Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby PVC King » Sun Oct 10, 2004 3:39 pm

No Frank,

It is not a good idea to paint them, unless you want to do it with a spray can, no normal paint for windows would last long.

The smooth surface of the PVC unlike rough wood doesn't take the paint at all, it is like trying to paint glass.

Coloured PVC windows are made from lengths of PVC that are moulded in that colour usually they look like teak or oak and have a grain effect so you have to be on top of them before you think theyre not teak.

PVC doors are OK for a back door where they aren't really seen but I wouldn't recommend them for from doors, the planners usually make problems inside in the main streets of towns with them as well.

I usually recommend Teak front doors with stained glass if the customers can afford them.
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Postby Frank Taylor » Sun Oct 10, 2004 6:25 pm

Thanks, Mr King.
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Postby GrahamH » Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:45 pm

Yikes - if that's not a strong enough an indicator to avoid the stuff by a mile I don't know what is!
I was wondering this only recently, if you could paint them - considering the amount of tatty specimens around all ready.
The link below describes a PVC paint that's available that goes directly on without a primer - as to whether it works I don't know. I suspect that cracks will appear at the brittle corner joints of the frames pretty early on, regardless of what you use, whatever about peeling.
The cracking of window frames and handles as you mention is becoming a big problem now in schools and similar insitutions, where components break off from a lot of use and being battered about, but cannot be replaced. I've seen brand new PVCs tied with string to hooks screwed into window cills to keep them closed.
http://www.uktvstyle.co.uk/HomesAndProperty/Index.cfm?ccs=527&cs=2176
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Postby PVC King » Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:06 pm

Thanks for that Graham,

I never knew that stuff existed, I had always thought that magnolia coloured windows would be great because they would stay that same colour much longer.
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Postby Devin » Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:24 am

PVC King, I think you need to take the issue of PVC a bit more seriously. The tongue in cheek approach is not really working and is not contributing to the discussion topic.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Oct 15, 2004 5:22 pm

Southwark window outrage
15 October 2004 Building Design


Angry residents at a celebrated 1950s housing estate in south London are taking action against Southwark Council for ripping out original timber windows and replacing them with uPVC.

A group of residents have claimed that the six-tower Brandon Estate in Kennington, hailed as one of the best examples of British post-war social housing, did not require new windows.

http://www.bdonline.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=426&storyCode=3042082
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Postby burge_eye » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:54 pm

Originally posted by Devin
PVC King, I think you need to take the issue of PVC a bit more seriously. The tongue in cheek approach is not really working and is not contributing to the discussion topic.


God I'd hate to get stuck in a lift with some of the people in these threads. Lighten up! I can only assume that your lack of humour and irony means that you're not practicing architects! God knows you need a sense of humour to work in this country.
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Postby Devin » Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:00 am

Yeah but I knew who PVC king was, so its a bit different ;)
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby PVC King » Wed Dec 29, 2004 9:57 pm

Any news on the Hanlon's pub windows?
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby fergus » Tue Jan 04, 2005 6:23 pm

happened to be driving behind a van in donegal a few days ago owned by a "joinery Co." with the slogan "save a tree use PVC"!! -theres one for the enviromentalists !!!
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jan 04, 2005 6:35 pm

LOL :D

It think the nature of the issue in this country is perfectly summed up by the fact that the Taoiseach's very own constituency office is fitted out with PVC. The fact that it's a charming 100 year-old Edwardian suburban house makes it all the more pertinent.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:40 am

Image

Image

NEW ROSS
I was going to put these pictures on the ‘Beautiful’ (towns) thread, but they may as well go here.
I was in New Ross in 2002 and thought the Quay was very charming with its stone grain stores and terraced houses, especially this group (first picture above), with their intact 19th century timber shopfronts & sash windows. I thought the Council & townspeople must be aware of their value & are carefully maintaining the buildings’ character. Was back there again last summer (above picture) and the building on the right has had brown PVC windows and has been painted yellow to look like the one next door, upsetting the vertical-sub-division-of-buildings effect. The ‘T. Bradley’ building has also been PVC’d, and the red-painted building in the first picture appears to have been demolished & replaced by some mock-traditional shite with a roof pitch not-in-keeping with the terrace.


Image

View of the Quay, New Ross, from across the River Barrow.

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Then on the Main Street behind the Quay – a cute little shop building in need of repair and restoration in 2002 (left). By ’04 (right) the shop is in use again but its Wyatt sash windows have been replaced by the unmentionable white plastic.

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Again on the Main Street – a sweet little former pub with period architectural features intact in '02 (left). But by last summer (right) the dirty deed has been done….

