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Renovating Sliding Sash Windows?

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samlarsen

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I'm restoring a Victorian House at present and in order to retain the original Victorian facade I want to restore / upgrade the sliding sash windows. Unfortunately the windows at the rear of the house will have to be replaced with tilt-and-turn to meet the new fire exit regs.

Anyone know of a good supplier of window seals? Preferably suitable for sliding sash frames? (like the "ventrolla" ones??)

Anyone ever added double glazing to these frames? Any snags other than the increased rebate and counter weights?

Cheers

Sam
 
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Anonymous

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I'm restoring a Victorian House at present and in order to retain the original Victorian facade I want to restore / upgrade the sliding sash windows. Unfortunately the windows at the rear of the house will have to be replaced with tilt-and-turn to meet the new fire exit regs.
You do not have to put tilt/turn windows in, as long as you have a 1/3 metre square opening available when the bottom sash is up, then you are okay. If you are 'renovating' what is already there, then the bureaucratic council cannot enforce any change on you. If they do try, then you should apply for a relaxation order on the grounds of destroying architectural features of the building. SPAB (Society for the protection of ancient buildings) can advise on this.

You will destroy the original sashes if you try to put double glazed sealed units in. Number one, the astragals will find it extremely hard to cope with the weight, especially if they are the original very fine Victorian sashes. Number two, the size of the astragals will have to be increased both in width and depth which will completely disfigure the windows from an aesthetic aspect. Number three, you will find it very difficult to put enough weight gain on your weights to enable them to lift the extra weight of the new sashes, this is why garbage modern reproductions have strong springs to lift the sashes instead of weights. All the same, a sash window when balanced and cared for, should lift up and down with the absolute minimal effort, as if it is floating on air as the counter-balance effect of gravity work together. You will never be able to simulate this with modern reproductions.

And be very careful of what you do, remember to get a genuine reproduction of a sash window manufactured using mortice and tenons and joggles on the meeting rail will set you back a lot more than that awful UPVC garbage.

This is one of the ludicrous situations the inept councils impose on the the populace, as they cow-tow to those face-less, name-less psychopaths in the EEC. Whilst smashing the old houses to pieces and destroying the soul and fabric of many irreplacable buildings up and down the country in the name of fuel conservation. They then allow houses to be built that are thirty times the size of older houses and take ten times more fuel to heat up and stay heated, not to mention the vast increase in the materials (especially polystyrene/plastics) that have gone up thirty fold when compared to older properties...It's sort of like pissing against the wind!

I think you will find the U-values for a mantained single glazed sash window with internal shutters and lined curtains, is better than triple glazing!

http://www.owdman.co.uk/joinery/
 

Aragorn

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Spud":1d1yucpb said:
You will never be able to simulate this with modern reproductions.
I agree with most of what you've said Spud (especially the pol*t*cal bit :? ) but would take issue with the bit about not being able to install wooden Victorian style double-glazed windows.
This is indeed possible and it works perfectly well when done with care and the right weights.
I don't do it myself, but have worked on a site where a local specialist company installed a whole load of them. They were not adaptions of the originals - as you say this wouldn't work - but new windows made especially to receive double-glazed units. Despite all the extra weight, they opened very easily and smoothly. With the seals in place, it's really worth the effort and expense for insulation purposes and noise reduction IMO.
 

ProShop

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SamLarson,
I have spent many years restoring these wonderful windows (not recently),and I have also spent many a happy hour installing a few variations of them complete with d/g and seals and they work quite well. :)
I agree with Spud on the point regarding the rear of the building, if you have sach windows already in and are the original or genuine replacement then you can keep them in, or if you wish replace them with a modern version with d/g. But putting d/g in the existing will not work. :shock:

It pays to challenge your local authority if you feel they are taking down a route your not hapy with, they do make mistakes and more often than not they just take an easy option. :(

Spud,
Ahhh Victorian sliding sash windows, with internal shutters and heavy lined curtains, Now were talking..... :D :D :D :D
 
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Anonymous

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but would take issue with the bit about not being able to install wooden Victorian style double-glazed windows.
Yes, but they are not the same though! The trouble with new reproductions is you simply cannot replicate the very fine glazing bars and dimensions that prevail on the original Victorian and Edwardian windows. For me, and a great many others, they are hideous and deface old buildings. You may call this puritan, but I feel the windows on a building have a colossal impact on the aspect, and if not dimensionally correct, will utterly destroy the building. I can spot a modern reproduction from 100yds away, simply because, to enable the glazing bars to accept two sheets of 3mm (minimum requirement now) thick glass with a 12mm air gap in between, you have to completely destroy the dimensions and finesse of the window. Yes I agree that modern reproductions can be made to try and simulate the originals, but let's be honest, they simply do not look right, they are aesthetically wrong!
 

Aragorn

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Fair enough Spud! I would agree that the finesse is in the details. I didn't notice the proportions of the bars in the windows I looked at before, but presumably they were wrong as well - they would need to be quite chunky to hold the DG unit.
 

samlarsen

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Many thanks for your replies. It seems I have some food for thought.

Just to clarify the situation: 1, the house is in Scotland where regs are slightly different to England and Wales. 2, I have changed the room usage / layout on the upper floor and hence some of the rooms will fall under the new regs for fire escape - hence the requirement for tilt and turn at the rear.

Unfortunately the house was in very poor condition when I bought it and hence most of the original features were lost. My house is the only one left in the street with the original facade (ie no upvc) left and I am prepared to put in some effort to maintaining it. However DG is a must for several reasons.

Anyone know the weight calc for DG units (so I can work out if I have enough room for more weights within the brickwork) ?

If I have to make two new box sash windows then so be it.
Anyone got any construction tips!

Thanks

Sam
 
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