Irish say no to PVC windows

Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Lotts » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:19 am

Anyone know how much those windows have devalued the house?

I mean in real estate price terms rather than any personal perception. I know I'd now be unwilling to buy that house (if I had the money) and I guess many on this forum would also be effectively removed from the pool of potential buyers - but I'm also sure that we are not the market forces in this matter.

Does anyone work as a property surveyor and might know? I see so many advertised properties that have diametrically opposed features listed - "period features", "double glazed".

The most effective way of preserving these may be to build on peoples preference for "period charm" and with a little education the market could be steered away from this kind of practice. Surely the tendancy is towards people paying a premium for a non-vandalised house?
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GregF » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:51 am

Ah jaypers what are the councils or whoever is responsible up to, to allow this to happen. My jasus...the ''mullioned'' type church window above is a laugh. This has to stop. The dopey ignorant thick local councils and councillors have to be blamed. Whats left of our old architectural stock is still continuously being ruined.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby phil » Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:26 pm

I am not sure if these questions have been raised on this thread before, so if they have I apologise. Firstly, why is this happening? Do window companies advise that PVC windows are the best option? Is it a cost thing? Is it a trend? Most people using this discussion forum can spot the difference between these windows and the sashes that they are replacing a mile off, but do people installing them really think that because they have a piece of plastic dividing a window into 12 sections that they are in keeping with the buildings historical character?

How can councils approach this issue. Is it up to people who care to complain when it happens. If people living in a listed building suddenly change their windows to PVC, is it up to a neighbor to write an objection? In many cases this could cause more trouble than it is worth, so people might be less likely to object. Is it up to a designated person in each council to approach these issues?

For example, last year Dun Laoghaire - Rathdown Co Co had a public exhibition about the various window styles of the borough. It was a good exhibition and detailed some of the problems of PVC and aluminium windows in the context of older houses. Meanwhile, two houses on a listed terrace (Charlemont Terrace), two minutes walk from the Council offices, ripped out their sashes and replaced them with PVC. Nothing was said, nothing was done and they are still there now.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:26 pm

As you say Phil, whatever about the legislation, I'd love to hear what the PVC companies are saying - their spin on things. What I'd give to be a fly on the wall in a 'non-obligation consultation'. Perhaps people here have had first-hand experience of them...

But as for the owners themselves, there's numerous reasons why windows are taken out.
A lot, if not most people, don't view their house in an architectural way - they just percieve it as home and don't look at it objectively, certainly not architecturally.
Maybe the 'rotton old windows' have been there since they moved in, drafty, bottom rail rotting, difficult to maintain, the sashes stick or are jammed, and they rattle in the wind.
All of these problems that they may have, combined with a complete ignorance of their architectural merits, just results in people not giving a second throught to their disposal.

A lot of people like the fact that their house is 'old' but that's about it - they don't mind if there's no period features at all - or at least they look for interior features but utterly ignore the windows - indeed most people probably go into standard red brick terraced houses when house-hunting and think - "oh great, the windows have been 'done' '".
At this stage in Ireland, 'having the windows done' is just as common a topic of conversation now as house prices and traffic all the rest of it.

PVC ompanies are the real ones to blame in this - every single one knows exactly what they are doing when ripping out sashes - every one of them, yet couldn't give two hoots.
I'd love to see them imbue their mission statements with the ethics of conservation as much as they wave about their ISO9000s in your face :rolleyes:
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby PVC King » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:31 pm

Graham Hickey wrote:PVC ompanies are the real ones to blame in this - every single one knows exactly what they are doing when ripping out sashes - every one of them, yet couldn't give two hoots.
I'd love to see them imbue their mission statements with the ethics of conservation as much as they wave about their ISO9000s in your face :rolleyes:



I totally disagree,

These guys are selling the cheapest product to people who want a weather proofing solution, the comparison i would draw is asbestos roofs which were widely used in industrial buildings up to the mid 1980's. It is up to the Department of the Environment to regulate these products out of existence.

