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BEAUTIFUL TIMBER JOINERY WINDOW REFURBISHMENT

We are often faced with the question ”Is it worth saving or should I just get a new one?” This is difficult to answer and usually depends on what the objective is, e.g. the cheapest, most durable, looks the best, or is most authentic. There is normally no obvious answer. Usually if the objective is one thing, you are probably going to compromise in another area to achieve it. And also just because it is new doesn’t mean it will tick all the boxes either.

BEAUTIFUL TIMBER JOINERY WINDOW REFURBISHMENT

We are often faced with the question ”Is it worth saving or should I just get a new one?” This is difficult to answer and usually depends on what the objective is, e.g. the cheapest, most durable, looks the best, or is most authentic. There is normally no obvious answer. Usually if the objective is one thing, you are probably going to compromise in another area to achieve it. And also just because it is new doesn’t mean it will tick all the boxes either.

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Recently, we completed a project to refurbish some timber windows, including changing fixed sashes into awning hung sashes, and retaining the existing decorative glass. Here, refurbishment was the preferred option. The windows were in total disrepair. The paint, hinges and glazing putty had all gone.  But the timber frame was still fine with no rot. The Kauri and Rimu timber was still hard, very dry and took a nice shaving after many decades of exposure. The glass was beautiful, with a deep profile, much like crystal, and the sun light dancing through it was really spectacular.

Recently, we completed a project to refurbish some timber windows, including changing fixed sashes into awning hung sashes, and retaining the existing decorative glass. Here, refurbishment was the preferred option. The windows were in total disrepair. The paint, hinges and glazing putty had all gone.  But the timber frame was still fine with no rot. The Kauri and Rimu timber was still hard, very dry and took a nice shaving after many decades of exposure. The glass was beautiful, with a deep profile, much like crystal, and the sun light dancing through it was really spectacular.

Most people put a bit of time into choosing what to spend their money on. If buying a car, they will evaluate the small difference of fuel economy or safety between a Toyota or Honda, and maybe judge the aspect of luxury between a Mercedes and a BMW. But with building products and services, they are not always what they appear to be. Most people just don’t have the same consumer exposure to make informed choices, like they would with a car or new shoes, and usually just go along with what someone suggests, what is cheapest, new or looks good.

Most people put a bit of time into choosing what to spend their money on. If buying a car, they will evaluate the small difference of fuel economy or safety between a Toyota or Honda, and maybe judge the aspect of luxury between a Mercedes and a BMW. But with building products and services, they are not always what they appear to be. Most people just don’t have the same consumer exposure to make informed choices, like they would with a car or new shoes, and usually just go along with what someone suggests, what is cheapest, new or looks good.

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On any part of your build, I would suggest that it is really worthwhile doing the research on products and materials, or using an architect to do that for you. Find out what you are getting and how it is constructed, to make a clear and educated decision. 

For this project, an actual complete replacement of this window, in similar materials (clear hardwood) would be very expensive. It would be approximately twice that of a replacement made from stock profiles in finger jointed pine, or probably four times the cost of an (…Gasp!!!) aluminium window. So repairing and retaining a quality piece of work was the best option. 

On any part of your build, I would suggest that it is really worthwhile doing the research on products and materials, or using an architect to do that for you. Find out what you are getting and how it is constructed, to make a clear and educated decision. 

For this project, an actual complete replacement of this window, in similar materials (clear hardwood) would be very expensive. It would be approximately twice that of a replacement made from stock profiles in finger jointed pine, or probably four times the cost of an (…Gasp!!!) aluminium window. So repairing and retaining a quality piece of work was the best option. 

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