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Replacing Crittal windows

(19 Posts)
Poppy7 Wed 12-Feb-14 13:30:23

Help! We moved into our 1930s house in October - it has beautiful original Crittal windows (so single glazed and metal frames) but they are very drafty and don't insulate against noise either.

We want to replace them but I am so confused about the options - they are a lovely period feature so I would be loathe to replace them with uPVC but then I can't find out enough about wood or modern metal frames.

Has anyone undertaken a similar project and have some tips?

middleagedspread Wed 12-Feb-14 13:50:10

Can't gel with Crittal but we've had a similar problem with stone mullions. We've had some repaired (£) and are having some new ones made with slim glaze glass which is like double glazing but isn't A local joiner is making them.

TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 12-Feb-14 13:54:06

Do you have to replace them? You could get them draftproofed and/or get secondary glazing fitted. It tells you how to draughtproof metal frames in the SPAB Old House Eco Handbook.

TheBeautifulVisit Wed 12-Feb-14 14:00:25

Met Therm windows are excellent.

Poppy7 Wed 12-Feb-14 14:07:58

Thanks everyone, some useful information here. We've got secondary glazing in the back room which isn't very efficient (and is ugly!) but it is quite old, so maybe the newer stuff is less intrusive.

TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 12-Feb-14 14:16:14

Yes, the newer stuff is lovely! My parents have it on their Georgian sash windows and I was sitting looking through the window going 'So, which windows did you have done then?'
If noise insulation is an issue apparently (acc to SPAB book) secondary is better than sealed unit double glazing.

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 12-Feb-14 14:20:22

I second the secondary double glazing It would be such a shame to remove the Crittals - I know they are a PITA but they will help add value/desirability on the long term and they will look so much nicer from the outside than modern alternatives. I know it's possible to get really good quality repro/modern sashes for Victorian houses now, but I am not sure you can do the Crittals justice. Please, please, please don't get UPVC.

struggling100 Wed 12-Feb-14 14:28:51

Ooh, I used to live in a lovely 1930s flat with crittal windows. It was bloody freezing in winter, and then in the summer the metal would expand and you'd get a sound like a gunshot as a pane broke. But they were absolutely lovely, and so full of character!

I am sure you can get a solution that will retain them. Maybe look at tradesmen/carpenters who specialise in windows rather than the usual window companies??

cathyandclaire Wed 12-Feb-14 14:32:33

Sorry to hijack thread but Tunip do you have a link to the secondary glazing your parents had, all the stuff I've seen has been hideous (but admittedly very old) ? We have Georgian sashes and enormous heating bills

wonkylegs Wed 12-Feb-14 14:41:49

You have various options
The most drastic & expensive is replacement - you will regret UPVC but you can get modern Crittall windows as the company still exists producing the same styles although the technology has moved on. Other companies also make similar products google Steel windows or crittall replacement.
Secondary glazing has also moved on and some companies produce good unobtrusive secondary glazing units although watch out there are still shite products about.
You could also look at retrofit slimline double glazing there are various companies who specialise in doing this for steel windows - example
The most basic approach is to keep what you've got. Draft proof any frame gaps and invest in heavy, thermally insulated curtains.
Whatever you do make sure you see examples of the work that the companies do - it's all about quality & attention to detail. I would get some companies out to quote to see what is doable in your budget.
I've only done one project that had steel windows and we went for direct replacement but that's partially because there were some units missing (already replaced with truly awful UPVC) and we wanted them all to match. It wasn't cheap but did mean we had a truly stunning end result.

TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 12-Feb-14 14:44:00

I don't know which firm it is, I'm afraid, but I'll ask my dad next time I speak to him - should be some time in the next few days.

middleagedspread Wed 12-Feb-14 14:54:06

Certainly the ones we are having made are £££. I'd look at other options first if I had the choice.

Poppy7 Wed 12-Feb-14 15:44:51

I think I shall investigate the secondary glazing route first - would definitely be a shame to get rid of the windows but they are not practical in their current state.

CommanderShepard Wed 12-Feb-14 16:45:11

I've just had my Crittall windows done, actually. We opted for uPVC in the end - not because I especially like them, although the chap did a lovely job, but because we're mid-terrace and everyone else has uPVC so we stuck out like a sore thumb. We're not staying here long term so gritted our teeth and went for it. Had I my own way and pots of cash I'd have gone for new-style Crittalls.

aircooled Wed 12-Feb-14 20:45:39

Keep the Crittals and get secondary glazing. Upvc never works in an older house - it looks like an old person with gleaming white false teeth!

Haveboatwillsail Wed 12-Feb-14 22:07:14

I'm watching this thread with interest.

We have Crittalls with secondary glazing but it was done by the previous owner, probably 20 years ago. It is ok from a noise and draught point of view, but the metal window frames really do need some work as some of the windows are pretty stuck and closing any that we do open always feels pretty hair raising.

I also find it a pain cleaning the inside and outside of the window and then the inside and outside of the secondary glazing - there always seems to be a streak somewhere.

Our neighbours didn't have the secondary glazing and their windows frames had almost rusted away. They had Met Therm in to do their replacements and the windows are excellent, all the handles and stays and opening joints are replicated from the originals. They are almost indistinguishable from the originals (I'm really fussy I would say that you can tell their glass is 'one sheet' rather than many individual panes).

If we ever win the lottery, I'd probably get Met Therm in to do our whole house, just for the ease of having smoothly opening, condensation free windows that can be easily opened and shut!

TunipTheUnconquerable Sun 16-Feb-14 12:00:53

Cathyandclaire - just asked my dad, the company was called Storm Windows and it's based somewhere in the Midlands but does all over.

TunipTheUnconquerable Sun 16-Feb-14 12:23:37

Storm Windows

Chewbecca Sun 16-Feb-14 13:05:46

If you do use regular double glazing because of the ££ I think these houses look better with black framed windows (white inside), with the same lead lights, openings and shapes (if that's what you have) as you have now.

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