Introduction: Period property homeowners often face the dilemma of whether to replace or restore their windows for better efficiency. While replacing windows may seem like the easiest solution, it is expensive and not environmentally friendly. A more sustainable option is restoring sash windows, which can maintain the character and authenticity of the property while also improving their efficiency. In this article, we will explore the benefits of window restoration, the steps involved in the process, and tips on choosing the right restoration method.
Benefits of Window Restoration
One of the significant advantages of restoring sash windows is that it can save you money in the long run. Restoring the original frames and sashes is often more cost-effective than replacing them with new ones. Additionally, restoring your windows can maintain the character of your property and contribute to its overall aesthetic value. Restoration can also improve the energy efficiency of your windows, keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Steps in Window Restoration
The restoration process of traditional timber windows, be it sash or casement or sliding windows, starts with frames and sashes. The first step is to inspect the frames for any signs of rot, which can cause cracking and distortion if left untreated. Once the inspection is complete, the next step is to remove all the old paint from the window frame, either by using a chemical stripper, heat-gun, powerful orbital sender, or paint scraper. It is essential to test the paint for lead before starting the stripping process, and if lead is present, special precautions must be taken. After stripping the paint, minor repairs can be made using wood fillers, and any severely damaged parts can be replaced.
Choosing the Right Restoration Method
There are several factors to consider when choosing the right restoration method. If the paint is in good condition and not lead-based, a basic paint sander can be used. This method is the quickest and easiest, but it can be messy and dusty, so ensure that you wear a dust mask. If there is rot, replacing the affected parts is necessary, and this may require advanced carpentry skills. It is essential to use good-quality filler, and we recommend going with an epoxy-based filler for all exterior wood applications.
Upgrading Glazing Efficiency
Original sash windows are typically single-glazed, which means that they are not effective in preventing heat loss or reducing heat gain during summer days. You can upgrade the efficiency of your glazing by replacing the sashes only, installing secondary glazing or fitting thin-profile double glazing units into existing sashes. For any of these options, it is best to consult a professional sash window company. New double-glazed sashes can reduce energy bills and improve the thermal efficiency of your windows.
Servicing and Replacement of Moving Parts
Moving parts such as pulleys, ropes, and draught excluders are prone to wear and tear and will need regular servicing or replacement. Broken ropes can cause the window to drop and bind, making it difficult to open or close. If you decide to change the ropes, ensure that they are of the correct length. Draught excluders, usually made of rubber or brush with a brush holder, can be replaced with new equivalents when they wear out. The condition of your pulleys can be checked by trying to move them, and if they are stiff or difficult to move, they may need to be replaced.