We love sharing our experience with period home owners. Our blog is our way of providing fresh and valuable information to all period window and door owners.
Sometimes, all that’s required to breathe new life into a property’s appearance and potentially add extra value to its market price is an upgrade on its front entranceway. While the idea of a brand-new door might be a tempting one, dispensing with the old one completely can risk upsetting the existing aesthetic – not to mention the environmental consequences associated with doing so.
At Fortis & Hooke, we’re committed to the notion that an old door isn’t necessarily ready for the scrapheap and against the idea that new invariably means improved. Indeed, we always go the extra mile to restore the doors we work on and ensure they return to their owner in their best possible condition – as we recently did with one such property in Shirley, Croydon.
Keeping up appearances with regard to the front-facing façade of your property is a paramount concern for any homeowner. But those living in a conservation area are arguably under even more pressure to maintain the lofty standards set by buildings all around them. Add a 100-year-old front door into the equation and it’s easy to see how balancing heritage and a handsome aesthetic could become a tall order.
That was exactly the dilemma facing one Fortis & Hooke customer in Southfields, Wandsworth. Reluctant to let go of the entranceway which had stood her and her family in good stead for over a century, but equally hesitant to simply paper over the cracks with yet another paint job, she contacted our team for a comprehensive restoration job. We’re happy to say we did not disappoint.
On certain occasions, Fortis & Hooke are asked to perform a quick fix or undertake some minor upkeep on a door or window. On others, we’re asked to carry out major cosmetic surgery on a property’s front façade to salvage an entrance way that has sustained so much damage, it’s in danger of finding its way onto the scrapheap. Thankfully, we were able to avoid that outcome at a recent call-out in Rochester.
With weak structural support, fading paintwork, inadequate locking mechanisms and bowed window panes, the door in question had certainly seen better days. However, it was an original component of the building it adorned and retained enough of that traditional charm for its owners to deem it worthy of salvation. We wholeheartedly agreed.
As one of the oldest and most central boroughs in London, Lambeth is home to a plethora of historic buildings and some truly remarkable architecture. With that in mind, residents of the space are keen to keep their own properties in line with their illustrious surroundings. That was exactly the thinking behind one of our latest projects – a complete door restoration in the heart of the UK capital.
The client first contacted Fortis & Hooke about the original door to their 19th century home. Although retaining its traditional charm, the door had become fatigued and careworn throughout the decades, meaning it was in desperate need of some tender loving care. Using our much feted Longaevitas technique, we performed a comprehensive restoration job to the door and its surrounding infrastructure, reinstating its former splendour.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link – and a home is only as beautiful or as robust as its weakest feature. When that property happens to be in one of England’s most historic and picturesque towns, the deficiency stands out like a sore thumb. With 17 listed buildings on a single street alone, Farnham in Surrey is a delightful hamlet filled with remarkable architecture and picture-postcard buildings.
As a result, Fortis & Hooke were called to a home in the Surrey township to ensure the original door of a residential property was in keeping with the prestige and panache surrounding it. As well as suffering from fatigued timber that had been weakened through decades of use, the aesthetic appearance of the door was also crying out for renovation. Luckily, we were on hand to provide the expertise and experience necessary to restore its former brilliance.
You should never underestimate the effect a fresh coat of paint can have on a fatigued and forlorn façade. When it comes to the main entrance of a residential property, that maxim becomes doubly true, since the doorway is the first thing that visitors will set eyes upon. Therefore, ensuring the front door presents a pristine aesthetic is paramount to creating a good first impression.
It was for this reason that Fortis & Hooke were recently contacted regarding a property in Brixton, London, which was home to a beautiful set of Edwardian period double doors badly in need of a paint job. Although the doors themselves were fine examples of early 20th century craftmanship, their surface had become tired, flaky and in desperate need of some tender loving care. Fortis & Hooke were on hand and more than happy to provide it.
The entranceway is one of the most striking and immediately noticeable features on any property, but that’s even more true when it comes to older and more distinguished buildings. For one client in Muswell Hill, their original Edwardian doors were one of the main selling points of their home’s outer façade, but damage sustained during an emergency meant they were looking worse for wear.
Fortunately, thanks to our famed Longaevitas technique and close collaboration with a team of stained-glass specialists, we were able to not only rescue the door, but restore it to its former brilliance. As a result, our client was delighted that the turbulent turn of events did not also adversely affect their property’s beautiful external aesthetic.
They say they don’t make things like they used to. That’s probably truer than ever when it comes to property. The artisans of yesteryear generally put far more effort and attention into crafting timber doorframes, doors and jambs than the mass production methods used today, resulting in elegant products imbued with personality and designed to stand the test of time.
