Restoring sash windows

Restoring sash windows

Postby snooky » Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:08 pm

Hi,

Does anyone know or can recommend sash window restoration/replacement company that will cover North County Dublin? We have three sash windows on our stone cottage (c. 1905), which need either restoring or replacing.

I am unsure how bad they have to be before they must be replaced?

Windows are 6 over 6, have no weights/pulley visible (must have been ripped out), and we can't open them.. due to years of over painting I should think. One pane is cracked but the rest look ok. There's some small amount of wood rotting at the bottom of one of the windows as far as I can see.. though difficult to tell how bad the windows are underneath all the paint. They still keep out the wind and rain though!.

Appreciate any advice. Thanks
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby GrahamH » Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:44 pm

Hi,
Sorry I can't help with company listings for Dublin, I'm sure others can - there's certainly many of them around nowadays.

But do hold onto the glass - so often people go to all the expense and effort to get the sashes restored, or replaced if necessary, all with the best intentions, but then get new glass put into the sashes.
The original glass is half the charm of original windows; they literally lose their soul with flawless mirrors of modern glass inserted in the originals' place.

As for the rotting bottom rail - that's probably the most common feature of deterioration with sash windows, and is usually not indicative of widespread rot. Normally the bottom rail is simply taken out and a new timber spliced into place.
And if the years of paint have caused a problem with causing the windows to stick, they've probably saved you from another by protecting the wood beneath!

Hope it goes well for you :)
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby snooky » Thu Mar 31, 2005 10:54 pm

Thanks very much for that information Graham.. I will certainly keep the glass where possible. And I'll cross fingers you're right regarding the rest of the wood :)
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby shadow » Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:12 am

Ventrolla specialises in this work
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Lotts » Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:16 am

Great to hear you are considering the resoration route. Enjoy it, as you are fortunate to have what sounds like a good starting point.
This pdf may help
Conservation guidelines for windows
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Woodman » Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:35 am

There is a great Sash Window company called WJ Bolger Conservation in Ardee St. Dublin 8. These guys make and restore all the old Sash windows. info@wjbolger.ie
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby sinead » Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:47 am

snooky,

The Irish Georgian Society has a traditional skills register of practitioners who specialise in the repair of timber sashes, contact details and a list of previous experience for same can be found on this register. which is available from their website.
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Jack White » Fri Apr 01, 2005 1:40 pm

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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby snooky » Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:24 pm

THANKS to everyone!!!! That's a real help. I shall now contact one of them.

I tried last year to get these windows restored - contacted two companies listed in the yellow pages (one in North Central and one in West Dublin) One agreed to come an 'assess' the windows.... one said he'd ring back.... neither turned up, despite the fact I rang them back twice.

Hope I have better luck this time. I will post if I succeed !

Thanks again. ;)
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby S.O.S. » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:42 pm

Woodman wrote:There is a great Sash Window company called WJ Bolger Conservation in Ardee St. Dublin 8. These guys make and restore all the old Sash windows. info@wjbolger.ie


My understanding is that almost 100% of Bolgers work is now tear out the old windows and make new ones to suit.
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Pot Noodle » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:40 am

S.O.S. wrote:My understanding is that almost 100% of Bolgers work is now tear out the old windows and make new ones to suit.


Bolgers are Ventrolla

I'll give you a quote pm me
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby S.O.S. » Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:23 pm

Pot Noodle wrote:Bolgers are Ventrolla

I'll give you a quote pm me


I'm well aware of who Bolgers/Ventrolla are and having seen some of their work I have to say as a seasoned craftsman/ window restorer I'm not impressed.

I even understand they now use plastic parting beads, I would have thought the bigwigs in Bolgers should know that plastic expands at a far greater rate than wood and will cause it to split.

If your quote for getting the windows draught-proofed using wooden parting beads and wooden staff beads (matched to the originals), using the best of fittings, re-balanced, and a totally smooth operation is more than €800 then thanks but no thanks.

I'll just have to keep on doing it for my customers like I always do.
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Pot Noodle » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:06 pm

S.O.S. wrote:I'm well aware of who Bolgers/Ventrolla are and having seen some of their work I have to say as a seasoned craftsman/ window restorer I'm not impressed.

I even understand they now use plastic parting beads, I would have thought the bigwigs in Bolgers should know that plastic expands at a far greater rate than wood and will cause it to split.

If your quote for getting the windows draught-proofed using wooden parting beads and wooden staff beads (matched to the originals), using the best of fittings, re-balanced, and a totally smooth operation is more than €800 then thanks but no thanks.

I'll just have to keep on doing it for my customers like I always do.