The vendors of uPVC windows have no interest in period architecture whatsoever, they see a market driven by price and beyond the initial site visit they probably never see the properties again.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:44 pm

But of course it is, it goes without saying - but on the ground, in practice, if all companies refused to install replcement windows into period or listed buildings there wouldn't be a problem. That's naturally in an ideal world, but the fact that they're out promoting and encouraging the practice to gullible consumers makes them the primary culprits on the ground.

I'm sure if homeowners were aware of how well sash windows work when fully operational - how if anything they're more flexible than modern-day equivalents, can last longer, can be double-glazed if necessary, and perform as well if not better in some instances than the product being promoted to them, not to mention the now-widespread availablity of window restoration/replacement - that they would make the informed decision to avoid these companies, this practice and this material by a mile.
It is frustrating to see them taking people in like this, and wrecking the built environment for the rest of us in the process.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby phil » Mon Apr 11, 2005 3:09 pm

Graham Hickey wrote:But as for the owners themselves, there's numerous reasons why windows are taken out.
A lot, if not most people, don't view their house in an architectural way - they just percieve it as home and don't look at it objectively, certainly not architecturally.


I don't agree with that at all Graham. I think most people care about the architecture of their house. That is why I was wondering about the role of taste and choice in the selection of PVC. I think, as Thomond P says, that it is related to price, but I also think that taste comes into it as well.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:32 pm

Yes it does - admittedly it is difficult to work out exactly what shows a lack of interest in the architecture of one's home, and what just shows poor taste :)
But in general I do think that most people do not stand back, quite literally, from their home and view it objectively, as a newcomer to their street or area would, also taking onto account their surroundings etc.
The decorative order of their properties generally seems to be the primary concern, rather than the architecture or structure of the building.

I mean a classic is the arched window - why do people insist on botching up a natural curve with a rectangular opening. What is the point of even having a curve?

Image

Okay these are replacement windows - but even in brand new homes where curved windows are installed, they're fitted out with rectagular opening lights. This is an architectural issue, not just an insignificant decorative matter.
Window design is so important in most of our buildings, and whether it should be the case or not, they are generally the primary architectural feature of interest, yet only too often scant attention is paid to their design, in new builds even more so than period properties: at least with them there is a template to follow.

Look at this trash in Dundalk, inserted into a terrace of late 19th century houses - have the people no eyes in their head? Really, this type of blatent ignorance just beggars belief. Even the cheapest of the cheap hinged softwood windows would have looked a million times better than this rubbish.
There is poor taste, and there's ugly.

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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby lauracon » Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:52 pm

While admittedly it is offensive when something like a PVC window is placed in a 19th century terrace, surely the opposite is even worse when people put up georgian pillars and mock tudor beams on their semi-detached houses People who install these PVC windows are not guilty of deliberate bad taste but maybe its a question of one' priorities , valueing what they think is the more practical option over a purely objective architectural view of their homes.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Keenbo » Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:56 pm

PVC doors are equally ugly. Especially when people cant be bothered to remove the transparent plastic covering and leave it to the elements to gradually wear it away.

I think its true that many people just don't think about the impact choosing PVC will have on the building when renovating and this is a pity. Plus the design of most of these windows and doors is horrible and doesnt even attempt to emulate the old style.

People just dont care about keeping the character of their old property. Its a Celtic Tiger Post Colonial Morderist thing I suppose.

As regards new houses with fake classical bits - I love them. They also represent the tackiness of Irish society today. We must embrace the tack.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:55 am

:D
There'd be nothing to whinge about otherwise...

Well from tacking the old onto the new to sticking the new onto the old - here's a wide view of that lovely terrace in Dundalk.
Look at the ghastly 'restoration' job just being finished off on the last house. Fair enough if the render needed redoing (is it lime-based?) but the windows??

