Large old sash windows - refurb, secondary glazing or double? WWYD?

(38 Posts)
Goodwordguide Mon 09-Sep-13 21:31:04

Need to do something for warmth & insulation (rather than noise). Refurb with draught-proofingis cheapest option (and my fave as it's the least intrusive) but DH reckons it won't be warm enough.

Double glazing would require whole new windows and is £££ plus not really in keepng with the house (though we are not listed).

Secondary glazing is ugly I think but is DH's preference.

House is late Georgian, windows are in mixed condition, very large and potentially very cold. Help us decide!

pinkje Mon 09-Sep-13 21:39:14

Go with the refurbishment and get new curtains thermal - lined.

Rowlers Mon 09-Sep-13 21:42:17

Definitely refurbish.
Secondary glazing is effective but, as pinkje says, so too are heavy curtains.

Goodwordguide Mon 09-Sep-13 21:58:18

Thanks for your replies - I agree with you both but DH thinks it'll be too cold with single-glazed. How do I persuade him?

eyestightshut Mon 09-Sep-13 22:02:44

|Another one for refurb - we have had our original windows refurb'd and it was so much warmer in the house last winter, despite the horrendous weather.
If you go for uPVC it will need replacing in about 20-30 years - our windows are Victorian and still going strong!

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 09-Sep-13 22:04:28

You can get special brushes fitted inside sash windows which are very effective at improving heat efficiency - we got quotes for both that and double glazing and the stats they gave us convinced us refurbed was the way to go - if you can't persuade DH with aesthetics would that work?

beaglesaresweet Mon 09-Sep-13 23:06:58

I wonder if people who had an effective refurb, actually have huge windows? I've done it on mine, and it has NOT made much difference, about maybe 30% warmer. The cold wind really does go through the single glaze! It really applies if your house in on a hill even in a town rather than rural.
Re heavy curtains - yes, it would help but they aer very expensive is done well and you can't put then into kitchen/bathroom.
If you have the money, do the double glazing but to fit the design of existing - yes, v/expensive, but it will make a huge difference. Refurb is still quite expensive but it's not good vaslue for the effect it has (on big windows).

beaglesaresweet Mon 09-Sep-13 23:08:04

if done well

Toomuchtea Tue 10-Sep-13 09:32:59

Huge curtains aren't necessarily expensive: I did two large sets for DD's room which are lined and interlined (and handsewn) using cheapo fabric from Ikea. If you use plain fabric you don't waste any with fabric repeats. It cost around £150. You can also get good stuff from ebay, which I've also done.

Could you look at reinstating shutters if the house had them? They're pretty good at keeping the warmth in.

NotCitrus Tue 10-Sep-13 09:39:17

We had refurb and some very unobtrusive secondary glazing - the fittings are white and much narrower than the wooden frames and really are unnoticeable - but the temp in the living room rose 4 degrees. Much cheaper than the 12k that double would have cost.

Curtains don't cut it and you don't want them shut during limited winter daylight.

Jacaqueen Tue 10-Sep-13 09:53:46

My house was built in 1850 and has the original windows. We had them refurbished and they look amazing. Unfortunately they don't keep the house warm as such a large amount of single glazing is never going to be energy efficient.

I have interlined roman blinds and curtains but I don't want them closed during the day.

We are getting double glazed wooden sash windows made by the company that made the windows for our new extension. I have always resisted going for double glazing as I feel I have a responsibility to preserve the original features in this lovely home. However I have had enough of living in a cold house. The extension is going to be so warm and cosy I fear if I do not do something I will never venture into the original part of the house as it will seem so cold in comparison.

MinimalistMommi Tue 10-Sep-13 10:25:48

Have wooden double glaze, UPVC would be criminal.
We had secondary glazing and it didn't work noise wise shock which I wrote a thread about on here but it did work warmth wise but IT DID NOT LOOK GOOD AT ALL. It all got ripped off and obviously we didn't have to pay as it wasn't reducing noise as we had been promised. If you did want secondary glazing look at Storm Windows as that does look discreet and actually wasn't that badly priced (we had a quote from them and we wished we'd gone with them to be honest and not who we chose)
We have to make a decision about our very breezy sash's. we're sticking a woodburner in which will warm everything up so I'm hoping we won't have to do anything!

jennycoast Tue 10-Sep-13 10:33:46

We refurbished, and also had double glazed panels installed at the same time, replacing the single. You couldn't tell from the outside that we'd done it, which we liked. We lived in an area where almost everyone put in UPVC, and they all looked horrible. It cost a huge amount of money though (about £1k per sash, and all the rooms had at least 2), and in all honesty, the extra thick floor length curtains made more of a difference. We were meticulous about closing them at dusk (N of Scotland, so early in winter). There was a study done somewhere that showed that closing shutters (original kind not plantation) and curtains was more thermally efficient than even modern double glazing.

