Georgian Sash Window Restoration in Islington, London

Posted on November 24, 2016.

“Excellent work by Original Windows. My window looks the same. Job done!” – Carl, Homeowner

A Georgian window in Islington that has failed to open for more than a decade has been brought back to good working order. The late Georgian house, part of Gibson Square built around 1835, now benefits from a window that works in the way it was intended when first installed before the Reign of Queen Victoria. 

Carl Dean, homeowner, who moved into Islington more than ten years ago was never able to open the window despite trying on several occasions. Neither was replacement an option for him because he did not want to loose a Georgian Period feature that showed all the signs of being original.

Also, apart from his own preference to retain a historic part of his property, there were Local Authority restrictions on what he would be allowed to do because his house is a Listed Building within a Conservation Area. Fortunately, Original Windows could advise that his sash window was repairable and would probably take no more than half-a-day to restore to full working order.

Assessing the Georgian Window

After careful removal of staff beads from the box-frame the problem was clear. The window had been painted many times during its working life and excess paint was now restricting normal operation of the sliding sashes. Consequently we decided to remove the sashes from their frame for a thorough clean-up with our power sander leaving running surfaces smooth for easy operation. Excess paint was also removed from the wheel pulleys. With a few drops of oil they spun freely again and could be retained as fully working components much to the delight of the homeowner. Similarly, with the use of add-on make-weights the existing cast iron sash weights were adjustment for correct balancing and re-used, again avoiding unnecessary replacement of an original component.

Assembling the Georgian Window

The existing sashes were in good condition with no signs of timber decay. Sash cords, parting beads and staff beads however were heavily loaded with paint but were easily changed for replacements that matched. With new sash cords in place the Georgian sashes were re-hung and the beads positioned to achieve full operation of the window. Finally, we fitted a new centre catch to reduce draught at the meeting rails, and sash stops to improve security. On completion of our work the window was once again ready for decoration and many more years of service.

Improved Operation & Less Draught

The above account shows how big improvements to sash window operation can be achieved with straightforward maintenance. This single glazed Georgian sash window was not only failing to open but could neither be fully closed. As a result, draught was causing unnecessary loss of heat and significantly increasing fuel costs for our client. On this occasion, with the replacement of minor parts, we regained normal operation and achieved a worthwhile improvement in thermal performance of the window without even the use of draught reducing brush seals.

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