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And they've put in Georgian panelled doors instead of Victorian!
This whole terrace has been wrecked by replacement windows, and look at that painted house. The utter ignorance of the owners. This is what I mean about people not looking at their house as an architectural entity. They rarely consider it part of a collective whole - rather 'this is my patch' and I can do what I like with it. The roof's had the builders on it too...

You see this sort of inconsiderate practice everywhere. Look at the mess of the terrace now.

I note that the very last house in the terrace with original windows has put in an application for works, which obviously include the windows given the absent one upstairs.

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What's the likelihood of them being restored? Much of Dundalk is now ACA designated, but nothing is mentioned at all on the application, including a supposed lack of protected status...
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Re: Dundalk Terrace

Postby Devin » Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:23 am

....A typical scene from an Irish town.

We always had visual awareness, right up to the 1950s/'60s, when we began to lose it in a massive way. And when I say 'we' I mean the common man/woman. There was always quality and aptness applied to buildings, no matter how humble. I just don't know what happened to lead to the point where we think it's ok to do things like to the details of the terrace above....

phil wrote:How can councils approach this issue. Is it up to people who care to complain when it happens. If people living in a listed building suddenly change their windows to PVC, is it up to a neighbor to write an objection? In many cases this could cause more trouble than it is worth, so people might be less likely to object. Is it up to a designated person in each council to approach these issues?
There is a bit about this on the first page, Phil. Essentially, changing windows in a Protected Structure requires planning permission. So if a Prot. Struc. has replaced old windows with PVC (or even aluminium windows with PVC / early PVC with new PVC), you can make a complaint to the Planning Enforcement section of the relevant council. There begins the enforcement process of inspection / report / warning letter(s) / final letter.

Unlike a 3rd party letter regarding a planning application, an enforcement complaint is anonymous, so there shouldn't be any problem with neighbours knowing.

In some cases, the council might know about the unauthorised window replacement and begin enforcement action themselves - e.g. if it is a prominent building - but mostly it's up to individuals / local groups / heritage bodies to make the complaint. It's ridiculous, but sometimes a Prot. Struc. has PVC fitted and no one spots it or bothers to make a complaint, so they get away with it.

Thousands of buildings in this country should be Prot. Strucs. (or should be in ACAs) but are not, like the Mill Houses on the previous page, so that's another problem: - they can be freely PVC'd.

Another situation where you might make a complaint is where an owner of a Prot. Struc. agreed to re-instate sash windows under the terms of a wider planning permission, but didn't do it. I've just made a complaint on behalf of An Taisce for a Prot. Struc. at 9 Lower Liffey Street (The Lotts pub): - As part of their of planning permission for refurbishment & new building adjoining, they were to reinstate sashes, but the development is now complete for more than 6 months and the '70s aluminium windows are still there. They're trying to slither out of the extra couple of grand expenditure for new windows. That's Ireland for you! :rolleyes:
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:45 am

And they've only a handful of them in that building anyway!

I never thought I'd say this, but well done to the PVC supplier in the case pictured below - these are the 'best' PVC replicas I've ever seen - located in a landmark Georgian building on Dundalk's main street - but only from a distance. And even then the large shiny single panes are blatently evident.
Up close all is truly revealed.

Image

I could not believe it when I saw the original sashes had been removed, having not been around this area for a while.
These PVCs look brand spanking new, indeed the paintwork around the frames hasn't even been redone since. I wouldn't be surprised if they were put in in the past few weeks or couple of months - though wouldn't bank on it...

This is an absolute disgrace - this building simply must be currently protected, and probably in an ACA. I'm very suspicious that they were installed well after these legislative safeguards were introduced.
These would have been one of the finest examples of large Georgian sashes in the whole town :mad:
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby anto » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:39 pm

surely the main problem is that douuble glazing is seen as progress and not to have it is seen as backward.

A lady doing a survey came to my house a few years ago and asked me if I had a tv/PC, phone, dishwasher AND double glazing. I'm sure I got a point for each one. I wonder if I lived in Georgian house with original sashes would I have lost a mark for this.

