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Front Door Restoration in Rochester – Including Glass Re-leading

Original features are at the very heart of a heritage property. Unfortunately, many property owners rush to replace period features when age starts to take its toll. At Fortis & Hooke, we think there is a better way.

Fortis & Hooke Case Study

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.


Upon being summoned to the client’s homestead in the historic city of Rochester, our team of experts wasted no time in identifying the problem. Its front door, imposing and impressive as it was, was crying out for a comprehensive makeover – and quickly. The paintwork was chipped and fading, the wooden panels not as resilient as they once were, the locks functional without being fearsome.

What’s more, the centrepiece of the whole door, a beautifully ornate stained-glass window, was in a dire state of disrepair. The glass itself was bowed through the ravages of time, while its leading had become damaged and its panels had lost their lustre. Clearly, our trademark Longaevitas technique was what the doctor ordered for this stately but stricken front door.

Front Door Restoration in Rochester – Including Glass Re-leading


Front Door Restoration in Rochester – Including Glass Re-leading

With any project involving this kind of attention, our first action is always to carefully remove the door from its hinges and replace it with a temporary wooden alternative. We follow this step religiously, not only because it affords us the space and time we need to undertake a professional restoration job, but also because it incurs minimal disruption to the homeowner’s daily routine in the interim.

Once the door was safe and sound back in our workshop, we set to work bringing it back to its former glory. First, we removed the existing glass panels, stripped away the old paint work and strengthened the door’s structural integrity. After completely re-leading the stained-glass window, installing new locks, repositioning the letterbox and treating the whole door to a fresh coat of paint, it was ready to be put back in its rightful place.


Having performed a comprehensive salvage and rescue job, Fortis & Hooke were able to take a tired and traumatised front door and turn it into the shining centrepiece of its household that it formerly was. As well as boosting its security features through enhancing the strength of its panels and installing two new locks, we gave it a complete cosmetic makeover to match pizazz with performance.

The reconfiguration of the letterbox made it more visually appealing and practically convenient for the postman, while the much-needed maintenance on the stained-glass panels injected some joie de vivre back into the jaded window. Meanwhile, the stunning shade of white paint chosen by the client for both the interior and exterior gave the whole ensemble a new lease of life that simply cannot be replicated in a new door.

Front Door Restoration in Rochester – Including Glass Re-leading
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