In recent weeks I have been visiting a seriously senior aunt. She still lives in the house she and my uncle bought from new in 1959. A standard built estate house that at that time was on what was supposed to be the outer edge of the town plan as it backed on to what was promised to be green belt land. Well as we know, that has gone out of the window. Aunt moans about how built up it all is these days, and in fact the green belt has disappeared entirely – the ‘boundary’ is some 3 miles away around the edge of the local golf course. Until 20 yearso ago, Aunt still had the same metal framed single glazed french doors out to the garden. No one had been able to induce uncle to get these changed for modern double glazed but eventually common sense prevailed. She now needs those replacing. So much easier to get that fixed this time around.
Oh how we need that much promised summer sun to arrive a soon as possible! This grim damp, dank weather has been hanging around literally since October, very few calm, balmy days. What we all need is sunlight and more especially my family need that burst of beneficial energy you get when you feel cold and damp for weeks at a time. In the average house you will have one pair of patio doors, either off the kitchen or sitting area, from where you stroll out into the extensive garden. The beauty of having patio doors is that the garden generally looks like it’s coming back into the room you’re about to leave. The new designs are safer with triple glass, they have slightly less frame around them but it’s very sturdy all the same. New patio doors with needed all round now that the garden has been entirely revamped and made to look absolutely fantastic!
I have some good friends who have a gorgeous little house – once a tiny cottage but since extended to absorb and include the neighbour. To this was then added a pretty little sun room and the place is welcoming and always sunny. Even on the coldest, wettest day, it always remains in memory as being sunny! Being able to sit in that sun room and watch the hundreds of birds flock to the little tree in the lawn – it is mind boggling just how many birds of all varieties dine at this most luxurious of natural picking posts. The sun room itself is now several years old, quite possibly over 25 years and of course, there have been several window pane replacements along the way – not a cheap exercise, replacing one double glazed panel without damaging the framework is a specialised business. Best left to professionals who really know their products and how to maximise their benefits.
With the variations in our weather patterns becoming so obvious, it is a matter of great importance that when we look at our windows and doors, we have in mind this factor and future proof our houses. We don’t know how long our gas supplies are going to be, having squandered our own north sea oil reserves and frittered them away in an alarmingly short period of time from the mid 1970s. We have to import gas now and probably the coal that we used to produce but now have no working pits. It does seem terrifying that we have managed to use up so much natural resource and be well on the way to wrecking this planet in just 170 years – man’s unsatiable quest for power! So getting the very best fuel efficient windows, doors, patios etc. will become even more essential in a very short time.
I was entertaining an old work colleage the other day and he showed me pictures of a fantastic new sun room that his son was having installed on his house. It is totally glass, all the way round, there appears to be no brickwork, no heavy framework holding the windows or doors in. In fact, the doors all slide behind one another – not even bifold. I was intrigued as I have never seen anything like that, apart from in those mad grand design programmes where you see the home owner’s crazy plans come up on cgi and other mediums! The even more interesting part of this tale was the fact the lad and his pals were travelling to the continent to collect this glass castle and bring it back in a 7 tonne lorry. I don’t recall why they didn’t have it delivered in the normal way, but I’m sure finances came in to it somewhere.
Chrismas approaches rapidly. Once the summer holidays have gone, everyone back to school or university, college, whatever, the year then seems to take a run at reaching the end – much quicker than anyone is ready for! The harvest festivals of our childhood are just a small token affair now at the local school – kiddies bring in the requested donation. Always a tin or a packet of something now, not the abudnant fruit and veg or sheath of corn from the farm. But the pensioners in the local village look forward to their box each year and a chance to chat to the gaggle of kiddies on the door step!
This is where I have noticed the big changes – patio doors, windows and front doors are now so much more practical, well fitting and warm. The old windows frames that leaked are replaced with upvc. Triple glazing ensures quiet and warmth. What’s not to like?
Halloween has literally just flown by – this year not so much fuss seems to have been made of it. Maybe some families have realised there is no significance in this country with this commercially driven bit of froth. The last couple of years the shops have been full from August with dressing up outfits for little ones, bizarre combinations of bright ghoulish stuff and of course the obligatory pumpkin. It being wholly American, no one over here questions the relevance. Whereas bonfire night and the Guy Fawkes affair does have strong relevance. Obviously these days it probably should not be good to cheer when bonfire nigh seems to still be relevant in families. After all this was a dreadful terrorist activity and good that the conspiritors were found!
My lovely efficient triple glaed windows and patio doors look good and work very well at keeping as much of the firework noise out.
Ah October. My most favourite time of the year always brings a feeling of warmth and comfort when I get hoe from a long country walk. The heating needs to be on, true, but I have that on low all day and it keeps the warmth sufficient until I wish to raise things in the evening. I have fairly large windows, two very big patio doors – no I have no idea why the developers though we needed two but they have their uses. In a previous property we also had a huge patio door – it went right across the back of the sitting room with not much wall left to hold the framework in. It wasn’t picked up as a problem when we sought a mortgage, but our buyer met great resistance and was told ours was illegal. Wooh, if only the owner at that time had engaged a proper window expert. \much time and anguish would have been gone.
We are a small town in what I guess is the west of the east midlands. Mostly the housing is formed of row upon row of victorian and edwardian terraced villas. They are bigger than the average terraced starter home. This was a fairly affluent town from the middle of the 1820s and this is definiely reflected in the double bay fronts proudly displaying the differing tastes in glaing and window dressing. I have no issue with taking out a woodwn sash window to replace it with an efficient triple glazed safety version of the same – i.e. keeping the same design but just simply updating and improving. What I loath is to see sash cord sliding windows replaced with cheap plain chunky upvc framed windows with no design concept. My greater loathing though, and it is a biggie. The neo gorgian white ‘lead pane’ alternative. Patio door have thus far not been desicrated that badly yet!
I have watched with interest a cottage ina nearby village. Over the years this cottage has been in any one of three separate counties – the borders of each inter mingle and have been changed by various statutes. The construction however is unmistakenly of a particular mellow stone found in one part of the east of England. It does seem rather a long way from the centre of this stone working area. The rest of this beautiful place is of course a massive thatched roof. Tiny little windows poke out from this enormous growth – lovely little lead paned panels which you can see are set in huge stone casements. Over the hedge used to be a small sun room – rather an eyesore. Not now though. The new ownders have had experts in to very carefully select beautiful, efficient replacement windows, doors and sunroom to reflect the age of the property and not to jar the senses wih ghastly white upvc. A most sensitve upgrade indeed