A lot of 1950'/60s primary schools had big tall sash windows and a lot of them have been pvcd recenmtly. They were draughty though an usually poorly maintained.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Monty Gerhardy » Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:52 pm

Some very entertaining opinions there folks.

As somebody ‘in the window industry’ I’m not quite sure where to start. It would be tempting to elaborate on the cutting edge strategies for replacement window companies in the UK – that is positioning windows as home décor and encouraging an 8-9 year lifespan – but I think that would cause even further grinding of teeth.

Looking on the bright side though, after viewing the pictures that have been posted - and what a gallery of shame it is - I would be of the opinion that many of the replacement windows illustrated are likely to be illegal.

The 2002 revision of TGD L specifically brought replacement windows under the auspices of the Building Regulations. In the documents guidance for technical risks and precautions it is stated that “the guidance in relation to fire safety in TGD B should be taken fully into account. In particular, it is important to ensure that windows, which are required as secondary means of escape in accordance with Section 1.5 of TGD B, comply with the dimensional and other requirements for such windows as set out in paragraph 1.5.6. of TGD B.”

Turning to TGD B para. 1.5.6b - “The bottom of the window opening should be not more than 1100mm and not less than 800mm (600 mm in the case of a rooflight) above the floor of the room in which it is situated.”

The bottom of the top-hung casements in the photographs look to my eye to be more than 1100mm above floor level and would struggle to provide an acceptable egress opening even if they were at a usable level . The windows with the opening vent in the position of the lower sash would appear to struggle to have a net clear opening of 450mm in height which I would take as the absolute minimum height for an egress opening.

Given that each habitable room has to have an alternative means of escape and this is more often then not the window then you can appreciate the issue at stake.

Anything installed prior to 2002, or in commercial premises, would fall under general consumer protection legislation or Workplace (health and safety) Regulations 1992-Regulation 14. The following references here are to specific UK legislation but I believe we have something very similar;
Section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 provides (amongst other things) that it is an offence to supply goods which fail to comply with the general safety requirement. In determining whether goods fail to comply with the general safety requirement, courts can have regard to various references, including British Standards, and can do so irrespective of whether those standards have been incorporated in safety regulations.
General Product Safety Regulations 1994 (GPSR). Where products are supplied for domestic use they must comply with the ‘general Safety Requirement’ of the above Regulations, which require consumer products to be reasonably safe. Again this may be achieved by conforming with BS6262: Part 4 with reference to the approved Document N of the Building Regulations 1991.
In the light of these two pieces of consumer legislation, for all practical purposes BS6262: Part 4, although nominally a code for recommended good practice, can be regarded as a legal requirement for any glass sold directly to the general public for use in critical locations.

Although the example refers to safety glass the principle applies equally to fire-safety. No glazier in his right mind would install non-safety glass to a critical location. Likewise nobody in their right mind should be installing a window at variance with the requirements set out in TGD B.

If such installations are brought to the attention of the local building control office then they would be extremely foolish to ignore the situation.

I saw mention of ACA’s being a partial solution. If the O’Connell St ACA is anything to go by I’d have me doubts. I have been observing one prominent façade having the original (post 1916) sash-windows replaced over the course of the last year and double-glazed windows installed. I’d be very surprised if anybody in Wood Quay new anything about it.
As to the suggestion of making the reinstatement of windows a planning condition I think the fenestration debacle of the ‘renovated’ St Columba’s hospital in Sligo is an example of how seriously this is taken. To the best of my knowledge it was Freddie O’Dwyer of all people who provided the Duchas input on this project. (I would commend Westport and its activist planning dept as a notable example of how successful this strategy can be).

I would be in favour of zero VAT to encourage the take up of energy efficient windows in general – there are ratings schemes available. Furthermore I would also recommend tax credits for suitable replacement windows in designated locations. The stick of enforcement should also come with a few carrots.