But even the hardiest and most finely crafted items will come to show their age sooner or later. For the owners of one Victorian door in Hackney, that time arrived earlier this year, when the Fortis & Hooke team were summoned to evaluate the wear and tear that over a century of use had inflicted on their property. Of course, we were more than happy to lend our experience and expertise.
There’s nothing worse than an ill-fitting front door. If it’s slightly too large, it will scrape across the floor, possibly causing damage and definitely causing distress, while an undersized door will result in an unsightly gap that lets the heat out of your home – and the cold in.
There are a number of possible solutions to this infuriating issue, including total replacement of the door in question to obtain a better fit for the premises. However, for older properties which abound with traditional charm, the door comprises an integral part of that charisma. As such, finding a way to circumvent the problems of the original door is infinitely preferable to installing a new one.
Fortunately, at Fortis & Hooke, we’re well versed in solving headscratchers such as these, just as we did for a client in Southfields.
Retaining the aesthetic integrity of any property is always a concern. However, it’s multiplied tenfold when dealing with a listed building, especially those belonging to the Church. With many religious structures dating back centuries, it’s no surprise that many of the materials used in their construction are showing signs of age.
Unfortunately, that natural ageing process is sometimes accelerated by the damaging actions of a thoughtless minority. That was certainly the case in Feltham, where the Fortis & Hooke team were called in to install a replacement door for a local church’s vestry after thieves had irreparably destroyed the original.
We’re all aware how a chipped windshield on your car can develop into something more series. The same is true for a cracked door. Any homeowner who notices a fracture in their own door’s infrastructure would be well advised to seek immediate professional help. Thankfully, that’s exactly what our conscientious client in Wandsworth took it upon themselves to do.
By nipping the issue in the bud, the customer was able to avoid moisture from outside permeating the timber and compromising its condition any further. After contacting Fortis & Hooke for a prompt restoration job, we were able to replace the offending panel, re-strengthen the rest of the door and return it to the client looking more impressive than ever.
As the first thing that a guest will notice when visiting a house, the door is a crucial aspect of its aesthetic. Any homeowner planning a full renovation of their property would be remiss not to make front door restoration a top priority.
That’s why, when it came to restoring the door of a home in Carshalton that was undergoing a complete renovation, we knew it was the perfect candidate for our innovative Longaevitas system. Working closely with the homeowners and our industry partners, we were able to provide a complete service incorporating every aspect of the door’s restoration.
Now, the clients can boast a property that gleams with the sheen of a recent refurbishment but still retains the charm and tradition of the Victorian and Georgian architecture surrounding it.
When we were contacted by Mrs Smith about a door restoration project for a Grade II listed property in Essex, we knew this was the perfect opportunity to implement our unique Longaevitas system to great effect.
The door was a beautiful example of a period feature, but it was letting in a nasty draught and placing an unnecessary financial burden on Mrs Smith.
She wanted to keep the original door but was determined to breathe fresh life into her home. Read on to find out how we identified the problem, fixed the root cause and gave the door a new lease for life.
The front door is hugely important for period properties. It provides a grand entrance, a first impression and a focal point of your home’s façade. It also says a lot about how you care for your property. With all that in mind, you want your front door to impress and match the style of your period home.
That’s exactly what was needed by our customer in North London, whose original door was in desperate need of restoration. Read on to see how we restored their door and revitalised their beautiful London home.
The front door is a central part of any home’s façade. With that in mind, it’s important for heritage property owners to maintain their original doors wherever possible. The team at Fortis & Hooke were recently called out to a home in Twickenham, where the front door was in serious need of maintenance.
As well as the worn appearance, the customer had noticed swelling and draughts from the door. Frustratingly for the home owner, this was causing energy bills to soar as cold air swept in through the front door.
While other companies may have suggested a replacement door, our Longaevitas system allowed us to restore the original door’s appearance and function.
Some period properties are lucky enough to feature large wooden doors. However, given their size, it can be difficult for some companies to properly repair, restore and protect these charming fixtures. Not for Fortis & Hooke.
Our team were contacted by a property owner in Mayfair, about a large wooden door which had become visibly worn. Needless to say, the owner was concerned about its impact on the property’s kerb appeal – not to mention the damage to the original timber where paint was beginning to deteriorate.
Rather than dismissing it as an unsolvable problem for doors of its size, we went above and beyond to provide a long-lasting solution. Keep reading to see how we completed a full restoration for the door.
As a team of timber restoration experts, Fortis & Hooke is able to help customers bring their original doors back to life. However, some projects need more than our expertise.
Beautiful glass, intricate metal features and of course the sturdy hardwood – most doors are made up of several components. So, when a customer in Dartford got in touch about their door, which also needed leaded glass windows and new locks, we knew our expertise wouldn’t be enough. After all, the very best restoration results require specialists in different areas.