MinimalistMommi Tue 10-Sep-13 10:41:05

jenny but what about heat as escaping during the day? confused

Orangeblossomtree Tue 10-Sep-13 11:10:56

UPVC just has to be a no no. But your family still needs to be warm. Secondary glazing would be functional but would seem a shame in a period house which you presumably bought for the features?

We almost bought a house with realy big sash windows and the plan would have been to either refurb or rebuild with double glazing but in the same period style. I'm sure the cost would have been eye watering, but this might not be needed on all windows? Sometimes you just have to pay out for the basics and skimp elsewhere.

I would imagine that from a re-sale point of view most people will want period features, but in good condition and well maintained.

I spent my childhood in a dressing gown because my parents house was so cold. Now is the time to get started on windows etc. I'm just choosing a woodburner as I was so cold last night.

MinimalistMommi Tue 10-Sep-13 11:12:58

orange I'm getting the Pioneer Clearview and I can't wait! Oh to be warm through the winter. We have gas central heating but we have a gale blowing through our sash windows...

jennycoast Tue 10-Sep-13 14:14:03

Yes, it was indeed colder during the day. However, almost everyone was out during daylight hours, and I was happy holed up with my wood burner while I worked grin. We had little choice really. We took out the rubbish secondary glazing as soon as we could. It was ugly, dangerous, and of little benefit. Massive 1860s house, the sashes were in excess of 8' tall each, and the draught proofing done in the overhauls made a considerable difference. We are very exposed to the sea, and it's an exceptionally windy site. I'd think it would be much less of an issue in a less windy place.

The walls in our house were 50cm thick stone, so apart from the windows, it wasn't draughty at all. The heating was really only on when it was either dark, or almost dark, and because of the positions of the wood burners, they keep the chill off the whole house the rest of the day.

MinimalistMommi Tue 10-Sep-13 17:41:56

Jenny you see I'm at home during the day...but nethertheless very reluctant to pull our original glazing so thick curtains might be the way to go...I am jealous you have our wood burner RIGHT NOW! <jealous emotion> envy

MinimalistMommi Tue 10-Sep-13 17:42:46

BTW, do you run wood burners all day?

Goodwordguide Tue 10-Sep-13 19:20:00

Thanks everyone - definitely not going for UPVC and I don't think we can afford double glazing plus it seems so out of keeping with the house.

I'm still set on refurb and then perhaps secondary glaze in the very coldest two rooms? The windows are indeed huge so I think refurb will be of limited benefit, but it's a start. Will also get the front door draughtproofed and We're about to get woodburners installed as well, which will help.

orangeblossomtree where was the house you pulled out of? Judging by your other posts, I think we might have bought it wink

Daisybell1 Tue 10-Sep-13 22:07:37

We are in the middle of having a secondary glazing unit fitted to our huge, storey height Georgian window. There was no other way of doing it which would preserve the metalwork in the window, so our joiner has made a frame which sits into the moulding and it will double glazed panels in it. I have great hopes for it as our hallway/staircase is freezing and it creates a cold core in the centre of the house.

jennycoast Wed 11-Sep-13 13:20:59

I tended to put the woodburner on around lunch time, and leave it on till the end of the day, very very low. In fact if I had particularly good wood, I could fill it at lunchtime, top up when the DCs got in from school and that would be it for the day. Missing them badly now, we've had to move some distance away, and it will be a couple of years till we can do the same again.

Goodwordguide Wed 11-Sep-13 13:33:19

Sooo looking forward to getting our woodburners - sitting here in a fleece-lined onesie as the wind howls outside! (and inside...). Has anyone actually put the heating on yet? I was hoping to hold off til November at the earliest...

