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Wooden Sash windows - restoration (me again!)

(52 Posts)
CuddyMum Sat 05-Oct-13 11:32:05

Have had a couple of companies round to quote for wooden sash replacement windows and although their written quotes haven't come in yet, indications are that they are going to cost ££££.

I have Ventrolla booked in to see me soon too and this has made me re-think the restoration option.

Has anyone any recommendations, suggestions etc.

Also, is it possible for a company to replace the sashes with slim double glazing or something equally soundproof/draughtproof, without having to replace the whole thing? My windows are very large!

Lastly, would a restoration company strip the paint off externally and repaint?

Thank you smile

MinimalistMommi Sat 05-Oct-13 12:32:55

Marking my place.
I feel your pain by the way, in exactly the same situation, don't know what to do. People keep telling me to get timber double glazing in our sashes but I don't like how double glazing looks. Then again, our sashes need renovation and are very draughty....

CuddyMum Sat 05-Oct-13 14:22:27

I registered interest with Wood Master Joinery earlier today and they have contacted me and are coming to see me next Tuesday. I'll update then smile

Goodwordguide Sat 05-Oct-13 14:47:43

Also marking place - we're at an impasse as I want restoration and draught-proofing (plus thermal curains), DH wants hideous secondary glazing. Double glazing was going to be £££££ plus I don't think it would look right on our old, big windows.

We can't agree so haven't done anything....

LaVitaBellissima Sat 05-Oct-13 14:50:11

Marking my place too smile

cathpip Sat 05-Oct-13 14:59:25

In our last house my dh paid for 2 large bay window sashes to be restored etc and it cost just shy of £5000 ( they were painted shut). In the house we live in now we have smaller sash windows which are wood double glazed, infact 2 of them are actually plastic but made to look like wood, they are impressive and clearly much better at keeping out draughts. The only downside is that we really liked the imperfections in the glass on the original sash windows.

OliviaBenson Sat 05-Oct-13 15:07:01

Restoration is better, if you can, as old woods are a far better quality than new wood in windows today. Ventrolla are good, but there may be some more local firms (I know of an excellent one near me).

With double glazing, if your not listed, you might be able to adapt the existing sashes to slimline, but it does introduce more depth and weight into the sash- you might need more weights in the boxes.

English Heritage and Historic Scotland have done a lot of research and draftstripping makes a huge improvement to thermal performance.

Painting normally done separately to restoration company (well it does near me!)

MinimalistMommi Sat 05-Oct-13 17:27:05

I'm assuming double glazing would be better if noise was an issue....I live in the city centre do this needs to be a consideration as well....I love how pretty our sashes look but still....I don't know...

jennycoast Sat 05-Oct-13 17:35:08

We had slim d/g glass fitted in the original windows plus draught proofing strips and new sash cords for about £1k per sash. Our windows were huge - 11ft ceilings low window sills - over 7 ft high and 3 wide I think. We had a local joinery company do it in Scotland, and a window specialist again local, in London. Neither finish painted, but both under coated any bare wood.

We looked at ventrolla but their draught strips are/were visible plastic, which I do not like.

Pradaqueen Sat 05-Oct-13 17:58:32

Yep same issue here and need to replace 25 windows as rennovating Victorian house and sashes are beyond economic repair. Thoughtfully last owners cut the sash cords on most and they are really grotty in places. We Went through three options: 1. Repair 2. Look-a-like double glazed sashes with grain effect which sit in original boxes or 3. Bite the bullet and replace with bespoke wooden double glazed. Chose the third only because I found a really reasonable supplier in terms of cost but so far he has been a pain in the arse chasing where they all are which is holding everything else up so could end up being a false economy! Will post his details if he comes through though. They are being pre-finshed at the joinery so that will save time and effort. For the upvc I would recommend Crystal Windows and doors in Rmford Essex for the grain effect double glazed upvc which looked really convincing and used the spring catches for the sashes so easy to clean. Good luck and will post if the joiners work out.

Pradaqueen Sat 05-Oct-13 18:01:34

Meant to add the 2nd and 3rd options cheaper than repair quoted and on previous renovations I have found sash window repair folks an unusual breed of tradesmen I.e tricky to work with efficiently and I haven't been overwhelmed by the results!

CuddyMum Sat 05-Oct-13 19:07:02

I've just found another local company who do sash restoration including painting and also stone sill restoration too!

happyon Sat 05-Oct-13 21:19:13

Me again to recommend Ventrolla. They renovated two Original sashes and put in new dg units to replace hideous UVPC windows for us. Both are great. The brand new ones seem to be better in terms of sound proofing, but they were installed pretty recently and we haven't had enough bad weather to see how differently they standup to really cold weather.

Ventrolla swear blind that double glazing is not worth the money but will do it if you insist. We did for the new windows as we are planning to sell the house and think buyer would expect it. But they did a lovely job of the restoration; some new glass, new cords, draught proofing and god knows what else to make them run as smoothly as the new ones. Restoration was cheaper then the new ones, but not that much.

They did not paint. They all look wonderful.