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It is just horrible that this is happening all the time. Since the Planning & Development Act 2000, there is better legislative protection for historic buildings and areas, but we’re still in the ‘kick in’ period. Not all of these terraced buildings in our towns (like the ones above) are fit to be ‘Protected Structures’. But, because of its great unity and quality, a town like New Ross (and many others like it) will need to be designated as an ‘Architectural Conservation Area’ in the coming years - and so will begin the slow process of reinstating sash windows and other inappropriately replaced period features….all this PVC-ing will have been a big waste!!! :eek:

In the meantime, heaps of beautiful hand-crafted historic joinery and sparkling old glass has been/will continue to be destroyed. :mad:
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 04, 2005 1:21 am

Those pictures are literally stomach-churning, not least the Wyatt building. It really just beggars belief!
There is a beauty in the decrepit old pile of a place depicted in the first picture, yet the happy clappy 'newly renovated' building shown next to it not only bears little resemblance to the first image, but is thoroughly ugly too.

That window is the building - without it it's reduced almost to nothing. And not only has the fenestration been marred, the quoins have disappeared into the morass of pukey banana ice-cream, the shopfront has virtually no distinction from the upper floors, and the upper facade has been adorned with delightful feature ventilation grids!

As for the view across the quay - one dreads to think what it looks like now with that yoke thrown in in place of what was the most charming of all buildings in that terrace. And the neighbouring sashes we not only visually pleasing - they were living indicators of the history of glass-making, with the first floor windows being the only ones afforded the luxury of early cylinder glass: the Georgians having survived up till recent times.

And as for that last building - serendipity indeed... And look what they've done to the corbels - they're like two dead parrots! :(

These photos are testimony to what you have been saying over the past while Devin about this practice being as rampant as ever - it is a crying shame.
Yes ACAs seem to be the only way forward in protecting streetscapes, and their rolling out cannot happen quickly enough based on this and anecdotal evidence from around the country.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:01 am

Graham Hickey wrote:As for the view across the quay - one dreads to think what it looks like now with that yoke thrown in in place of what was the most charming of all buildings in that terrace.

As you probably noticed Graham, it had a central chimney stack, which is unusual. That and the small window proportions indicate a very early building, possibly of the late-17th or early-18th century. And quayfront buildings like this have a vital townscape role. I just don’t know what Town Councils are doing in granting demolitions for stuff like this...

And yes, the hierarchy of importance of the 1st floor windows over the floors above as reflected in the selective 19th century replacement of sashes in the building on the right, just like the in Sick & Indigent Roomkeeper's Society building in Dublin - it makes their destruction and replacement with PVC even more savage....

The ACAs really do need to happen as a matter of urgency....
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:21 am

Yes the chimney was just charming - so distinctive and unusual. And the staggered nature of the terrace has been ruined now with the latest addition/replacement.

Also note the chimney between the two tallest Georgians on the extreme right has been removed and the roof patched with a handful of synthetic slates :rolleyes:
At least none of the buildings have lost their slates as some consolation...
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby MrX » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:25 pm

I noticed a lot of use of interior PVC glazing behind old sash windows in London. It seemed to work quite nicely and doesn't look very obtrusive if it's done with the right stuff.

uPVC could be a very useful material if the manufacturers came up with some more tasteful products. People are simply installing the wrong windows into the wrong buildings. There's nothing fundementally wrong with uPVC products and they do provide quite a lot of advantages in terms of insulation and maintenence they just need to be used appropriately. Most manufactures simply make over-standardised mass-produced ugly products.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:18 am

Image Image

I've seen those inner glazing windows behind sashes you refer to MrX here and there in Dublin too – The Irish Times have them in their Georgian buildings on D’Olier Street. Needless to say, this is what should have been promoted and used on a large scale in Ireland years ago if people wanted the 'airlock' insulation effect, before the horrific PVC replacement blitz began.

Perhaps PVC does have its place – though its manufacture is an intensive chemical (and thus environmentally unfriendly) process.

Well spotted on the removed chimney stack on ‘The Wood Shop’ (above right), Graham - hadn’t noticed that myself. Chimneys are so important for punctuating roofscapes and giving visual demarcation between individual buildings – they should be maintained even if disused. Shame on New Ross Town Council for letting such unsympathetic alterations be carried out to these quayfront buildings, which are the ‘face’ of the town.

Interestingly, before it was PVC’d, the T. Bradley building (above left) had original sashes on the first floor and later, larger-paned sashes on the top floor.

New Ross has one of the highest survival rates of traditional shopfronts in any town in Ireland – there must be upwards of 50 in basically intact condition in the central streets of the town. The Wood Shop front is a beautiful fluted, Ionic-columned design - but looks pretty poor now that it’s been sanitised by the building next door. The curtain in the window display when a shop ceases to trade is a charming country town feature - but it's seen less and less now.


Image

Also, the old timber-boarded vehicle underpass doors in the earlier pictures of this building have been replaced by a sheet metal gate by ‘04 - not exactly traditional :rolleyes: . Ok, this is a minor enough change, but the loss of historic sash windows is grievous.
(Did my best to crop the PVC out of this picture :) )

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Anyway, enough about New Ross. It's happening all over the country all the time. This is an old pub in Portarlington in 2003 (top) and 2004 (above). A recent change of ownership meant the removal of the nice ‘P. Finlay’ lettering across the top - which harmonised with the pubfront and 1st floor window architrave detailing - and, more seriously, the replacement of the painted sash windows with open-out stained timber windows - almost just as visually damaging as PVC (sounds like the same situation as the Step Inn in Stepaside, mentioned earlier in the thread).
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:01 am

'The Wood Shop' - you gotta love it :)
Lovely facade - a design classic to be seen all over the country.