JoannaAC Tue 29-Oct-13 12:00:47

Hi there. I thought secondary glazing was ugly too, but we have had it fitted in our Edwardian house on a bay and an enormous stone mullioned window, and it's fab. You can't see it, and it is LOADS warmer and quieter. www.clearviewsg.co.uk did ours, and I think they specialise in old property.

CuddyMum Tue 29-Oct-13 17:03:08

We will be opting for refurbishment, draught proofing and slimline double glazing fitted into the existing sashes - when we eventually get all our quotes.

wonkylegs Tue 29-Oct-13 17:36:21

We've gone for timber double glazing which is ££££ but we are planning on staying here many many years and it's a high value house, so we think it will be worth it over time. The UPVC quotes was actually more than the timber quotes.
I think due to the size(most are over 2.5m high) original sashes, number of windows (20) and the need for large amounts of toughened glass as they all have low cills.
Refurbishment wasn't too cheap and still left us with the original single glazing which we didn't want (heat & safety with the low cills)
Ours are being made soon by a local joiner and will be going in at the beginning of next year, I don't know how good they will be but I already have heavy thermally lined full length curtains (I made and brought with us from old house) so I think together they will be toasty and with 3m + ceilings we need every little bit of help.
The windows are being made to match the existing ones so will copy the idiosyncrasies of the Victorian ones -funny mouldings, some with horns etc .
It isn't a cheap exercise but we've budgeted for it and think for us it was the best way to go.

beaglesaresweet Wed 30-Oct-13 00:04:04

I've done hte refurb, and it hasn't made a radical difference as the windows are huge and it feels like hte wind blowing through glass panels. It helps to reduce drafts, but it's NOT anywhere double-glazing for actually maling a house warmer (or stop it losing the heat). I do have shutters which help - but obviously not an option in the day, not that it matters in autumn yet. In winter it's really cold still on weekend at home. I'd go for secondary, OP, even if in some of the rooms! refurb is stilll not cheap so not a great value unless you have small rooms and small windows.

beaglesaresweet Wed 30-Oct-13 00:04:42

anywhere near

SabrinaMulFUCKERJjones Wed 30-Oct-13 00:12:03

We have ancient old sashes - we refurbed first and then got secondary glazing. the refurb makes them look nice, but the secondary glazing makes a incredible difference to noise and warmth retention. Security as well.

Old windows are a thing of beauty and should be preserved. smile The guy who refurbed ours says he regularly picks out antique glass from skips - just chucked out by new window fitters - and re-uses it.

KissesBreakingWave Wed 30-Oct-13 00:24:42

Check whether you're in a conservation area. And then hope the local government officer responsible for yours is one of the good ones. The good ones come up with interesting and helpful ways to get your property up to snuff without spoiling the look of the area.

BackforGood Wed 30-Oct-13 00:37:33

We had ancient old sashes but the wind just whistled through them. I got a quote for replacing them with new, wooden, double glazed, 'same style' ones, which I thought was incredibly expensive when I thought the amount he said was for the lot, but it was just for 1 window shock.
We decided to get UPVC ones made in the style of the old ones - including the stained glass.
It has made SUCH a difference to the bedrooms they were in, it was definitely the right decision for us.

YesterdayI Wed 30-Oct-13 01:24:34

I would go with WonkyLegs method. It's really expensive but maybe you could budget very long term and do a couple of windows at a time.
Refurb doesn't do that much and you can't keep curtains closed all day.

Windows can really make or break a house.

Can you have the single glazing replaced with micro thin double glazing when you have the windows re vamped ?!

wonkylegs Wed 30-Oct-13 14:00:40

It depends on the size of the window as to whether or not the thin double glazing can be added when refurbishing.
The problem is the weight of the window and getting the lead weights to work.
Doubling the amount of glass may need heavier weights than the space in the boxing allows (this was a problem with ours)

JoannaAC Thu 06-Mar-14 09:22:35

Goodwordguide, I imagine you are well sorted by now - hope so. But noticed your comment about secondary glazing being ugly - wondered if you had seen this? http://clearviewsg.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/secondary-glazing-is-ugly/

TinyTear Thu 06-Mar-14 09:24:31

i did double glazing on my wooden sash windows. some companies can do it

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 06-Mar-14 09:52:44

Secondary glazing did used to be ugly but it has improved a lot in the last few years.

sophiebygaslight Thu 28-Aug-14 17:04:44

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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