Read on to see how we co-ordinated a multi-faceted restoration on an original wooden door.
Sometimes, wooden door restoration goes far beyond the wood itself. While the original timber is always the focal point, homeowners don’t want other aspects of the door to impair its appearance and function after being restored.
This was exactly the case on a job we completed in West Norwood, South London. By liaising with our customer, we were able to provide a full restoration with new locks, door numbers and even replacement glass.
The result? A door that looked completely brand new across the board, while maintaining the same unique heritage and character.
Restoration allows you to improve your door’s appearance and function without compromising on its original character. It’s the ideal solution for almost any original wooden door, even those which have been in place for several decades.
A perfect example was a property we worked on around Finsbury Park, where the door itself was over 150 years old. Wow! That was no problem for our team, who were delighted to complete a full restoration on the antique door using our Longaevitas system.
An original wooden door can work wonders for the character of your property.
However, there may come a time when you want to update its appearance and restore its function. That’s exactly what our customer in Bromley found with their original wooden door – a once beautiful round door that had sadly seen better days.
Thanks to Fortis & Hooke, they were able to restore the door and revitalise its appearance without diminishing its heritage and character.
From the period properties neighbouring Wandsworth Common to the Art Deco design of Du Cane Court, Balham has a plethora of beautiful, interesting buildings to admire. However, it’s hard to truly appreciate a property’s beauty when its crowning feature, an original wooden front door, has become weathered and weak.
When we were contacted by our customer in Balham, we understood just how important their door was to the appearance and value of their home – but also the pivotal role it plays in keeping heat in the home.
Fortunately, the Fortis & Hooke team was on hand to provide a complete restoration, returning the door to its original beauty and function.
In this window repair London case study , Mr L contacted us as he wanted his window repaired. We had one of our London based surveyors visit the customer’s property to determine the extent of the problem. The survey revealed extensive rot in the lower part of the window frame and sill. Mr L subsequently contracted Fortis & Hooke to repair the windows.
In this window repair London case study Mrs. W contacted us regarding her sash windows that were in various states of disrepair. She was looking for a company that could sort out her windows, which she wanted to be repaired before it got any worse. She wanted as much of the wood to be repaired but was aware that this may not be possible. Many of the panes of glass was broken.
In this window repair London case study Mrs. B sent us a quick enquiry on our website. She was convinced that her windows needed replacement, but was hoping that we might be able to repair it. There was a lot of rot in her sash windows and they were not well insulated.She was feeling frustrated with their appearance and the fact that she was not comfortable in her home during cold weather spells. She contacted us as a last resort before opting for full replacement with uPVC windows.
In this window restoration London case study Mrs. W contacted us regarding her Dulwich properties sash windows that were in various states of disrepair. She was looking for a knowledgeable company that were able to sort out the many problems that she had on each window. She wanted to ensure her home was more energy efficient. The windows had flaky paint and she wanted them re-painted.
A very large construction company got in contact with us after they were contracted to do a high end restoration project on a listed property in Westminster. They were looking for a highly skilled team of sub-contractors that could restore the windows back to their original glory.
In this window restoration Kent case study Mrs. C had recently bought a large manor house just outside London in Sevenoaks. It was a Grade II listed property that had 36 large sash windows and several original doors. The client was looking for a specialist company that was able to deal with listed properties and also specialised in restoring original sash windows.
In this window restoration London case study Company J contacted us as they were working on a Crown property in Regent’s Park. They required a company who were knowledgeable in listed properties. They needed a highly skilled team of sub-contractors that could renovate the windows back to their original glory.
In this window restoration London case study Mrs. L phoned us up as she had a lot of rot in her sash windows. Her main concern was that other companies she had talked to were quoting her on replacing the original windows as the only option. This was not something that she wanted to do as it was important to her to keep as much of the original windows and frames as possible.
In this window restoration London case study Mrs. N phoned us regarding the glass in her sash windows. She was looking to get all the panes replaced for her Wimbledon home. She had also contacted a builder to get a quote for the glass to be replaced and the sash windows re-painted. We visited her and were more than capable of fitting new glass. We also offered her our decoration services.
In this window repair Surrey case study Mr. W was on the verge of selling his home but the windows were rather neglected and several sections were very rotten. He contacted us to see if we could help him fix this problem, as he was anticipating a struggle to sell the house in its current state. He knew there was a lot of rot and asked whether we could repair the windows and replace all the sills.
In this window repair London case study Mr. C contacted us as he was in dire need of a solution for his sash windows. The rot had become very noticeable and he needed a company to help him resolve the problem.
