Irish say no to PVC windows

Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:14 pm

Could Ireland be finally getting sick of the white glare of PVC? A building on John's Bridge in Kilkenny was seen recently either painting its white PVC windows brown, or replacing them with the same windows (of equally awful design) in brown:


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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby djasmith » Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:12 pm

Ah what a fantastic thread!!!! Im sorry to say Ive only discovered it now! I was reading through the first couple of pages when I thought Id have to have a rant in defence of Dublins council houses - but Devin has saved me the trouble and taken some fabulous photos of them - almost all within 5 minutes walking distance of my house too!

As Ive said in previous threads, my fascination is with the Council houses of Dublin. Ive done a lot of 'noticing' of both windows and chimneys (for another day) lately and Im delighted to see this thread! I know of almost every house in my side of South Dublin with original windows and front doors (also for another day because some of them are amazing).

Theres also a beautiful house up on myhome.ie at the moment in perrystown with all original windows etc. Its a house Id love to buy its got all its iron windows, and its completely original inside, all except for an aluminium front porch door. Its the type of house that should be preserved - tis like stepping back into a scene from a 60's movie. Unfortunately this house will be gutted and redesigned to modern standards by whoever buys it which is an awful pity. But thats the celtic tiger for ya!

here's the link:

http://www.myhome.ie/search/property.asp?id=DIIXN336231&np=&rt=search&searchlist=

I must start taking pictures of houses around now before they're all gone! There's been a couple of awful changes one in particular on whitehall road just last week. Beautiful painted red wooden windows in a lovely bungaloe ripped out and replaced with modern PVC's.

Also on the note of PVC's - there's been a lot of attempts at replicas of the original wooden windows around Crumlin and they just dont work... Bring in a grant to restore the originals please please please!!!!

Dave.
(strange 17 year old who looks at houses)
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:03 am

Tis depressing, dja!

On a good note, I see the NIAH have recently added some more counties to their database – NIAH County Survey Index . It’s looking good now, with a sizeable chunk of the country covered. So well done boys & girls at the NIAH!



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Image Image NIAH page

Pictures (above) from the NIAH’s site of the Clarence Hotel in Sligo in all its Irish-town-white-flapping-plastic-windows-in-Georgian-stone-façade glory. (More Images)

But the building has just been refurbished (below), as part of which they had to remove the plastic and restore timber sashes – yayyyy!! It makes me so happy :) Such an improvement, and a little victory over the plastic window, hoh!!!


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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:33 pm

Oh I didn't see this - great news!
I suppose they were Victorian plate before being replaced, so it's apt that it goes back in. Just a shame modern glass is so very reflective - you end up with mirrored expanses of grey sky rather than deep black voids, but hey, can't have everything. Good to see progress being made.


Alas a rare surviving semi-d composition bites the dust on St. Mary's Road opposite the Crumlin Hospital :(

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After

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You can't really appreciate it here, but the replacement frame is particularly horrific to the ground floor.


While around the corner near the village, this wonderful house is the second last steel-windowed property on a road of over 80 houses, representing a surviving stock of around 5%.

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It has just gone up for sale...

Great typically solid Dublin house out Castleknock way. The garage must have been an early conversion!

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Beautifully maintained example in Rathgar.

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And a pair of others nearby.

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Finally a Corpo house with original joinery. Shock!

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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Ro1027 » Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:58 pm

STEEL WINDOWS are my motivation for joining this discussion group! I've been 'lurking' on this thread for over a year, totally agreeing with the horror expressed about inappropriate PVC windows, but mostly looking for info on restoring/maintaining 1960s steel windows. I've inherited a 60s semi in Dublin and I want to keep the facade as it was when built, which means keeping the extremely chilly steel windows [ice on the inside of the window of my bedroom is my 'Angela's Ashes/We were so poor..' trump card:o], and installing secondary glazing.
I was hoping someone in this thread had come across a company or tradesperson who could do a good job of restoring and painting steel windowframes. I haven't seen any such recommendation, and so I'm putting a request out there.
Also, not many window companies seem to do secondary glazing, and the one quote I had was very expensive.
Any leads on either of these problems would be much appreciated, and you can bask in the knowledge that you may have helped save an endangered species: the suburban steel window!
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Ro1027 » Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:03 pm

STEEL WINDOWS are my motivation for joining this discussion group! I've been 'lurking' on this thread for over a year, totally agreeing with the horror expressed about inappropriate PVC windows, but mostly looking for info on restoring/maintaining 1960s steel windows. I've inherited a 60s semi in Dublin and I want to keep the facade as it was when built, which means keeping the extremely chilly steel windows [ice on the inside of the window of my bedroom when I was a child is my 'You young folk don't know how lucky you are/Ni beidh ar leitheid aris ann' trump card:o], and installing secondary glazing.
I was hoping someone in this thread had come across a company or tradesperson who could do a good job of restoring and painting steel windowframes. I haven't seen any such recommendation, and so I'm putting a request out there.
Also, not many window companies seem to do secondary glazing, and the one quote I had was very expensive.
Any leads on either of these problems would be much appreciated, and you can bask in the knowledge that you may have helped save an endangered species: the suburban steel window!
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Ro1027 » Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:05 pm

oops the first version of this managed to post itself - I had self-centered the Angela's Ashes reference as we were very cold, but not really that poor!!
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby djasmith » Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:58 pm

