The sash windows at the front of my house never had any ‘curb appeal’. They were battered by Brighton’s sea air, paint was chipping off, they were draughty and leaking, and they had been poorly repaired in places. Time for a makeover! Window experts Ventrolla came round and gave Teddy & I a crash course in sash windows – and then called in their handy man, Gary, to give them a complete overhaul. Now they are better than the day they were made.
You can see here from my About Me snap (taken by my boyfriend Jonathan not long after I moved in) how bad my windows were. You can see the rubbish repair job where cracks have been filled with a wood filler of some sort. You could literary take lumps off with your hand.
Look at my house before….not great hey. I love my little home but the windows were seriously letting us down (and we were the scruffiest house on the street) . The paint was all cracked and flaked off. You could see the original wood under the layers of emulsion. When it rained, they leaked water into my living room which was the cause of the damp in the house. Nice. I seriously thought I could get away with stripping them back and painting them. What was I thinking? Sometimes, I worry about myself.
Can you see the colours the windows have been painted over the years. Look like they have been navy at some time. When Jim from Ventrolla, came to assess my windows – he could shove his pen through the wood – they were that rotten. Luckily (I think) – I only need to replace half the window frame – so not all of it was bad news.
Here we are inside the house before works started in the living room. Look at my hideous nets that I inherited. Simply awful. We had water coming in on the lefthand side through cracks in the window frame.
It was a shame the windows had fallen into such bad repair as they were beautiful when the sunshine flooded in the morning.
So here is the start of the makeover! Look how rotten they were. Gary, Ventrolla’s carpenter, could pull the sill off by hand it was that bad in shape. At least we didn’t have woodworm. He cut away the useless wood and left what was good to keep. My windows are over 150 years old. And the wood that my frames are made from would have started growing way back in the 1600s. My frames were handmade by Victorian builders just for my house – not one window on my street is the same size or shape.
You could see the stone brick work that the window was built on. Chunks of the plaster inside fell off too. Gary started by removing all the beading so he could get out the side windows to get at them to repair them properly. Once these were gone (see the old beading in the bin bag at the front) he hacked back all the rotten wood and rebuilt it by hand replacing the sill.Clever isn’t it. This took about a day to do. Luckily we had great weather for him to crack on. He screwed in hardwood to the exact shape of my window. As my window wasn’t exactly symmetrical being over 150 years old, this was easier said than done.
The old cords were cut and removed. I had new sash cords put in but this time they are balanced and hidden inside the frame so they don’t get trapped. In one day, he got the side sash windows repaired. By the end of day two he was putting in the new glazed frames.
Here are all the new sash cords held together while waiting for the new window to go in.Here Gary is putting in the glass sashes – the last bits of the restoration. Each sash has been insulated with brushes that still allow air to flow (to help with ventilation) but stop draughts. Look how bright and fresh they look. He used modern glass to reglaze them. But it was mottled and bumpy to look like original hand blown glass – so clever (and I loved the attention to detail). We had new locks and safety catches installed which gave me peace of mind as welook straight onto the street (although the street feels safe).
I had to wait four weeks for a decent weather before we could paint the windows. I painted them in an exterior white wood paint to protect the wood. I used a matt effect wood paint rather than a shiny gloss paint as it suited the age of the windows better.Don’t they just gleam and shine in the sunshine? You can see we’ve added window film from The Window Film Company so we could get rid of the ugly nets.
I put a few plants out the front to make the house look a bit softer and prettier (and hide the scuff marks on the front of the house). And here is the end result. The living room all put back together again (on a rainy day – look at that poor women in walking by). They are beautiful – good-as-new-if-not-better sash windows. We’ve got brass hand pulls so we don’t put sticky paw prints on the glass when opening up them up.
We’re big fans of makeovers at WeLoveHome – so we even did a little vlog which shows the windows in a little more detail – and you get a mini tour of the rest of my street. Before I go the window done, I did a quick fix to make them look decent in the short term – which you can see here.
[**Disclaimer] Ventrolla are one of my carefully selected blogging partners and together we have created content together. I would not promote anything that I wouldn’t have in my own home. If you want to learn more about who I work with then please take a look at my friends page.