Eh Hello seasoned window restorer we use a wooden parting bead with a neoprene draught excluder so it does'nt crack if overpainted and in my 28 yrs of doing this i don't take kindly to your innuendos
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby S.O.S. » Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:49 pm

Pot Noodle wrote:Eh Hello seasoned window restorer we use a wooden parting bead with a neoprene draught excluder so it does'nt crack if overpainted and in my 28 yrs of doing this i don't take kindly to your innuendos


I note you have not compared prices nor have denied that restoration is not what Bolgers do anymore.

I had a good look at the website and note they talk a lot about conservation but isn't conservation is where you keep the old ones in place not throw them out onto a skip or whatever.

Restoration is where you repair the damaged ones and get them back to a sparkling state, this is what I do and very well too:D

I've always thought that grants should be available for restoration not for ripping out perfectly good windows and replacing them with sashes that any joinery could make, Bolgers or otherwise.

I also note that you have not understood what I was talking about when I spoke about using plastic parting beads, What I meant was when it expands it splits the side of the frame.

Pot Noodle wrote:I'll give you a quote pm me


Its getting harder and harder to make ends meet isn't it....
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Pot Noodle » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:49 pm

S.O.S. wrote:I note you have not compared prices nor have denied that restoration is not what Bolgers do anymore.

I had a good look at the website and note they talk a lot about conservation but isn't conservation is where you keep the old ones in place not throw them out onto a skip or whatever.

Restoration is where you repair the damaged ones and get them back to a sparkling state, this is what I do and very well too:D

I've always thought that grants should be available for restoration not for ripping out perfectly good windows and replacing them with sashes that any joinery could make, Bolgers or otherwise.

I also note that you have not understood what I was talking about when I spoke about using plastic parting beads, What I meant was when it expands it splits the side of the frame.



Its getting harder and harder to make ends meet isn't it....




€ 800 a window are you having a laugh
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby S.O.S. » Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:22 pm

Pot Noodle wrote:€ 800 a window are you having a laugh


Remove the sashes from the frame,
Remove old pulleys,
Strip the paint from the frame,
Install new pulleys.
Remove excess paint from the sashes,
make a groove in the top of the bottom sash to allow a pile carrier to be installed for draught proofing.
weight the top sash then install it.
cut and install parting beads with no draught brushes showing.
Weigh the bottom sash then install.
Cut staff beads to length.
Attach ring pulls, lifters and fasteners

Small window €800 on average
Big windows €900 on average

larger orders are less.
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Pot Noodle » Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:52 pm

S.O.S. wrote:Remove the sashes from the frame,
Remove old pulleys,
Strip the paint from the frame,
Install new pulleys.
Remove excess paint from the sashes,
make a groove in the top of the bottom sash to allow a pile carrier to be installed for draught proofing.
weight the top sash then install it.
cut and install parting beads with no draught brushes showing.
Weigh the bottom sash then install.
Cut staff beads to length.
Attach ring pulls, lifters and fasteners

Small window €800 on average
Big windows €900 on average

larger orders are less.


Thats robbery i could do about 4/6 a day
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Peter Fitz » Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:11 pm

completely recondition 4 - 6 sash windows a day ? doubt it. Anyone thats had a go themselves knows it can take an age ... what do you charge at that rate? 200 a go ? ye can come down & give mine a good going over in that case :D
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Pot Noodle » Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:40 pm

Peter Fitz wrote:completely recondition 4 - 6 sash windows a day ? doubt it. Anyone thats had a go themselves knows it can take an age ... what do you charge at that rate? 200 a go ? ye can come down & give mine a good going over in that case :D


depends on condition all im saying is € 800 a pop extortionate we would do them on a larger scale restoration of entire building
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby S.O.S. » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:26 pm

Pot Noodle wrote:Thats robbery i could do about 4/6 a day


LOL

Peter Fitz wrote:completely recondition 4 - 6 sash windows a day ? doubt it. Anyone thats had a go themselves knows it can take an age ... what do you charge at that rate? 200 a go ? ye can come down & give mine a good going over in that case :D


I have done several restoration projects over the years and I have never heard of any man doing 4/6 windows in 1 day,

Pot Noodle, you still haven't compared prices nor have answered to whether or not Bolgers/Ventrolla do restoration and repair of old sash windows or not.

Since Pot Noodle isn't keen to answer my question maybe I should make a new thread entitled

Do Bolgers/Ventrolla restore sashes anymore? If so, what does it cost?
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Pot Noodle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:40 am

S.O.S. wrote:LOL



I have done several restoration projects over the years and I have never heard of any man doing 4/6 windows in 1 day,

Pot Noodle, you still haven't compared prices nor have answered to whether or not Bolgers/Ventrolla do restoration and repair of old sash windows or not.