Once again some fantastic pictures from Graham! Yes the steel windows are dying out unfortunately, there's only 2 houses on my road of 24 houses with them left - a whole 8%!!!!!! wow! I'm forever saying ill take pictures of these houses - there are so so many of them scattered and I could point out almost all of them. There was a fantastic double fronted house with steel windows on Wainsfort Road up until about 5 weeks ago when they were replaced - and me being as slow as I am didn't take any photos. The only house with steels left now on Wainsfort road has big plywood boards up around it - that can only mean big renovations!!!

As for the original joinary in the 30's corpo's - there's still loads of them around with much finer examples than the above.

Just thinking actually I spotted pretty good steel reproductions last week and Im nearly sure it was on the Crumlin Road somewhere - ill get on the case tomorrow!
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:42 pm

I know the feeling only too well, dja; you pass by something for ages then suddenly it changes and you have no photo of it!


Sorry to have to report this but there's been a pretty sore loss of original circa 1930s steel windows here at the former Fairview Grand cinema which looks onto Fairview Park. I didn't think this would happen but it has happened. What a crime ...... It wasn't a protected structure so window replacement didn't need planning permission:


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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:55 pm

Oh no - what a loss! :(
Such a crude, lazy option. And such a superficial level of 'refurbishment' given the damaged lintel above hasn't been touched. The Londis fascia is also ridiculously overscaled for its host text.
What a mess.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby djasmith » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:02 pm

OK I was out and about on the rothar today with the camera in between the showers! here's a few pictures of the remaining steel windows around my area. As I said there are so so many more around and I will eventually get around to photographing them all. I wont bore you by putting them all up here! here's a taster of a few which can hopefully compliments grahams pictures. Please excuse the poor quality of the pics!

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The houses on my road. Unfortunately none of our side have original steels, but there's quite a few on this side that do.

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And another 2 further up

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Above the shops

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In my opinion, the best preserved corpo house around - The Captains Road, Crumlin

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Perrystown

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A pretty double, although the picture doesn't show it at its best

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This house is rather nice on Rockfield

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Further up on Rockfield, but for sale (eg big changes!!!)

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Finally a house under construction on Rockfield..... someone tell me please how they managed to obtain permission for a house of redbrick on this road?!?!?!

Dave.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:36 pm

Ugh - unbelievable. So typical of the crassness being permitted across the city's suburbs.

Some great houses there Dave, thanks. Interestingly pretty much every house shown dates from the 1960s, indicating quite clearly how late steel windows were used, right up until the mass-availability of aluminium in the same decade.

The second Rockfield house has (dodgy) secondary glazing, but is at least an example of what can be done with steel windows. The first Rockfield has very unusual steel casements over the garage!

Those bungalows could look fantastic restored as a complete composition. Unfortunate they look so horribly institutional in their current tatty state :(
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Rusty Cogs » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:08 pm

We moved into a new house in '75 with steel windows. It was always freezing. Remember drawing on the condensation on the little square window panes in the winter.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Ro1027 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:43 pm

Ah yes, Rusty Cogs, that's life with steel windows and no central heating.. you had to be tough in those days:-)
I'm committed to keeping the steel windows in the 60s house I have inherited, but they need to be restored and I need to have secondary glazing, as I said in previous post, and I'm still looking for help re those two issues - does anyone know a company/tradesperson with a track record on restoring/repainting steel windows, and has anyone had reasonably-priced sec glazing put in - the only quote I've got [many companies don't do sec glazing at all] was roughly the same as if I was putting in new PVC windows!
I'm teetering on the brink of saying 'blank this for a game of sensitive preservation of 1960s domestic architecture, I need new windows and a warmer house!' ....
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:49 pm

Hi Ro1027. Sorry I forgot about your post - nice to see there's someone out there who wants to preserve some manky aul steels ;)

Alas I can't help you with any suppliers, other than I heard recently that the only firm left in Ireland that makes and repairs steel windows as a business is based in Belfast, and may or may not be in operation anymore. Great help I know...

The Yellow Pages are often as good a source as any when it comes to secondary glazing. Uusally aluminium and timber suppliers are much more versatile in design and spec than PVC peddlers, so aim for those. Secondary glazing is increasingly similar to standard glazing anyway - the big slidy panels from the 80s are fizzling out :)
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Ro1027 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:40 pm

Thanks GrahamH - yes I do get some very odd looks when I tell people I want to keep the existing windows, but then I'm a quare one anyway;-)
I'll follow up your suggestions, esp about 2ndry glazing suppliers, and if I come across any useful contacts, I'll post them so that anyone else with a soft spot for steel will have less trouble than I'm having!
Ta.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby sinnerboy » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:02 pm

try these guys .... you never know

http://www.steel-window-association.co.uk/
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:09 pm

The Pearl Insurance building on Westmoreland Street and the art deco Dunlop building on Stephen Street Upper both had new steel windows made in recent years for the Westin Hotel & Dunnes developments respectively. So there might be an Irish company who repairs steel windows also. However I don't if it was an Irish company who did the Dunnes & Westin windows ...


