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Massive old house, need to replace windows, help!

(27 Posts)
crunchtimes Fri 12-Jan-18 23:12:45

Inherited a very large house in the country together with my siblings.
We are not allowed to sell the house as per clause in the will (long and shit story!).
At the moment we can rent it out, but for not very much as it needs considerable improvements.
As I understand the law for rented properties is changing this year, and we will need to make energy efficient improvements to the house to rent it out.
The house has aprox 20 odd large and small windows which are wooden, single glazed.
I understand I will need to replace these windows with wooden double glazing or secondary glazing.
I love the look of the existing wooden windows, (the house is very handsome from the outside) so in some ways I would prefer to have secondary glazing (which you could open).
But I don't know about the downsides and the cost difference between the two options. Needless to say, we are torn between making the improvements and spending money on a white elephant.
The next step is to obviously get in companies to quote, but I live 300 miles away from the property and don't want to be bamboozled by double glazing salespeople!
Anyone got any experience in the differences/benefits/costs of wooden double glazing verses secondary glazing?
I've changed my username, but am a very long time member of mm.

MarkleAndSpencer Sat 13-Jan-18 06:50:22

We have secondary glazing throughout (listed property - if the house is listed you may not be allowed to put in double glazing) and it's great. Everest put it in for us.

Another option might be something like Magneglaze - you fit it yourself and it's probably about 25% of the cost of secondary glazing. We have it on one window and it seems pretty good so far. Might be worth investigating?

PinkietheElf Sat 13-Jan-18 07:05:24

Maybe it depends on the size of the windows but ours are 7ft tall some of them and the plastic secondary glazing was very awkard to open (in fact unless you were a strong and tall adult you would not get out in case of fire which I realised once the DGC's came along). The actual old existing windows are counterbalanced And you could smash them to let people out in case of a fire.
Someone has recently told me that secondary glazing doesn't really work as the cold air gets trapped between the two surfaces, though I presume in sunny weather that gap warms up. As do spiders and cobwebs in my experience. So my experience does not tally with Markles.
We are having 7 windows replaced at the moment with similar looking wood sash and case double glazed windows at a cost of 10,000. House is listed but seems that planning have made alterations to the rules due to energy efficiency when it was v hard in the past to get permission.
Perhaps by installing pv panels or a heat exchanger you work round the new rules.

Lucisky Sat 13-Jan-18 08:07:30

Nothing useful to say, except you have my sympathy for the situation you are in. Is there a time limit on selling the house, i.e. will you be allowed to do it in a few years? Personally, I would be seeking legal advise over this onerous and unreasonable stipulation. Surely if you all wanted to get rid of your white elephant (if you all do of course) a judge could overturn this?

parklives Sat 13-Jan-18 10:53:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chickencellar Sat 13-Jan-18 11:37:45

That could be quite a headache , a number of siblings + old house + the will + you living miles away , trying to rent it out. Best of luck !

Mosaic123 Sat 13-Jan-18 13:36:42

Rented houses have to have a boiler glue that can be easily inspected so if the boiler is in the middle of the house you might have to move it. Get a gas safety engineer to inspect it.

Mosaic123 Sat 13-Jan-18 13:37:07

Flue, not glue!

athingthateveryoneneeds Sat 13-Jan-18 13:39:16

Name change fail op?

RippleEffects Sat 13-Jan-18 13:57:24

We secondary glazed for the majority of good condition single glazed hardwood windows in our last house. Had a few remade due to condition and double glazed.

We measured up for the glazing and hired a chippy to do the fit. Fraction of the cost £200/ day for the chippy and it was a few days work. Glass was about £20/ window a bit more for the opening sections and doors where we used safety glass, a bit less for small windows. We chose a very plain quarter quadrant mold for the interior trim, which I glossed before fitting so it just got touched up post fit.

SheepyFun Sat 13-Jan-18 14:06:36

You can have double glazing in hardwood frames - we do. My parents have sash windows, many of which they have replaced with new, double glazed sash windows. However the windows are enormous (some 10' tall), so I imagine the replacement cost them a small fortune. Basically, it's possible to have proper double glazing in wooden frames, but I suspect you'll have to pay an awful lot for it.

brownelephant Sat 13-Jan-18 14:16:10

we wnt for upvc triple glazing.

there are nice looking options about.
if you are renting it out you need to consider ventilation. in old houses that can be a problem once the natural draft is removed by replacing windows etc.

