Re: Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

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#744834
GrahamH
Participant

Deal being a generic term for pine/fir, or rather the actual planks of these woods.
Tons of this was imported into Ireland in the 18th century – in Dublin there used to be a lot of deal yards around the south quays especially, Sir John Rogersons Quay etc, that can be seen on various contemporary maps.

Really though, PVC in this country has got completely out of hand as I experienced first hand over the past week – apologies for the 😡RANT😡 that follows.

Having heard rumours of there being some form of life outside the capital called ‘the rest of the country’ or some such :), I spent 8 days or so travelling around Cork, Kerry and down through the Midlands to get there from Dublin.

At this stage I am not easily shocked when it comes to PVC given what we have on the east coast, and what has been posted here by everyone – but I was genuinely astounded from an ‘outsider’ position at seeing the level of damage PVC is doing in this country – both as a replacement material for original windows in vernacular buildings, and as a modern-day design feature in contemporary structures.

Perhaps what amazed me most of all is the sheer amount of the stuff outside of the Dublin region. In the east a much greater selection is on offer both in design and materials, even if that includes varieties of PVC itself, but in the south and west white PVC is completely dominant to an extraordinary degree. To try and give an idea, counting every single building, new, old and everything in between, I’d say PVC accounts for about 75-80% of all windows in the southwest, with about 10% aluminium and 10%ish 1970s/80s timber and original sash. Modern-day timber is practically non-existent outside of the McDowell-like multi-gabled ranches one sees on occasion. What little is about is usually of very poor quality and design and was chosen as a cheaper option to PVC.

There are some pics to follow, but in terms of older buildings there are 3 main types one most often comes across: 1. tall classical buildings lining country town’s main streets, 2. small higgledy-piggledy vernacular houses and shops making up villages and 3. one-off farmhouses dotted about rural roads and mountains.
My impression of the window make-up of these buildings was:

Tall classical – about 10% have original windows.
Village buildings have about 20-30% depending on the conservation ethos of the community which can be strong in places.
Farmhouses: oh dear, the poor old farmhouses :(… Original windows in the standard classical two-storey, three bay over three bay house are on the verge of being completely wiped out! Out of possibly 100 or more I saw, about three had their sashes in situ!
Indeed the only place where sashes proliferate now in detached houses is in ruined cottages on the sides of mountains – there are plenty of them there! :rolleyes:
Admittedly a lot of the damage was done in the 70s as a lot of these houses have exposed aluminium windows (as per Sinéad’s house on the Edwardian Farmhouse thread), but there’s also a heck of a lot with modern PVC.

There’s some pictures below. Obviously presenting an array of PVCed buildings isn’t an accurate representation of what’s out there (though frankly these don’t even remotely reflect the amount of PVC in the average residential street or estate), so there are also some lovely surviving windows pics to be posted soon too.

The most damaged major town I came across was probably Bandon – PVC and white aluminium literally lines the majority of its grand main street :(. At least some originals survive here:

Mitchelstown is also very bad.

Bantry has been severely hit too – here’s the most prominent building in the town, the Bantry Bay Hotel exposed for the world to see forming a large side of Bantry Square.
It is scandalous that PVC is allowed dominate here:

A distinctive Cork bay window, destroyed with plastic:

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