Re: Re: Edwardian Farmhouse

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#755940
GrahamH
Participant

That pantry window was a great find – always very exciting to find original features!
This should act as a very good guide for the other sashes – especially the horn detail, if any, which could be copied exactly assuming it is original. Also the thickness of the timbers and the design of the overall frame etc could act as an excellent guide for your joiner.

As for the ‘fittings’ you talk about, is it the windows themselves or the hardware such as catches and locks etc that you’ve been told are available in PVC?
Either way, it is true that PVC is available for imitation timber sashes – indeed the poor horn picture posted last time is that of a PVC sash. To be truthful to you, PVC is becoming increasingly better at replicating traditional sash windows, as much as I’d like to say otherwise – from a short distance in fact some are simply indistinguishable from originals.
Even so, up close you can always tell the difference – the corners are sharper and harsher, the joins are more evident, and the majority still tend to be clunky in design – like these ghastly yokes :rolleyes:

Fundamentally though, can anyone say that they prefer what are at the end of the day plastic windows in favour of natural, sustainable, handcrafted, traditional timber?
In my view at least there is simply no competition.

As for the hardware of traditional sashes such as the catches to lock the sashes and pulleys or wheels, there are plastic versions available, especially for the pulleys which are hidden from view:

But it is always best to go for brass where affordable as they’ll last forever save the odd bit of oiling, with little risk of ever breaking:

Saying that, there are severe cost implications – on the internet the brass are about €10 each, while the plastic and steel ones are about €2 each!

As for the window catches which are in view, it is a matter of personal taste really. Personally I think very bright modern brass versions like these are a bit much:

…whereas toned down models like this Edwardian one can look very elegant:

I’d guess that simple iron or brass ones similar to that above were common on most simple house sashes like yours.

As for the pane layouts, it’s quite simple how windows developed ‘through the ages’.
When sashes first came to Ireland (quite late by all accounts) in the mid-late 1600s, glass could only be made in very small panes, blown by hand. So to make up a large window, it had to be divided up into six or nine panes per sash. Though processes became more refined, this is how windows were made for the next two centuries or so in Ireland, until a new form of making glass made larger panes more affordable by 1850, resulting in two-over-two windows for about 15 years. By the 1860s, large one-over-one sashes became affordable, though still expensive until the 1870s, when they became standard in cities, but not until the 1880s before largely standard in all areas of the country.

Even so, two-over-two design often remained in rural areas as did the Georgian sash design, which regardless made a comeback everywhere in the 1890s through to the 1930s, often seen in school and institutional buildings & railway stations etc. So rural houses like your own can never be guaranteed a certain style, unlike cities.
As always, rural areas tend to have their own way of doing things 🙂

There are loads of pictures on the internet via a Google image search if you want to print out better pics for the previous owner to look at.

Be warned though, from now on you’re gonna become a window fanatic – everywhere you go you’ll be looking at windows and annoying everyone in the car everywhere you go 😀

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