Do my French windows need restoring?
With authentic French windows, your home benefits from a number of plus points. Like French doors, they open wide with two separates sashes. And unlike other windows, they have no central post holding the two sashes together. This design gives you great ventilation, an unobstructed view and of course a timelessly stylish appearance.
But like all domestic fixtures, time can take its toll on wooden French windows. Whether it’s a draught that won’t go away, a nasty growth of wood decay or just their exhausted appearance, you don’t have to replace them. Your wooden windows already have a far longer life span than uPVC alternatives, and – while uPVC windows would have to be replaced – a restoration can give original wooden French windows a completely new lease of life.
Is flaking paint an issue?
To many, flaking paint only seems like a small problem, which is probably why a lot of property owners ignore it. On its own, it is only a minor issue and can be treated easily. But if it’s left untreated, flaking paint can develop into something more serious. Original French windows are built with strong, durable hardwood, but they still require weatherproofing with paint to protect them from the elements.
When your paint begins to flake, it is essentially a break in the protection. Water from rain or even just humidity in the air can get through broken paint and into the timber. From there it can lead to swelling and eventually decay as moisture gets deeper into the wood. To avoid these problems, you need to ensure your windows are properly protected.
French windows don’t need repainting that often. A professional repainting will ensure your windows are protected far into the future. The problem can persist, however, if the job is done by decorative or DIY painters. Windows need to be fully stripped of old paint and the timber reconditioned before applying the new coat with precision.
Is wood decay repairable?
If your French windows have been left open to the harsh weather – either through cracks in the wood, insufficient paint or broken sealing – chances are they will have developed wood decay. If moisture gets into the wood, it causes the fibres to expand and contract, eventually creating pores within the wood. This is where wood decay cultivates.
Once it is in, decay can spread through the wood’s internal structure. The longer you leave it, the worse it gets. Eventually, you end up with wood that is shrunk, discoloured and crumbling away in places. But it isn’t a lost cause. Because original French windows are made from several wooden panels – rather than difficult to repair uPVC frames – the problem can be isolated.
Replacing one or two problem areas with solid hardwood panels will fix the problem much quicker and much more cost-efficiently than a full replacement. With a thorough restoration, your windows will then be fully refurbished to ensure the problem doesn’t reoccur. When initially inspecting your windows, an expert surveyor won’t just identify the problem. They will determine what has caused the problem, providing you with a long-term solution rather than a quick fix.
How can I stop a draught from my French windows?
Doors and windows are the most common cause of draughts in homes. It isn’t one specific type of window or door, though. French windows – like any window type – may let in a draught if they haven’t been renovated appropriately. Broken putty, wood decay, and wood shrinkage can all lead to windows becoming draughty. And these are all problems that develop over time without restoration.
A French window restoration service not only repairs these different issues, but it also ensures your windows are renovated with modern draught proofing. That’s right – you don’t have to lose heritage to benefit from modern comforts. Highly skilled carpenters and glazers can ensure French windows are draught proofed without damaging the original timber frame.
My French windows don’t open properly
There are a number of issues that can lead to difficulty opening French windows. The expansion of wood fibres from moisture may have caused the wooden frames to swell. This makes the two sashes jam together when closed and often stops them closing fully after forcing them open.
Similar problems occur as a result of damage to hinges or locks. Hinges without sufficient treatment can become affected by rust or even nearby wood decay. They no longer operate properly, which results in non-functional windows. Locks, on the other hand, may become rusted or even be obstructed.
These aren’t just quirks you have to accept, though. Getting French windows restored is a simple solution to little annoyances as well as more developed problems. By repairing the timber, replacing any faulty hinges or handles and re-treating the wood and metal, a thorough restoration will ensure your windows have a long-lasting quality.
When should I replace my windows?
There are some cases where window replacement is the only option. The problem is that it is hugely over-subscribed. Unless a window is completely rotten, it is usually salvageable. Restoration not only means retaining heritage, style, and quality, it will also save you money.
While there is no set cost for restoration, it will always be cheaper than a full replacement. Restoration costs vary by window size, age, and condition, but you don’t have to worry about paying more than you need to. A professional survey will include full details of the problems and how to solve them, leaving you to make an informed decision without obligation or pressure.
Short term, restoration is easier on your pocket because it will cost you less than a full replacement. But also, in the long run, you are avoiding low-standard replacements that will need to be replaced again and again. A trusted surveyor from Fortis & Hooke will only recommend replacement if it’s completely necessary.
How can Fortis & Hooke help?
At Fortis & Hooke, we don’t replace windows on a whim. We’re committed to retaining heritage and class in your windows. Our methods – developed, tried and tested over years of experience – provide a cost-effective and more environmentally friendly alternative to replacements.
Fortis & Hooke’s expert surveyors deliver free surveys that will determine the problem with your French windows – no matter how big or small – and clearly outline a detailed solution. Offering repair, restoration, and draught-proofing, our expert team of carpenters and glazers can ensure your French windows are not only fully functional but will work just as well for years to come.
What are the advantages of Fortis & Hooke?
Fortis & Hooke have a passion for restoring beautiful, original wooden windows and doors. We don’t rush the process and leave windows requiring further restoration a few years later. Instead, we remove windows from your property and take them to our specialist workshop. It’s here that we complete all the necessary work on your French windows. And we do it with expert care.
All stripping and painting are done by hand, ensuring the timber, glass and other features aren’t damaged in the process. By taking the windows out of your property, we remove any mess, noise, and inconvenience from your daily life. This procedure also optimises the quality of the restoration, with all work carried out in a suitable environment, away from any potential damage.