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This was in the news last week!!! : Galway Councillor on PVC
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby S.O.S. » Tue May 27, 2008 10:22 pm

As a new poster to this site and someone who simply detests uPVC I simply have to send an e-mail to that Counciller (normally I spell councillor with a small 'c' but I think he deserves a capital 'C'), applauding his stance regarding uPVC.

SOS
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby cathc007 » Thu May 29, 2008 10:27 am

Hi there another new poster here. I live in a 1930s house in Drumcondra which originally had beautiful steel framed windows. There is one house left on the street with original frames (will post a photo of them before they too disappear). Sadly our house has had them replaced by some particularly hideous uPVC numbers which we have always hated. You know the kind, with pretend "Georgian look" plastic "glazing bars" stuck in between the two sheets of glass?

Anyway we are about to have major work done on the house and am going to ask our archtect about steel frames - could we import some Crittall windows from the UK I wonder or would this be prohibitively expensive?

So R01027 you are not alone in your love of steel frames!

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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby S.O.S. » Thu May 29, 2008 12:19 pm

S.O.S. wrote:As a new poster to this site and someone who simply detests uPVC I simply have to send an e-mail to that Counciller (normally I spell councillor with a small 'c' but I think he deserves a capital 'C'), applauding his stance regarding uPVC.

SOS



Having re-read the news article I see the councilor is in fact a woman.

Sincere apologies to Collette.

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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:39 pm

23/11/2008

Just some windows from Kilkenny.

A delightfully intact Georgian setting for the bridge and neighbouring Castle.

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More disappointing is the scene further down. Oh dear.

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At least most early 19th century sashes have survived in this case.

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A magnificant array of shimmering cylinder panes.

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A before and after scene next door, on a buildng with a trademark Kilkenny double doorcase.

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An elegant gothick style window in a small cottage.

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A grander Georgian pile nearby with all its windows perfectly intact.

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Some charming cottages across the road with little single-pane sashes. Very posh.

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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:41 pm

This building on Lower John Street illustrates very clearly the 19th century trend of chopping out glazing bars from Georgian sashes and inserting more up-to-date sheet glass panes.

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It also happened on this corner buildng nearby. Quite a few examples of this phenomenon in Kilkenny in fact.

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The best gem encountered must surely be this magnificent early-mid 18th century house tucked away on Wolfe Tone Street. What a survivor.

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It's so old that its original chunky sashes were replaced in the first half of the 19th century (now heavily overpainted), but the old fashioned exposed and flush sash boxes were retained.

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A wonderful Gibbsian doorcase. The joinery of the surviving fanlight gives an indication of the thickness of the original windows' glazing bars.

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And lastly, any photographic ramble around Kilkenny would not be complete without this delightful number on Watergate - generally regarded as a former Dutch Billy, originally with a double gable frontage. A diminutive ground floor ceiling height characteristic of such buildings too.

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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:31 pm

3/1/2009

What a sad scene below. Photographed here only a few short months ago, this pair of remarkable survivors in Dundalk has just been mauled.

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Perfectly encapsulating the hierarchy in 19th century window manufacture, it is likely these houses were built by a small-scale developer, with the right-hand house his own home with expensive sheet glass sashes, and the left-hand house rented out or sold off with more frugal old-style Georgian sashes.

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All on a diminutive scale and as good as perfectly preserved. Rare pristine Irish vernacular.

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Today.

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(cameraphone)

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My stomach rolled upon observing - I still feel sick just seeing the pictures.

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The fact this is an Architectural Conservation Area makes it all the more frustrating. ACAs mean absolutely nothing in Ireland because there is zero awareness amongst property owners and tenants of their obligations. In any event, there is almost zero pride amongst communities of the appearance of their streets and terraces, with none of that civic-minded, if stuffy, Protestant ethic that brought so much of the smart terraces surrounding the above houses into being in the first place, and maintained them for so long, as with so much of our built heritage.

I'm so tired of this sort of rubbish, there's just no point in highlighting it anymore. Dundalk as with every other town in Ireland is simply swimming in a sea of plastic and ignorant ill-informed alterations, with zero guidance from under-resourced local authorities. Protected Structure and ACA status means absolutely nothing - indeed if anything, these buildings are more vunerable than most, as they tend to be located in highly commercialised or heavily developed, desirable locations.

There is almost no concept in this country of promoting a quality heritage product for either visitors or citizens, let alone doing so purely on the merits of the aesthetic of these buildings alone. This was starkly highlighted at a recent bells-n-whistles international conference held by Bord Fáilte in Dublin, where one of the invited guests stood up on stage and asked how many reps from local authorities or planners were in attendance, out of the hundreds in the hall. Not a single person put up their hand. Just let Bob the Builder & Friends get on with their work.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:56 am

Even when you know it's coming, it doesn't make it any easier when it happens.

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:(

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If it's any vague consolation, at least PVC window design has refined itself somewhat in recent years.
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