In this window draught proofing Essex case study Mr. R contacted us as he was about to move into a new house with his wife and new born baby. The house was very cold and draughty and all the windows had become rotten. He was looking for a company that was able to create new double glazed sash windows to fit into the existing boxes. The new sashes Mr. R was looking to have double glazed to help with heat efficiency. He wanted the house to be warm especially with a new born baby.
In this window draught proofing London case study Mr. D contacted us as he had a number of problems with one of his rental properties. He was having complaints from his tenants in Fulham about the windows on his upmarket flat that they were renting. The sash windows were not opening properly and it was rather cold in the flat. The flat was in a busy part of Fulham so it was rather noisy and they were wondering if there was anyway of having the noise reduced.
In this window draught proofing London case study Mr. B contacted us with a problem he had with his sash windows regarding noise levels. He lived in a second floor flat which overlooked Clapham Junction station. It was a rather noisy place to live. It was overwhelming for him, so he did a quick enquiry on our website.
In this window painting London case study we were approached by Company J. They were looking for a knowledgeable business to help paint and reglaze the windows of a large up market flat in Earls Court as part of their renovation project. They wanted to keep the original sash windows but have them retro-double glazed to help improve heat efficiency.
In this window painting London case study Mrs. W contacted us regarding her sash windows that were in various states of disrepair. She was looking for a knowledgeable company that were able to sort out the many problems that she had on each window. She wanted her home to be more energy efficient also.
In this window painting London case study Mrs. N requested a survey regarding the glass in her sash windows. She was looking to get all the panes replaced as she was concerned about the risk the glass posed to her children. The windows also needed to be painted and Mrs N had a specific colour in mind so she requested a quote from a local builder.
In this replacement windows East Sussex Mr. O contacted us as he needed advice about the state of his windows. They were in a dire state of disrepair, most of the bottom rails were falling out and he was rather worried about the glass falling out and causing injury to somebody.
In this door painting London case study Mr S contacted us to repair and decorate his listed property’s front door. The door had been painted quite badly before and there were several rotten sections that needed repair. Mr S therefore wanted the door repaired, overhauled and decorated by a professional company.
In this window draught proofing Notting Hill case study Mr M sent us an email to ask our help. His windows were extremely draughty and this made his home in Notting Hill very cold and uncomfortable. He requested a survey and quote so he could consider possible solutions to his problem.
In this replacement windows London case study Mr. N asked for a survey. He had several sash windows in his large Victorian home, of which each had a different type of problem that needed to be resolved. Some were neglected and just required repairs and painting, whilst others were in need of draught proofing.
In this replacement windows London case study Mrs. R phoned us. She had bought a house for her sons to live in while studying at University. The windows had not previously been well cared for so needed some work to get back to a good standard. The property was in a Conservation area so she needed to make sure that the proper regulations were adhered to.
In this window restoration Hertfordshire case study we were contacted by Mrs C. She had a grade 2 listed Georgian manor house in St. Albans that was in the process of being restored. Her windows concerned her as they showed signs of rot and decay. She needed a specialist company to repair and repaint her windows.
In this window restoration Kent case study Mrs S contacted us. The windows of her grade 2 star listed property in Ash were in dire need of repair and decoration. We proposed our restoration process and the result was that the client could repair, restore and retain her original windows.
Mr. R contacted us as his listed flat in Tunbridge Wells’ windows were painted shut. Our main surveyor visited Mr. R’s home and determined that the windows required a basic overhauling service.
Mrs. P contacted us as she lived in a very busy area of London and required special glass to reduce the noise levels in her home.
In this commercial window restoration case study a large construction firm contacted us. They required a specialist window restoration company to renovate 80 original timber sash windows in a Grade 1 listed property in Chelsea. The project was of a very complex nature as all the restoration works that would normally be completed in the controlled environment of our workshop, had to be done on a building site.
In this wooden windows replacement Kensington case study, we discuss a project we completed on behalf of our customer in Kensington.
In this wooden windows Chelsea case study, we discuss a project we completed on behalf of our customer in Chelsea.
In this wooden door restoration Sevenoaks case study we discuss a project we completed on behalf of our customer in Sevenoaks, Kent.
In this sash window restoration Tunbridge Wells case study we discuss a project we completed on behalf of our customer in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
In this sash window replacement Tunbridge Wells case study we discuss a project we completed on behalf of our customer in Tunbridge Wells.
In this sash window restoration Peckham case study we discuss a project we completed on behalf of our customer in Peckham.
In this sash window replacement Peckham case study we discuss a project we completed on behalf of our customer in Peckham.
In this wooden window painting Tunbridge Wells case study we discuss a project we completed on behalf of our commercial customer in Tunbridge Wells.