OliviaBenson Sat 13-Jan-18 14:59:13

Get the windows repaired and draftstripped. Secondary glazing and thick curtains and you’ll be fine. No need to rip out nice windows. You’ll never save enough in energy to make them pay.

OneMoreOne Sat 13-Jan-18 15:21:31

Secondary glazing - cheaper, get to keep existing windows as is for appearance, may need some maintenance.

New double glazed wood - can be made the same as current windows in design, so much better energy efficiency etc.

I would go for the secondary if renting it. Although really if you have the money the wood double glazing is the dogs.

Please don't get PVC! Even if it's cheap and effective, it's such a travesty in old houses.

Re no being hassled by salesmen, find a smaller local firm who do wood double glazing (even if you go for the secondary) and they tend to be much less sale-sy.

brownelephant Sat 13-Jan-18 15:22:46

Secondary glazing and thick curtains and you’ll be fine

fine if you live there yourself. not fine if you rent it out.

Wauden Sat 13-Jan-18 15:26:40

What Olivia Benson says is spot on.

brownelephant Sat 13-Jan-18 15:28:45

have a look at the new rules about letting out & energy efficiency.

it might well be that you will have no other option but to go for new windows to achieve this.

MazDazzle Sat 13-Jan-18 15:34:56

God what a headache for you.

We had beautiful old sash and case windows, but they were single glazed and painted shut. Our house was listed, so UPVC wasn’t an option. We got a local joiner to make windows which were exact replicas of the existing ones, but with double glazing, rather than single. We then had to get them painted. Thankfully, we only have 9 windows!

MazDazzle Sat 13-Jan-18 15:37:16

Are you able to challenge the clause in the will?

notapizzaeater Sat 13-Jan-18 15:51:09

Can you not sell it ever ? If you're in fo rather long haul I'd spend money on it.

Scrowy Sat 13-Jan-18 16:24:44

We have secondary glazing behind listed old leaded windows. I think it's great, the main problem we have is flies and spiders living in the gap between the two.

lynmilne65 Sat 13-Jan-18 16:31:27


crunchtimes Sat 13-Jan-18 17:08:00

Wow, thanks for all the replies everyone.

@RippleEffects do you have any problems with condensation/dirt building up between the secondary glazing and the original glass?

In answer to MazDazzle , tried to contest the clause many years ago, even got to the high court I think, its pretty water-tight, so no, will probably never sell it. This generation just needs to decide either to allow it to crumble, or invest for the next generation (then they will have to make the same choice).

To be honest the saddest thing is that it is a dream house, would make someone an absolutely wonderful home. Its such a shame it will probably never be restored to its full glory again because of the issue of never being able to sell it. I love the place, to me it has a wonderful atmosphere, despite the decaying decor!

I know its a first world problem to have, it is a massive headache, and it has caused me many a sleepless night, but also know there are worst things to happen in families -have some of those problems in my family too!-

Scrowy I was worried about that, there are a few decorative lead windows, maybe we could have removable secondary glazing there. I assume normal wooden windows that are sealed correctly wouldn't have this problem?

I actually have found a loop-hole while googling this morning, that a house rented with agricultural land over 2 acres (which it just has - but this land isn't currently rented with the house) is exempt from the new Energy regs.

I still would like to make the improvement to the windows, because it is the right thing to do to make tenants lives more comfortable and help reduce their bills. The budget will never stretch to new double glazing throughout, so all the other suggestions are gratefully received.

Am definitely going to sort out the curtains, I have interlined ones in my own home and it does make a massive difference.

MazDazzle Sat 13-Jan-18 17:11:59

You could just double glaze the main living areas.

Heavy lined curtains on exterior doors or to section off parts of the house would work too.

brownelephant Sat 13-Jan-18 17:12:36

there are a few decorative lead windows
I have seen houses where they have been incorporated in modern double/triple glazing.

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