help! 1930s bay window exterior panel problem.

(16 Posts)
PixieGio Sun 17-Jan-16 20:59:38

I will attach a photo of our very recently (last Friday to be exact) purchased 30s semi. It has a traditional bay window to the ground and first floors, as you can see. Now, our structural engineer has recommended removing the middle brick panel due to cracks and load issues (the pvcu windows cannot hold the weight being imposed on it from above, this is very common apparently), then replacing witu a panel which then decreases the load. The structural engineer has also recommend rendering the outside of this panel. This would dramatically alter the look of the two side by side houses, our neighbours still having the red bricks between their two bay windows. Has anyone come across this problem before with these bay window semis? Do we talk to our neighbours and see if they are interested in panelling theirs up? Sorry for the huge post. Our builder has mentioned brick looking tiles but that may really not look right next to true bricks. Surely we are not the only people to have come across this?

Thanks for reading. 😊

PolterGoose Sun 17-Jan-16 22:01:03

An alternative might be to replace the window with one with internal steel supports. Changing the brick would look a bit crap!

JT05 Mon 18-Jan-16 07:08:18

I'd look into replacing the windows with more substantial construction, possibly a supporting beam, and a more authentic look. The cost might not be any more than changing the original construction.

The original windows would have been wood with vertical intersections. Are there any originals still in the road?

PixieGio Mon 18-Jan-16 08:09:02

JT05 where would the supporting beam go, behind the bottom panel of brickwork? Apparently the whole front needs reinforcing to the actual house so just getting stronger windows won't solve the main problem (could even make it worse if heavier). We will of course be replacing the windows in time so that's something to think about. I've attached a photo of a house with a wooden panel thing that's next to the original style - I don't think the contrast is terrible? Our builder estimated the weight was about a ton and half that needed supporting if the bricks went back up. He was against the idea incase the weight away from the house again and more cracks appeared. We are having "batstraps" fixed to the inner wall to hold it all in, just need to figure out how our house is going to look on the street. Most of the other houses have the bricks in the middle still and none have original windows. Our current windows must be 70s or 80s and falling apart. Thanks for responding. Calling the structural engineer today!

JT05 Mon 18-Jan-16 09:13:12

My next suggestion was going to be a structural engineer. They will have the solution regarding support beams. It might be costly, but worth it in the long run.
Your second picture shows a more rounded type of bay, are these a different style of the same house in the road? The rendered bay to the right looks ok.
The windows are segmented, whereas yours is a picture window, as you say needs replacing.

Hope the structural engineer comes up with a suitable solution. Everything can be fixed! Unfortunately, sometimes it costs!

PixieGio Mon 18-Jan-16 09:38:25

Hi JT thanks for your reply again.

These aren't the same as on our street but there are some around the area. I found some pics of the more picture window bay style. I actually prefer the look on the right too. It sort of modernises the front of the house without taking too much away, IMO. I'll see if I can find a photo. I've just had building control on the phone and they said they didn't think it'd be a problem, DH worried about resale if it looks too different confused
OK, I'll report back after I've spoke to the SE. Thank you! I've just added a photo of what we are basically looking to do.

wowfudge Mon 18-Jan-16 09:54:29

In 1930s houses it is really common for the bay window frame to be integral to the structure. As JT05 has stated, the issues are quite possibly down to the window frame being inadequate to support the structure above.

Do you by any chance have a FENSA or Certass guarantee for the windows? It's possible you may have some back against the installers of them.

Worth considering once you have the SE's report.

wowfudge Mon 18-Jan-16 09:59:14

PS Fwiw I think the bay's with render or tiles are much more attractive than the brick ones.

wowfudge Mon 18-Jan-16 09:59:32

Rogue apostrophe!

PixieGio Mon 18-Jan-16 15:14:15

Hi wowfudge thanks for your response. We have nothing in relation to the windows unfortunately. Our builder agreed it was basically the installation that caused this. There's nothing at building regs/planning to stop us rendering. I've driven around the neighbourhood and seen plenty of similar houses with white rendering or panels and it looks neat, especially with new windows. I feel the bricks have got a bit of a bare look to them personally.

PixieGio Fri 19-Feb-16 23:11:52

Follow up post... here's a recent photo of the bay. Thoughts so far anyone?

wowfudge Sat 20-Feb-16 08:30:09

You've changed the windows and had the upstairs bay cladded? Presumably the structural issues have been fixed? I think it looks okay however I wouldn't have had the country cottage style windows on that type of house and would consider taking the bars off (you've probably paid extra for them) and I think render would have looked better than upvc planks. That said, I don't think the treatment of the bay is out of keeping and prefer it to plain red brick.

PixieGio Sat 20-Feb-16 08:51:55

All structural issues taken care of yes. The windows are the ones with bars internally. We just saw them on a couple of other houses and fancied them! I'm not crazy about the cladding either. I don't think it'll affect the resale of our house though - they are selling like hot cakes around here at the minute. It is easy to remove and replace with rendering if needed though (our builder didn't think rendering was the best option). FWIW the previous owner of the house came around the other day (he's a Karndean specialist grin and said he liked it. I'm just going to ignore the cladding and concentrate on other aspects till it really bothers me. Having a lovely red Rockdoor fitted on Wednesday so that should take my mind off it. Thanks for your honest opinion, wowfudge!

wowfudge Sat 20-Feb-16 09:40:46

We have a 30s style rockdoor. One of our neighbours was so taken with it they got the same style fitted to their house.

PixieGio Sat 20-Feb-16 09:52:57

The Newark? I love it!

wowfudge Sat 20-Feb-16 09:58:08

That's the one. We had the glass done to match the leading on the original stained glass lights which have been encapsulated in the double glazing of the windows. Where the door knob is on the photo you've posted we have a letterbox and the door furniture is chrome. Photo taken from inside.

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