Introducing Fortis & Hooke
At Fortis & Hooke, nothing brings us more joy than renewing the beauty, functionality and historic appeal of period properties, through the repair and restoration of sash windows. With unmatched industry experience and an unparalleled dedication to the craft, you won’t find a team with more skill or passion.
From iconic Grade 1 listed properties, such as the College of Arms, Whistlers house and Crown estates to one room apartments, we’ve worked on a wide variety of projects. We always use the best materials possible and our dedication to quality is beyond compare.
Should I restore or replace my sash windows?
At Fortis & Hooke, we always try to restore and retain original period windows before considering replacements. It’s the best way to safeguard the unique characteristics and heritage of your property.
However, the benefits don’t end there. Restoring sash windows is better for the environment, well-seasoned timber in original windows typically lasts longer, and it even costs less. You can still opt for retro-glazing options, such as double glazing or noise reduction glass into your original sashes, if your property listing allows that.
But my sash windows are in a sorry state
No matter how dilapidated your sash windows might be, restoration could still be a possibility. Are they rattling or rotten? Is the woodwork distorted, with peeling paint and cracked frames? Do they let in too much sound or cause heating bills to skyrocket?
Don’t worry. We’ve seen it all, and there’s not much we can’t do. With Fortis & Hooke, your property will soon be snug, peaceful and pleasant again.
Why is your restoration process unique?
The idea of numerous workmen on site during the restoration process isn’t for everybody. That’s why we remove the sashes from the property and complete the bulk of the work in our workshop.
Disruption to your day-to-day activities is kept to an absolute minimum. Weather conditions aren’t a factor, helping to avoid delays. Plus, using a sealed off-site environment is cleaner, so you won’t have to worry about dirty boots and dust, accidents, and spills, or paint fumes.
Best of all, the restoration process at the workshop is task-focused too. We have expert carpenters, painters, and even locksmiths. Each one is a specialist is his or her field, so you get the best possible results at every step.
A Site Manager will be assigned to your project, ensuring everything runs smoothly. In total, the restoration process takes from 7 to 15 working days per batch, depending on the condition of the windows and glass choices to be installed. Here is a step by step breakdown of the process:
On the day of commencement, we remove the original sashes from the frames, repair the frames and ensure they are prepared. We do not strip off all the paint on the frames. We focus on stripping off superfluous paint and then repairing any rotten areas. During this process, we can replace sills or sides of frames with new hardwood sections to ensure the frames are fully repaired. Following this, we paint the frames. We once again use the Weather-shield system. Temporary fixed windows are installed into the gaps left by the sashes. These temporary windows are made with timber, are painted and have shatterproof panes of hardened highly heat-efficient plastic. They are also frosted for your privacy.
The sashes are taken to our workshop. Stripped to bare timber to ensure any underlying rot or disrepair issues can be seen and resolved as well as improving the look of the original moulding profiles.
Once stripped any repairs or partial replacements are done. Repairs are done with a 10-year warranty resin system or with hardwood splicing as required.
We install any new glass if necessary – this can be double glazing, acoustic glass, restoration glass or any other glass required as per customers preference. We suggest keeping the original glass as far as possible to ensure the windows look as characteristic as possible once restored.
A different industry secret we employ during our restoration process is to ensure all the major construction joints are opened and strengthened. This particular strengthening process provides that:
- The joints don’t crack in the future. These openings let in moisture and could lead to paint break down or rot.
- The joints don’t expand too excessively. If the joints expand too much, the movement of the sashes are affected.
Another unique process employed during our restoration process is to replace broken down putty with a special elastic putty which ensures the putty adheres to the glass and the timber. We use this putty as it:
- carries a 10-year warranty;
- it prevents moisture penetration into the lower sections of the sashes, which ensures your paint lasts longer and you avoid rot developing in these fragile areas.
Following all these preparatory works, we start painting the windows. The process includes finishing the windows with the Weather-shield system which ensures your windows’ paint finish lasts as long as possible.
Once all the windows are fully painted we leave them to dry. We then follow a checking process to ensure we’re happy with the results.
Once these windows are ready to return, we notify you, and we bring them back. Usually, this date would have been agreed with the customer before commencement.
During the final installation of the restored windows, we will also install a draught proofing system. This ensures that the entirety of the window (top, middle and lower edges) is draught proofed, so you can turn down the thermostat and start saving money on your energy bills.
Would the windows come back looking brand new?
We believe in retaining the character of original windows. We do not overly fill imperfections as this leads to weak points within the timber that diminish the longevity of our results. As we also hand paint the windows they will look well maintained, but we believe they should remain as characteristic as possible. Our belief is that our clientele prefers having original windows rather than new replicas.
What is the next step?
Every project starts with a comprehensive survey. We inspect every window one-by-one – looking at the size, condition, and possible issues – then provide a detailed quotation. You’ll have all information and prices in advance, with no hidden charges, helping you make an informed decision. Our affordable pricing is great value for money. Put us to the test and see for yourself.
If you have any question, get in touch today. Our sash window restoration service will solve your window issues.