath of fresh air for us. The process on this project was challenging at times, and we appreciated Stairways’ expert input smoothing things along. We also found their prices are very competitive and delivery timescale far better than some. It was good for us all around.”

The new almshouses will now provide affordable, independent living for older people in Winchester, Hampshire.


Author: Stairways

Stairways, founded in 1989, has grown to become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of carpentry and joinery products. Stairways now boast three state-of-art facilities that offer over 85,000 sq ft production capacity. Stairways goal is to raise their profile and brand awareness to become known throughout the industry as the UK’s leading staircase and door solution provider.

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As a highly reputable firm within the industry, Stairways are dedicated to meeting their client’s product and application requirements. All materials used are manufactured to the highest quality and meet the relevant standards achieving ISO9001, FSC®, and various product certifications, whilst their staircases and door solutions are manufactured with compliance to UK building regulations & legislative standards in mind. Using the knowledge, passion, and experience acquired across all team members over the past thirty years, Stairways aim to continue to be the best in what they do.


Stairways are continuously looking for opportunities to improve and expand their service offering; this includes the investment in new machinery to further enhance and innovate the manufacturing process, with the aim to shorten lead times and increase overall in-house capacity. The changes Stairways employ are always focused upon improving the customer experience, to ensure their process remains as efficient as possible from start to finish.


Privately owned and managed since it was founded in 1989, Stairways has grown to become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of carpentry and joinery products. Starting as a small staircase manufacturer, Stairways now boast three state-of-art facilities that offer over 85,000 sq ft of bespoke and mass production capacity.