Replace, Repair or Restore? The delicate balance when working in conservation areas.

A few weeks ago we were asked to work on a period window restoration for an old rectory in a conservation area. The windows in question were covered with several decades of paint, plaster and repairs. This south-facing window framed a view of a garden full of wildlife, seeing the birds, bees and squirrels busy in the garden; we knew that we had to provide a sympathetic restoration and avoid prolonged use of noisy power-tools.

When you start peeling back the paint you discover the true extent of the restoration job. The casements were 50% rotten and the frame itself had been previously partially restored using Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris). This had some beautiful ray sections in the grain and the client agreed that a bare wood restoration was in order. We sourced some locally grown and milled Scots Pine for the job and handmade replacement stiles and rails where required. The window was stripped, sanded and re-assembled with the original Victorian glass and restored brass window furniture along with some modern weather strips to reduce drafts and noise. 

Jim Champion / Scots pine tree between Wilverley Plain and Holm Hill, New Forest

(image source: Jim Champion / Scots pine tree between Wilverley Plain and Holm Hill, New Forest)

The natural beauty of the timber beginning to show through:

Scots pine Victorian window restoration

AEnhanced by a natural oiled finish on the inside:Casement window restoration conservation area

The window restoration was completed on-site primarily using vintage hand-tools and lots of elbow grease.