27Jan 2016

Window restoration: everything you need to know

Restoration is in. We’re lucky to live in a country that’s done a relatively good job of preserving the past, and that means there are an abundance of properties out there that are hundreds of years old just waiting to be snapped up. People enjoy period homes. Whether Georgian, Edwardian or Victorian, they’re always so full of charm and character and the history is written into the walls, floors, windows and doors. For many buyers of period properties, this presents somewhat of a dilemma. Having the traditional stuff is great, but what about modern needs such as energy efficiency and added security, and simple things like eliminating draughts? Those buyers not concerned with their property’s history (or value) may decide to bulldoze ahead with brand new UPVc windows and call it a day, but those prudent among us will be able to see things from a different angle: preservation.

Preservation is the key to helping old homes retain, and even increase, their value. And it’s not as tricky as you may think.

The first rule of replacing or enhancing your traditional windows – whether they’re timber sliding windowswooden casement windowsor traditional sash windows, is to not settle for second best when it comes to materials. Windows can have a surprising impact on your property’s value, so it’s important to get this part right. Use the best timber you can find for your timber window frames – if you’re outsourcing this work to a joinery company they’ll be able to source it for you and they should be more than happy to share supplier information with you so you can double check for yourself.

Not many home owners realise that you don’t have to replace your frames entirely. If they’re in good condition and have been well maintained over the years, you may decide to stick with them for the charm and the added value to your home. You should be able to get a quote quite easily for installing new sashes to fit into your existing window frames – not only will this save money, but it’s the best course of action for retaining your property’s value.

While you’re replacing or restoring your windows, bear things like draft sealant and glazing in mind. You may choose to keep the original frames, but upgrade the glazing on the windows so that your home is more energy efficient and the heat is kept in easier. Old windows, where the wood has warped slightly, might still be in very good condition but still a little draughty – draught sealant won’t damage your windows, and it’ll help keep you warmer on cold winter nights too.