Since Pot Noodle isn't keen to answer my question maybe I should make a new thread entitled

Do Bolgers/Ventrolla restore sashes anymore? If so, what does it cost?



You may drag it out to justifie €800 a window we just get stuck in the days of ripping people off is long gone value for money now
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby cheezypuf » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:25 pm

Pot Noodle wrote:You may drag it out to justifie €800 a window we just get stuck in the days of ripping people off is long gone value for money now


I'm in the middle of having all the windows at the front of my Victorian house done, including a large bay window.

I shopped around quite a bit and was very unimpressed with W J Bolder aka Ventrolla. The reason my windows need attention is that Bolger's did them around ten years ago and removed part of the original frames and replaced them with plastic which has caused the wooden surrounds to split and rot. They also infilled part of the windows with silicone which sealed in water and caused further decay of the timber. They removed some of the original wrought iron and solid brass catches and replaced them with brassed catches and fittings which have since corroded.

Having spoken to Bolders I found them very unhelpful and uninterested in conservation. I explained that I wanted to retain as much of the original materials as possible, and they said they'd f@ck them out and replace them with new ones. They also failed to return calls, failed to turn up at the appointed time and were reluctant to return a sample sash I had given them for assessment.

In the end I settled for someone who is charging me more than twice the €800 per window price quoted, but I am very pleased with the quality of the work, and am satisfied that I won't need to redo it in a few years like I've had to do with Bolger's.

Part of the reason my price is higher than the €800 is that they are fusing cracked glass back together and hand blowing new cylinder glass to replace modern panes.

They may not be the fastest workers, but I really don't see how anyone could claim to restore six sash windows in a day and do anything like a proper job.
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Pot Noodle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:17 pm

cheezypuf wrote:I'm in the middle of having all the windows at the front of my Victorian house done, including a large bay window.

I shopped around quite a bit and was very unimpressed with W J Bolder aka Ventrolla. The reason my windows need attention is that Bolger's did them around ten years ago and removed part of the original frames and replaced them with plastic which has caused the wooden surrounds to split and rot. They also infilled part of the windows with silicone which sealed in water and caused further decay of the timber. They removed some of the original wrought iron and solid brass catches and replaced them with brassed catches and fittings which have since corroded.

Having spoken to Bolders I found them very unhelpful and uninterested in conservation. I explained that I wanted to retain as much of the original materials as possible, and they said they'd f@ck them out and replace them with new ones. They also failed to return calls, failed to turn up at the appointed time and were reluctant to return a sample sash I had given them for assessment.

In the end I settled for someone who is charging me more than twice the €800 per window price quoted, but I am very pleased with the quality of the work, and am satisfied that I won't need to redo it in a few years like I've had to do with Bolger's.

Part of the reason my price is higher than the €800 is that they are fusing cracked glass back together and hand blowing new cylinder glass to replace modern panes.

They may not be the fastest workers, but I really don't see how anyone could claim to restore six sash windows in a day and do anything like a proper job.



The plastic is an isopon based product i would slice with salvaged timber myself 4/6 windows again i say depending on condition some windows have very little wrong with them i.e weights ,sash cords missing beads & over painting i work for myself so there is no incentive to skive off like i said we just get stuck in
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby cheezypuf » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:17 pm

Pot Noodle wrote:The plastic is an isopon based product i would slice with salvaged timber myself 4/6 windows again i say depending on condition some windows have very little wrong with them i.e weights ,sash cords missing beads & over painting i work for myself so there is no incentive to skive off like i said we just get stuck in



I'm talking about proper restoration though, not patching them up with plastic bits.

As a minimum a restored window will need a printer, undercoat and gloss. How do you manage to get all three coats on and dry in one day, and on six windows? Not to mention replacing damaged timber, replacing cords, rehanging weights, removing old puty, waiting a month for the puty to dry before painting, etc?
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Re: Restoring sash windows

Postby Pot Noodle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:23 pm

cheezypuf wrote:I'm talking about proper restoration though, not patching them up with plastic bits.

As a minimum a restored window will need a printer, undercoat and gloss. How do you manage to get all three coats on and dry in one day, and on six windows? Not to mention replacing damaged timber, replacing cords, rehanging weights, removing old puty, waiting a month for the puty to dry before painting, etc?


How can restore a rotten piece of wood if it is unrepairable you tell me Harry Houdini you may think people are slackers we are not Its called best common practice and i wont be commenting any more
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