That's certainly strange about the original sashes on T Bradley - perhaps the first floor was used as storage while the top foor was the living accommodation? You see it all over Dublin where new plates were put in from 1900+ in the attic storeys of Georgians, as many were presumably converted into an apartments or small offices to bring in some extra cash.

That's a shame about the pub - those windows are even worse than PVC (never thought I'd say that :)).

I wouldn't approve of PVC used inside windows either - just think it is a disgusting material full stop in the from currently manufactured. Trinity uses it for many of the windows on the West Front, presumably elsewhere too.
Likewise the College of Surgeons has them fitted inside and they look awful - God only know what they look like from inside and how they relate to shutters and architraving etc...
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Lotts » Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:44 am

PVC used internally is not not just the devils work aesthetically but can suffocate a building just as quickly as it's externally mounted relatives.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:39 am

True - older buildings not having the adequate ventilation that modern builds have, and even then they're probably not ideal in all cases.

Some examples of PVCed buildings here, including a charming 1922 church, and a standard red brick terraced house.
Can PVC still not mould itself into rounded shapes, or is it just expensive so people don't bother?

Image

There's a wider view of a couple of houses below - particularly like the first one :) - how anyone could think that as being........you'd wonder with some people....

Also another delightful Ionic-pillared shopfront in Dundalk, maybe 1830-40ish, very successfully reinvented into a fashionable eatery place of late. Used to be the Democrat newspaper offices. Great use of colour:
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:52 am

Lovely stuff! :rolleyes:

Collins Barracks Musuem also have PVC-coated inner windows facing into the square. Tut, tut. And it's not like the traffic is roaring by outside.....I suppose they need them to help control temperature for the artefacts on show.
The inner windows I'm thinking of that should have been promoted here before would not be of PVC. Granted there would always be the problem of the relationship with the internal window lining....

The Dundalk shopfront is lovely. Is it mostly original?
I don't know Dundalk as well as I should....

I've got a very-difficult-to-look-at before & after PVC-ing from Dublin coming up. I'll post it in the next day or so.

Prepare your stomachs!! :)
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:02 am

Heh heh

Oh the smugness of it all...
Have to laugh at the title of this thread - the content just totally contradicts it :)

Yes all but the panes of glass and the door of 'Vertigo' appears to be original.
There's another nearly across the road that is almost identical to 'The Wood Shop', just a little larger. Must post it soon.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Lotts » Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:23 am

Looking forward to the Dublin report Devin.
This thread's become like a wonderful spot the difference competition.
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It Happens In Dublin Too

Postby Devin » Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:02 am

Image

So here’s the Dublin PVC-ing. Eh, enjoy, if that’s the word. The buildings are a pair of (unlisted) Georgian mill houses of circa 1820, situated at the entrance to the former Hibernian Mill on Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, which was recently converted to apartments, retaining the shell of the mill. The houses are not connected to the mill anymore (The Hibernian Mill is not to be confused with the more well known Kilmainham Mill on Kilmainham Lane, which also has an approved scheme for apartments). Anyway, this wretched job to the larger of the two houses resulted in the loss of a complete set of original Wyatt windows :mad: . An T (me, actually) had written to DCC shortly before this happened asking them to add the houses to the record of Protected Structures (they didn't), so needless to say I was really :mad: when I saw this. The other house retains its sashes, but the Wyatts are not original - they're modern replacements.

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Rear view: That's the gothic-arch entrance to the Royal Hospital at the end of the road in the 1st pictuire. Original 8-over-8 sashes were replaced at the rear. And you can see from here that the slate roof has been replaced by those flat shiny tegral fake slates - complements the PVC anyway!

The most pathetic thing about the window replacement is the way the PVC has copied the pane-patterns of the sashes of various periods on the house; the Georgian sashes at the front and back; the Victorian margined sash in the front basement; and the 1-over-1 sash in the side (had security bars over it) - which anyway they got wrong & turned into a '2-over-2' :D .
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:57 am

Stop it! Just stop it! Haven't we suffered enough?!

God - what can you say....the main facade of the mill house is an abomination, those windows would make you vomit.
What a loss, not least with Wyatts being so rare. There is now no character at all to the house, save the doorcase that might as well have been salvaged from elsewhere.
How can the owners not see that the windows were by far the primary architectural features of the house?! Without them it is nothing - it relied on them more so than most period buildings.

And is it just me or have they rendered over the front steps? Maybe it's just the work of the old pressure washer.

House owners are really gonna love you Devin, going round snapping their houses before and after :) - though admittedly I've had a tendancy to be doing the same over the past couple of years :o

Yes the Wyatt replacements on the other house aren't great either - I've seen smaller horns on bulls :)
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