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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:07 am

Monty, surely all replacement windows do not have to conform to such regulations, especially considering such a huge, allbeit minority amount, of existing windows do not conform simply by virtue of the size of the wall openings, or the position of the window.
Surely in such cases, i.e. with the majority of older buildings protected or not, these regs do not apply, as some if not all window openings would have to be changed in every single case.
Likewise how the current requirement of double-glazing in new-builds as far as I know does not apply in the restoration or re-insertion of sash windows....?

Agreed that energy efficency ought to be encouraged via tax incentives, indeed on a much broader scale than just windows!

From what I have seen thus far ACAs are simply not being enforced, or properly at least.
They are completely and utterly useless if people do not know about them, they are literally not worth the paper they're written on.
At the moment it seems not only is the awarness aspect amongst owners not being promoted, but the owners are also likely to get away with their alterations as nobody notices - nobody brings them to the attention of the CC, not least the neighbours where it's probably in their interests to keep quet so they can get away with more of the same themselves.

A property's status ought to be stamped onto the deeds or similar permanent measure undertaken, and owners informed of the status upon change of ownership via one of the state agencies.
The main aim of ACAs is to protect areas of architectural merit, and in historic areas a related aim of preserving original exterior fabric. What is the point of taking proceedings subsequent to the damage being done, when the fabric has already been lost?!
The problem needs to be tacked at source via informing owners - as cumbersome a process as it may be - or at least until a sufficent culture has built up in this country which is going to take a long time...

Monty what building on O'Connell St do you refer to with PVC. There is a myriad of buildings with shiny PVC that are not but a few years old, much of which is borderline in terms of ACA and protected building legislation introduction, a lot of which more than likely tips well over into the post-intro period but it's difficult to prove just by looking...
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Monty Gerhardy » Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:31 pm

Graham Hickey wrote:Monty, surely all replacement windows do not have to conform to such regulations, especially considering such a huge, allbeit minority amount, of existing windows do not conform simply by virtue of the size of the wall openings, or the position of the window.
Surely in such cases, i.e. with the majority of older buildings protected or not, these regs do not apply, as some if not all window openings would have to be changed in every single case.
Likewise how the current requirement of double-glazing in new-builds as far as I know does not apply in the restoration or re-insertion of sash windows....?


Monty what building on O'Connell St do you refer to with PVC. There is a myriad of buildings with shiny PVC that are not but a few years old, much of which is borderline in terms of ACA and protected building legislation introduction, a lot of which more than likely tips well over into the post-intro period but it's difficult to prove just by looking...



I would contend that all replacement windows in dwellings have to be cognisant of the requirements of TGD B. Even if the building was constructed prior to the enactment of the Building Regulations the windows originally would have served an escape function even though this had not been codified. Now that the escape function has been codified there is an explicit recognition that escape routes are required for all buildings.

A defensible case could be made for replacing like with like, in terms of a vertical slider for vertical slider – the escape function has not been diminished. What can not be defended is diminishing the escape function to the point where escape is impractical. This I would contend is the case with most of the windows in the photos. Either the unobstructed opening is too small or the opening section is too high above the floor level. I would also note that there is wide spread misunderstanding about the dimensions necessary for safe-escape. TGD B 1.5.6 currently provides ‘guidance’ of 500 x 850mm. England & Wales and Scotland allow for a minimum area of 0.33m2 with a minimum of 450mm in both height and width. The draft – now 2 years old – revisions to TGD B propose a similar area approach (0.35m2) but ludicrously only for vertical sliders and only then when they are in the vicinity of existing ‘period’ buildings!

The overriding requirement from a safety perspective is that any works do not make the situation worse then already exists. If the building is a protected structure or in a conservation area, I would still maintain the safety requirement takes primacy. Apart from fire safety the other issue here is generally one of guarding – many vertical sliders may have the bottom of the opening section below 800mm above floor level. This can be dealt with by thoughtfully designed barriers inside the window.