MinimalistMommi Sun 06-Oct-13 07:54:14

happy do ventrolla say it's not worth money bc DG is so expensive and it takes years to coup back costs? Do they say it's worth it in terms of noise insulation? Surely it must be better then single glazed with noise in mind?

askasurveyor Sun 06-Oct-13 08:25:47

I advise strongly against replacement with plastic. The original windos should last forever if well renovates. Show me pvc window that can last 200 years! Professional draft stripping is really effective and some wooden secondary glazing designs are really nice these days and much appreciated by the conservation world. Also secondary glazing is a much better sound insulator than double glazing as the air gap acts as a buffer.

happyon Sun 06-Oct-13 08:28:13

All of the above mini. He absolutely maintained that if windows are glazed and fitted properly, dg is no better than single. He showed me all sorts of studies to prove this but I zoned out at that stage. I think there's a load of into on their website.

The dg units they put in for us are slimline and look great, though the proper old ones look better of course just because they were built for the house and just fit better. I went with them in the end because they do a lot of commercial stuff around here, including where I work and also council heritage guy recommended them.

MinimalistMommi Sun 06-Oct-13 08:28:38

ask believe you me I have been down the secondary glazing route once this year and the experience was enough for a lifetime...had to have it all ripped out... I would never replace with UPVC, I am considering replacing with timber framed double glazing but I'm not keen on way DG looks...

askasurveyor Sun 06-Oct-13 09:15:46

Minimalist I wonder what secondary glazing you tried? If the design is wrong yes it can be a real nightmare. You can't beat a really good draft proof and restoration. Also, If you replace windows completely you need building regs approval or it must be done by a FENSA company which is usually a dodgy plastic window company.

CuddyMum Sun 06-Oct-13 11:48:03

I'm confused as to how secondary glazing could look good on a large bay window confused. When I'm inside my house I just want to appreciate the windows as they should be.

MinimalistMommi Sun 06-Oct-13 16:20:10

cuddy it would look cr*p, don't do it!!!! It looked hideous on our windows and we paid a lot for it (over £800 per large sash window) we had it put in purely for auditory reasons as we live on a residential street in town with cars occasionally going by, as I came from a quiet suburb street this annoyed me hence the windows. Seeing as it looked awful it was probably our good luck that for some reason it didn't reduce the sound by what it should have so it all had to be removed and obviously we didn't pay a penny. It wrecked loads of paint work on the sashes angry

happyon Sun 06-Oct-13 18:41:27

No, no, no to UVPC or secondary glazing. Why would you when you can restore or replace wooden sashes?

askasurveyor Sun 06-Oct-13 23:08:22

I don't think you understand what I mean by secondary glazing; I'm not talking about hideous sliding aluminium and yes, it doesn't suit some larger apertures such as big bays. I also reiterate and agree that unless the windows are literally as rotten as a pear , refurbishment of the windows is the best, most affordable and sustainable option; you cannot beat a beautifully renovated period sliding sash window!

wonkylegs Mon 07-Oct-13 07:40:57

askasurveyor our joiner who is making our wooden replacement sashes is Fensa registered as was all the wooden sash companies we spoke to so I think your comment is a bit crap and generalist.
We looked at restoration as 2 of the companies we approached could do this. However restoration was nearly as expensive as replacement, came without guarantees and still left us with single glazing.
The double glazed replacements are being made to exactly replicate the random selection of Victorian horns etc and the only change is to the depth of the units themselves (DG is much heavier to the weights need to be bigger) however this is negligible when viewing a 2m high window from afar. I've been to see examples of their work to check.
There are as many studies backing the DG route as there are ones backing the restoration route so it can be a very contradictory area to get any advice even as a professional.
Both sides of the argument tend to produce their own research but there seems to be very few truly independent studies.
We need to change the glass anyway as I have concerns over the safety of Victorian single glazed panels at low level with children, so double glazing makes sense to me from more than a purely thermal perspective.
Thermal blinds, curtains and shutters are all the least invasive approach to upgrading thermal performance but doesn't solve the issues of painted shut windows, damage etc.

Itscoldouthere Mon 07-Oct-13 14:10:24

Hi Cuddymum thought I should add my bit as I think I live near you but in a village.
I have Ventrolla (from the Rugby branch) here refurbishing my windows, so far they have done 5 origional windows - replaced broken glass, draught strip all around, new cords catches and locks.
The difference to the windows is amazing, they really help re noise and they look so much better than they did, but I do now have to paint them all.
Today they are fitting new double glazed shashes to three existing windows, they are very slim double glazed units and look good, but I do not think the wooden frames are as good a quality as the old sashes they took out, but I'm really hoping we will notice a noise reduction.
I'm not looking forward to all the painting, but I choose Ventrolla because of the ease of removal so I can take them out to paint one at a time, I have 10 to do!!
Anyway I hope it helps you decide.

CuddyMum Mon 07-Oct-13 16:46:18

I'm in Harrold Itscoldouthere - I guess my Ventrolla rep will be the same as yours. I have a chap from Wolverton in Milton Keynes coming to see me on Friday who literally can do everything I'm looking for in terms of repairs, repainting and the sprucing up of the stonework too. So far I still haven't received the quotes from my first two companies (people are slow) and I have rep from Woodmaster coming tomorrow. I should end up with a combination of quotes for new replacement wooden sashes, a mixture of some replacements and some repairs and purely renovation. It will be food for thought indeed.

askasurveyor - do enlighten me about secondary glazing as I've only ever seen the hideous sliding metal ones! I still can't see how anything could ever look nice other than the original or replacement wooden sashes.

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