As window conservation specialists, there are some important guidelines that we follow during the restoration of period windows and doors.
Ireland has a rich architectural history. Typically timber windows and doors can date as far back as the 1700s and 1800s. These are from the Georgian and Victorian periods, known for the Kings and Queen that ruled in the UK, and each period has it’s own particular identifiable traits. These architectural differences relate to the evolving technology within the glazing and timber crafts, the changing fashions and lifestyles, and the politics.
Some of these traits are more obvious at first glance, such as bay windows from the later Victorian period, or smaller panes of glass from the early Georgian era. However, when we look closer at the type of timber and the depth of the sections, our well-trained, highly experienced surveyors can more accurately guide you as to the history of the windows.
Some windows will be old, yet perhaps not original to the building. Others may be in very poor condition and had various repairs (good and bad) carried out over their lifetime to date.
It is our job in conservation to assess the windows as part of the fabric of the entire building. We don’t look at a window in isolation, but rather look from the roof down at the condition of the property. We also look at similar era properties in the area to guide us towards the full story.
Upon request we will prepare a full report outlining our assessment, recommendations and procedure for conservation repairs.
In conservation joinery we follow best practise which states that we should act with minimal intervention and to protect and repair rather than replace.
Guidelines state that repairs to a protected building or structure should not attempt to disguise or hide the age of the building but rather tell the story. Much of the joy of older buildings is the story that they hold of the craftspeople that worked on them and the families that lived there.
A good repair, carried out with skill, leaves an interesting record of works done. Indeed, deliberately obscuring alterations confuses the historical record that is the building.
With 50 years in business as a timber joinery we have a skilled team of craftspeople and surveyors that take great pride in their work.
This short video explains some of the process that we carry out.
It is worth noting that the conservation of windows is a fine balancing act. There is a degree of compromise necessary for adapting a protected structure to meet the requirements of modern living. Additionally, it is important that the special interest of the structure is not unnecessarily affected.
Conserving the original windows of a building has an important for sustainability. Firstly it has less impact on the structure as a whole as much of the original fabric is left intact. Furthermore, the design of the whole building remains as envisaged by the architects who created it.
Refurbishing historic windows is essentially sustainable and circular by nature. Our global thinking and actions are shifting from a take–make–waste society (a linear economy), to one that uses safe, sustainable materials to make products that are durable and repairable. The windows, with their embodied carbon, which already could be upward of 100 years old, can be kept for even longer.
In many instances we can double glaze old windows, depending on the thickness of the sections. However, in the case of a ptotected structure, your local authority conservation officer will advise you about specific guidelines.
Timeless Sash Windows has a reputation for quality work on the window conservation of heritage projects, such as Ashford Castle, the National Gallery, Shelbourne Hotel, Clancy Quay and the ESB building on Fitzwilliam Street, to name a few.
In recent years Timeless has been the window subcontractor on several award-winning conservation projects: Ormiston House, Belfast (Heritage Angel Awards 2018 Best Major Regeneration of an Historic Building), 3 Henrietta Street, Dublin (Irish Georgian Society Conservation Award 2019), Riverstown House (Irish Georgian Society Conservation Award 2022), 16 St Stephens Green (Irish Construction Excellence Awards 2023 Fit Out or Refurbishment of projects between €5m to 30m).
Moreover, the prestigious conservation work by Timeless Sash Windows has been recognised as the only window specialist contractor on the CIF Heritage Contractors register. Barry Callaghan was a specialist speaker for their advice series of talks in April 2023, presenting on “Historic Windows and their Conservation”.
Additionally, the company is affiliated with the Irish Georgian Society, the National Guild of Mastercraftsmen, and the Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings.
If you would like to find out more or enquire how we might assist on your project, send the details via email to sales @ sash.ie or call our office 046-9023323.