Low E glass is required in all new windows. If you repair or re-glaze a window it is not required. If the window - sash and frame - is replaced then Low E glass is required – even for a vertical slider. If the building is important enough to have been a listed building then an exemption to TGD L is understandable. I don’t support a blanket exemption for ACA’s either. I’ve come across situations in Dublin where DCC has been using this specious argument to obstruct double-glazing in areas of Ranelagh that are merely zoned Z2. There are modern double-glazed windows on the market that are suitable for both ACA’s and D6. Energy conservation is to important to give an exemption to vast swathes of red-brick Dublin.

I said the building was in the ACA and I didn’t say it was PVC. Wynns Hotel. I’ll try and attach a photo. The windows are timber and to my eye look pretty good. Meeting rail is slightly heavy and those of them with horns have the wrong profile. Minor details when one considers the history of the façade. Unless this building was protected specifically for the windows, which I doubt, I don’t have a problem with this kind of sympathetic substitution – assuming it was approved. I would actually hold the installation up as an example of how modern windows can work in such a situation. The benefits of energy savings, greater comfort & increased property value will be more persuasive then a legislative stick.

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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:40 am

Indeed......the conflict between keeping the character of an older structure and complying with the modern regulations is a minefield.......

Just about ACAs:

The Gresham like all the buildings in the O'Connell St. Architectural Conservation Area would have received correspondence from the Council explaining exactly what the designation entails. I'd be very surprised if new windows were put in the Gresham without approval.

As far as I know O'Connell St. is the only ACA in the state so far. ACAs are not to be confused with the pre-Planning & Development Act 2000 'Conservation Areas' that most Development Plans still include. These are crap - they have no leglislative teeth - they are just objectives for the protection of an area, to be quoted in planning decisions etc....there is no recourse when a building has had inappropriate alterations. ACAs on the other hand carry the same weight as the Protected Structure system, but pertaining to exteriors rather than the whole envelope of the building.
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:20 am

Well much of Dundalk is ACA designated now - i.e post 2000, ACA 'proper'. There was at least four areas proposed in the draft Dev Plan for the town; at least some if not all are now enacted, I think all are.

Agreed Monty about not disimproving the situation with regard to safety and replacement windows. With those new windows pictured above, there is simply no way any adult could fit through those openings without severe amputation...
With the others with higher opening lights, it is an impossibility full stop.
Sash windows have so many advantages over hinged windows on virtually every front, perhaps with the exception of security - if not properly secured they're just as easy to get in through as to escape out...

Double glazing in old sashes is a thorny issue alright - I'd say a complete no no in the case of Georgian sashes unless the appearance of double glazing improves, but with Victorian plates it can look equally bad with the shiny metal strips between the panes brazenly evident. If this issue can be resolved (perhaps it has already) it would be a major step forward aesthetically - (this all based on the assumption that there's no original glass left)Must have a look at Wynns tomorrow and see their double glazed panes - perhaps it can be done well.

You say Monty that "a defensible case could be made for replacing like with like" - is this your opinion or is it the actual legislation? Thanks
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:44 am

Really? Well that's good. I'm glad that Town Councils are getting on and designating ACAs. I'm dissapointed in Dublin City Council's efforts so far with only O'C St. designated...There are so many city-centre streets that are prime candidates for ACA - like Capel Street, Thomas Street, Grafton Street - which have have large concentrations of older buildings which though not outstanding work well as an overall group. Also dissapointed that DCC are persisting with the old, toothless Conservation Areas in their new Development Plan 2005-11 :(

There are some clanger examples of double-glazed Georgian sashes around town! Because 2 sheets of glass are involved, strips of wood have to run across the outside & inside of the window in a Georgian pattern...there's no putty involved. I'll post an example if I can.

The 'Diamond Buildings' windows in Dundalk are a reasonable imitation of a Georgian sash from a distance but are vile up close, with their selotape Georgian strips :rolleyes:
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Tue Apr 26, 2005 2:08 am

Yes - it pains me to have to say it but they really are quite excellent from a distance! Up close though is not pleasant.
But the major flaw in their design as always is the single pane of glass in each sash - as flat as a pancake in spite of the grid.

