The First New Window

Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

New window

Yesterday the first new window was fitted. This is the first of 74 windows and one door which will installed over the coming fortnight. The original windows are draughty single-glazed Crittall steel windows, warped and rusted with old age. They produce buckets of condensation in winter and encourage the growth of mould. They are a nightmare to maintain because modern lead-free paint simply does not adhere to them. Some are more than one hundred years old as they were sourced from reclamation yards when the upper floor of the house was rebuilt in 1948 following a devastating fire caused by a lightning strike. Crittall still makes steel windows, but they cost a fortune, and the properties of steel are such that rust will always be a risk. Aluminium windows are rust-proof, almost maintenance-free, more affordable and have a better thermal rating than modern steel windows. They only became an option relatively recently when the “thermal break” technology was perfected. Their slim profile matches that of the steel originals. It wouldn’t be possible to replicate the character of these windows with plastic or wooden versions, since they require much thicker frames, thus limiting the size of glazed area. In a house surrounded on all sides by mature and very tall trees, we need all the light we can get.

Here’s a comparison of new and old. The new one is on the left and the old is on the right. A pretty good match, I’d say!