Victorian Sash Window Restoration in Enfield, London

Posted on November 24, 2016.

“I’m very happy with the work done by Original Windows. A great result!” – Ray, Homeowner

An old house in Enfield Town which had its sliding sashes removed sometime in the 1980’s has got them back again. The early Victorian cottage dating from 1859 is now a picturesque part of its conservation area with the same appeal as when it was first built nearly one hundred and sixty years ago.

Homeowner Ray Simberg knew his house once had sash windows. These had been replaced, though, with heavier looking frames that were unsympathetic to the original design. The heavier frames also restricted ventilation and were beginning to show signs of timber decay. Fortunately, he had been thinking about going back to old style sash windows for several years.

As a former glazier Ray he knew a bit about sliding sashes and suspected the old box-frames where still in place. He also knew that keeping the old frames would save a lot of disruption to decoration and reduce cost. He just needed the expertise of a specialist to make sure they were still there and an opinion about their condition. That’s when he noticed the Original Windows team working in the area and asked us to take a look.

Retaining the Period Features

During survey we confirmed after some careful uncovering that Ray still had the old frames. Further uncovering revealed the housings that once accommodated the pulley wheels and a groove that served to position the parting bead. We could also confirm that the frames were serviceable and that we could reproduce new sashes that would fit. In effect we could help restore the original nineteenth century character of his house. With that much clear we had a project that was well within our comfort zone and was able to agree a price to reproduce and fit double glazed sashes to a similar design as the single glazed originals.

Creating the Period Window

We made three pairs of sashes in our workshop. Sashes for the ground floor were fitted with three vertical bars and one horizontal. On the first floor only one vertical bar was needed to form panes of similar size throughout; an important consideration in creating traditional balance and proportion. On site, after fully revealing and cleaning the existing box-frames, new brass wheel pulleys and lead weights with sash cords were fitted. Final adjustments were made to the sashes and the windows assembled with new parting beads and staff beads along with our perimeter draught sealing system.

Improved Thermal Efficiency & No More Draughts

Apart from the obvious visual improvements to Ray’s cottage our work also made big difference to the thermal performance of his windows. The depth of the existing box-frames allowed the fitting of replacement sashes with a 16mm space between panes This with the use of soft coat low emissivity glass for the internal pane and argon gas achieved a reduction in centre pane U-Value from about 5.5 to 1.1W/m2K Overall a reduction in heat loss through the glass of about 80%. Combined with the draught sealing system we are confident that Ray will spend less on his heating bills this winter and enjoy a more comfortable and energy efficient home.

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