Sash window restoration

Our sash window restoration process enables us to repair, paint and refurbish practically any original sash window. The system has been forged through trial and error over several years and has developed into a mechanism that works consistently. It provides a sound and lasting alternative to replacing windows.


The Fortis & Hooke Restoration process

We define our sash window restoration process as follows:

“The process in which a sash window is restored to its original condition by focusing on both the mechanical and aesthetic aspects of the window. This is achieved by the utilisation of a mixture of modern and traditional repair methods, refurbishment of all mechanical parts, installation of movement enhancing draught sealing systems as well as the full stripping of original sashes and hand-painting of such sashes with an oil-based flexible system. Completion of the process is achieved with the reinstatement of the sashes into a fully renovated, repaired and repainted frame.”

In short, our sash window restoration process includes the following:

  1. Repair of frames and sashes
  2. Removal of old paint from sashes and hand-painting with a flexible oil-based paint
  3. Hand-paint of frames with a flexible oil-based paint
  4. Replacement of all sash cords.
  5. Balance of sashes by re-weighting.
  6. Restore smooth movement of sashes within the frames.
  7. Full perimeter draught seal of newly restored sashes into renovated frames
  8. Application of a final coat of paint as necessary to ensure a lasting result.

The result of the Fortis & Hooke Restoration process

The result of this system is two-fold:

  1. You get windows that look great, move great and are much more heat-efficient.
  2. The underlying factors that could cause the windows to rot, flake or rattle are resolved.

We propagate renovation rather than replacement because this will ensure original windows are retained without the shortcomings and issues that have developed over the years.

How much does the complete restoration of a window cost?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Every individual window’s size and condition is taken into account to produce a quote.

Our surveyor will provide you with a comprehensive survey and detailed quotation to enable you to make an informed decision.

One thing is certain, restoration will cost less than full replacement.

Why would we restore rather than replace?

We’ve had the privilege to work on several thousand original windows. The old adage that “they don’t make them like they used to” is something we encounter on a daily basis. Original windows were made with well-seasoned timber. Well-seasoned timber withstands the elements and neglect much better than newer timber substitutes. It is therefore our opinion that a well-restored original sash window is much more capable to give the owner longevity than a replacement unit.

We believe that English heritage should be respected and original windows retained as far as possible. Original windows are a big part of English heritage and give us a glimpse into the past when sashes were still handmade with great care and precision. We often appreciate the workmanship on sashes as old as 200 years that we are able to respectfully restore to their original magnificence.

Retaining the original timber windows of your property is also the most environmentally friendly option.

Our restoration services epitomises our ethos to foremost aim to repair, renovate and retain.

For more information, see our “Stop! Don’t replace!” page here.

What are the advantages of the Fortis Restoration process?

The advantages of using this system are numerous. The sashes are properly sanded and repaired in a sealed environment where we conveniently get rid of the unavoidable dust that is generated. It saves time and energy as we work on a large number of sashes at once. We have a task-focused expert craftsman working on every separate facet of the process without bringing our whole team into your home. The “weather-conditions” in the workshop are always ideal – enabling us to work even when the weather outside is cold and wet. This obviously ensures a better looking and longer lasting result and enables us to complete on schedule irrespective of the weather. It also provides the sashes with the ideal conditions, temperature and time to dry properly ensuring that they would run smoothly within the frames once they are re-installed.

The biggest advantage of this process, however, is that we spend the minimum time in your property. Your sashes are renovated while you get on with your normal routine – less dust, fewer workmen in your property for fewer days and the best of all – a better quality finish in a shorter period of time.

Would the Restoration Process also resolve draughty windows?

Once the sashes and frames are restored we commence with final installation. During final installation we utilise our Fortis DSOHR service to ensure the newly restored sashes are not only aesthetically pleasing but also mechanically sound. The sashes are planed to fit optimally within the frames. Any problems with movement is resolved. The sashes are correctly balanced by adding weight or removing weight. Cords are replaced with pre-stretched cord to ensure the sashes don’t slump over time. Once the windows fit properly and move with ease we install a draught proofing system which we’ve aptly named the “Fortis & Hooke perimeter sealing system”. The Fortis & Hooke perimeter sealing system ensures that the top, middle and lower aspects of the sash window is draught proofed. This system reduces the amount of cold air let in by gaps around the windows but also has several other benefits but to name a few:

  • Elimination of draughts
  • Elimination of rattles
  • Reduced external noise levels
  • Improved insulation
  • Reduced dirt and dust ingress
  • Correctly balanced windows that operate smoothly
  • Improved security (if new locks are fitted)

The other benefit of the Fortis DSOHR system is that our restoration process is crowned with authentic beading which doesn’t detract from the original look of the windows. The new draught proof beading is carefully chosen to ensure they match the original non-draught proofed beading as close as possible.

When the draught proofing aspect of the restoration process is completed the windows receive a final overall touch up to ensure the frame, sashes and beading blend in to achieve that synchronised finish.

This was just a brief explanation of the comprehensive sash window restoration process that is followed. Our surveyor would be delighted to explain the whole process to you in detail during a no-obligation survey of your windows.

How does our restoration process differ from others?

Our competitors tend to use “restoration” as the term to describe their process to draught seal, overhaul and repair sash windows. At Fortis & Hooke we believe that restoration should include every possible phase to ensure the windows are not only mechanically sound and sealed, but also properly painted. The fact that we’ve added offsite painting of your sashes to our process makes our system one of a kind.