And to think the ground floor occupier is the swankiest, most contrived, most expensive home interior shop in the North East, priding itself on 'quality'...

Yes DCC's lack of action on the spreading of ACAs is extraordinary - maybe because they're a major headache administratively? Protection of streetscapes can be nearly more important than individual strutures in many cases.

I love these houses below.
Isn't it ironic that in spite of the half-century effort of the Victorians to rid themselves of cluttered Georgian grids, and their triumphant attainment of plate/sheet glass, the owner of the left-hand house here has decided to chuck this achievement out the window, preferring instead to reinsert an antiquated and incongruous feature - the Georgian grid.

It really says it all about window treatment in this country:

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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Tue Apr 26, 2005 2:37 am

And those windows must be an unqualified breach of fire regulations...how would anything bigger than a cat escape?

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This building is a fine mid-19th century double-gabled stone warehouse (a Protected Structure) on Anglesea Row, a mews lane behind Capel Street. In a recent refurbishment, its original slender-barred sashes (which should have been repaired & draughtproofed) were replaced with these double-glazed models. They don't look too bad at a glance, but the detail of the originals has not been copied - the glazing bars are crude & fat and the horns are the Victorian type suited to single-pane sashes. The same shitty sashes have been put into the whole of the corresponding 4-bay Georgian building fronting Capel Street (formerly Forseye & Forseye furniture, now Centra). They look even worse in this location!
Devin
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby GrahamH » Wed Apr 27, 2005 12:46 am

What a pity - esp regarding the glazing bars which were very fine and delicate.
And they appear to be in an excellent state of repair (glass aside) in the first image :(
What a shame that they slipped through the system.

The new ones are quite bizarre as they go backwards with the thickness of the glazing bars, indeed they almost look Queen Anne, yet go forward to the late Victorians with the horns!

Have you seen the glazing bars on the pink houses on St. Stephen's Green? They are without doubt the thinnest bars known to mankind :). You'd wonder how the glass is even holding in the windows - really the very peak of Georgian refinement.

Here's Wynns' windows - they look very well, although no doubt they originally featured lots of shimmering early 20th century glass similar to Eason's :(
But the dead glazing aside, the double-glazed units are simply indistinguishable from single glazed from street level - really good, and without compromise on the slenderness of the bars.
Perhaps the peripheral frames of the arched windows are a teeny bit too wide?...but that could just be down to an unfair comparison with the Georgains, and their obsession with concealing the frame.

These windows look magnificent - and are painted a soft not-in-your-face shade of white.
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GrahamH
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Devin » Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:44 pm

I checked out the Wynn's windows myself too since Monty mentioned them....was reasonably impressed, although as with all double-glazed multi-pane sashes, the glazing bars skim over the surface of the glass, resulting in a slightly fake look. But at least they have copied the V-shaped sectional profile on the outside, formed by the putty in a traditional sash.

Better if older sashes can be repaired where possible, but when an old lady like Wynn's needs to maintain its profile in an age of international hotel, leisure & conference complexes, I suppose you can't complain. In contrast, the sashes in the stone warehouse above could and should have been repaired, or if they really were beyond repair should have had accurate replicas made. There was definitely a slip up there! :(

The glazing bars in the pink houses seem to be over-thin. Not even in the 1790s peak of slenderness have I seen such thin bars!
Devin
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Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Postby Sarachryan » Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:26 pm

I've parted with a lot of cash for a house where the dope of a vendor saw fit to install the most offensive bright white sash windows in a red brick Victorian, two up two down, just before selling. The house has beautiful grantite insets over each of the three front windows, which thankfully he hasn't touched.
Any help as to what my options are in terms of replacement with original sash? Reconditioned salvaged? Replica?

I know I'm contributing nothing to the intellectual value of this discussion but I'd really appreciate any advice, which would be put to good use.

Thank you
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