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Replacing original sash windows

(15 Posts)
summeriscoming Fri 19-Feb-16 13:40:29

We are buying a Victorian house which needs a lot of renovation. We are going to have replace the original sash windows. I really want to replace them for the same but the cost is a big factor - £1500 per window and £4000 for the bay window.
Have you done this and is there a cheaper alternative? Replica sash windows? Do they look good? Would they ruin the look of the building?
Any ideas welcome please!

Sophie38 Fri 19-Feb-16 13:45:07

First off, get someone out to you who is experienced in restoring original windows.

This is becoming quite a thing - restoring them can often be very, very effective, and often it is just the bottom bar which needs to be replaced, and maybe the sill.

You can't get the same quality of wood these days, according to our chippy - so if you can retain the original ones and have them properly restored, it will be worth it - and it will cost signficantly less than replacing them with new ones.

I'm so glad you aren't keen on getting UPVC, it's cheaper because it's worse, and it won't let the house breathe.

Sophie38 Fri 19-Feb-16 13:46:22

btw we have had a few repaired, and it makes a huge difference. Restoration can also include draught proofing and so on - you can have them running beautifully again.

summeriscoming Fri 19-Feb-16 14:09:19

The report says that some of the sashes and sill will require replacement.
So that sounds like a good option - to at least look into and see if they can be repaired.

Yes - I'm not keen on upvc at all. The building is beautiful and it will completely ruin the look of it.

summeriscoming Fri 19-Feb-16 14:09:58

Sophie38 - what was the cost if you don't me asking.

OliviaBenson Fri 19-Feb-16 14:31:51

I second a restoration company. I really recommend draft stripping- it makes such a difference and restoring them will mean you don't lose any value on your house smile

Sophie38 Fri 19-Feb-16 15:20:27

Ah, someone after my own heart smile

Thank you on behalf of everyone who likes old buildings!

Our chap did quite a few random repairs including replacing several sills, some frame repairs (cutting bits out and splicing in new bits) and built us a new sash for one side of the bay window, out of a similar window I'd salvaged from across the road. He also replaced the glass in two windows with safety glass (children's rooms), adjusted the beading, made it so the catches would work again.

It won't give you much of an idea but it was around £1800, I think, for all the work - that sounds like a lot but it means we no longer have water coming in through the sills into the masonry, and can use several windows that weren't useable before.

We haven't had a 'proper' restoration but will do one day when finances allow. It certainly got us out of a sticky situation.

Sophie38 Fri 19-Feb-16 15:21:53

Oh and he was probably quite an expensive option as he was one of those master joiner types! I think he just charges whatever he likes grin

He was here for about 2 weeks.

summeriscoming Fri 19-Feb-16 15:29:57

Sophie38 - thank you, that's very helpful.
Yes, I love old buildings - so much character. The one we are buying has been so neglected though, it needs so much work. But we will restore it to its former beauty! smile
I'm really happy I asked here because to be honest I wasn't really considering a repair but I've looked online and seen before and after pictures of repaired windows and ours don't look as bad as some of them so I think it could be done.
Anything under £700 per window will be good for us because we were thinking it would cost us £1500!!!

moreshitandnofuckingredemption Fri 19-Feb-16 15:38:03

It partly spends on why you're doing it. If you just want to improve the appearance then restoration will be cheapest and obviously in keeping with the originals. However, if you want to improve heat retention, most of the heat loss is actually through the glass, so you can spend a lot on restoring them without improving the insulation much. We replaced our original sashes with double-glazed timber sashes, we kept the original boxes. It made a huge difference to the heat retention and they look really good. Was about £1k per window (so £3k for the bay) but the house is nice and warm!
(to PP who was worried about the building breathing, I think ours does it through the gaps in the floorboards!)

bilbodog Fri 19-Feb-16 15:57:15

I think good secondary double glazing is better than double glazed windows in old houses and won't change the look. We had a local window maker n bucks draft proof and renovate ours - is great.

Peyia Fri 19-Feb-16 16:19:10

We restored 9 sash windows, two bays. It was the only option because replacing them would have cost a fortune. We bought a period house for the features so felt wrong replacing with plastic. The original panes are very slim so have invested in shutters to help with heat loss.

The company we used to restore are very very competitive. We did have some issues with customer service but in the end I couldn't fault them. You just had to be on the ball with them. 3k to restore, and we paid for a system so that we can take the window out for cleaning (top floor) and moving large furniture (bottom floor).

Definitely restore if you can. One of the windows was beyond help but only cost £300 to replace.

Littleelffriend Fri 19-Feb-16 16:21:17

I got mine repaired as opposed to replaced (it's sash and case, and also a very unusual shape so quote for replacement was 7K). I paid £500, and it's great now.

summeriscoming Fri 19-Feb-16 17:30:39

Thank you all! I'm so glad I asked here!
I'm also considering shutters smile

summeriscoming Thu 10-Mar-16 15:49:57

Just to update. I had a quote for repair and restoration (drought proofing, painting, replacing a few sashes) of one bay and 5 single windows (some are in worse state than others) for £4500.
So I'm happy with that!
Thanks again. I wouldn't have considered repair smile

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