Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Glazing Over

The title of this blog refers of course to you, dear reader, who must be glazing over at the very thought of yet again hearing about our casement windows.  They left us last year and are yet to return, having been away for something like nine months.  And, no, this isn't due to the fact that our windows are being crafted to the standard of those that grace Sainte-Chapelle in France.  It means that they got left in a corner of the workroom, we suspect, and forgotten.  We have had an 'exchange' with the company in question and are now negotiating a date for their return home.  Of course, if the windows are wonderful, then all will be forgiven and forgotten.

Sainte-Chappelle Windows and NOT the Pantry Windows - Just in Case of Confusion!

Needless to say, having waited all this time, before the windows can actually be refitted, we have discovered that some work needs to be done.  Firstly, to one of the windows in what we call the 'Long Room' - actually two rooms, which are on the top floor.  Secondly, we need to repaint the outside of the windows on the gin terrace.

You can get to the window on the top floor by going by ladder to the flat roof above my mum's downstairs loo and then going up another ladder so that you are standing on the flat roof above the bathroom.  We went up this morning to inspect our trusty builder's work in progress.

The 'Long Room' Window Undergoing Repair
And Another Bit of Roof in Need of Repair

I do love our roof tiles.  Here's a picture just of them in close up.  But I worry greatly at the thought that they might ever need to be replaced or repaired.  Think of the cost!

Lovely Old Roof Tiles

S has spent the past week preparing the windows and has done a pretty good job, if I say so myself.  We are particularly pleased that the lintels are in such good condition and no, we won't be painting them.  However, you might note that the pointing above the lintel is terrible so we intend to scrape it out and have our first go at re-pointing under the supervision of our trusty builder.

This is the middle of the three lower windows.  The frame is not bad, although the sill is not great, as you can see from the second photo.  Again, very happy with the lintel.  (Easily pleased nowadays!)  I should point out that the glass that you see here is temporary and sprayed over because this is my mum's downstairs loo!

The sill of the pantry window has had it and will be replaced.  You don't have to be an expert to work this out, as you will see from the following photographs.

However, the rest of the window seems to be in pretty good nick.  Thankfully.

It was a glorious day on Sunday.  Cold but spring-like with a wonderful blue sky.  I took some pictures of the chimneys while we were up on the roof.  It is very sheltered on the flat roofs as they are in the middle of the u-shape of the house, sheltered on three sides and facing south.  It made us contemplate whether, after all this trouble, we should change the window in the long room to a door and have a roof terrace up there.  However, it's not an immediate priority...

There are some big holes in the walls, which become more apparent from up high.  I dread to think what is getting into them, although I have seen birds flying in and out on the west-side and goodness knows where the squirrels go when they head up the front of the house to the third floor.  All very worrying.  Best not to come up here really!

However, as well as excellent chimney views, there were also good views of the plaque (or datestone) and the three corbels.  All of which are still in need of restoration.  I've read somewhere that the date is 1581 and the initials 'OC', the vicar at that time.  But now can't seem to find my source for that. And is the sign a fish as in the Christian symbol?  More information on this to follow, I think.  Note that you can make out the faces on two of the corbels.

But back to the windows.  How could we get distracted by roof views!  They are now primed and awaiting a decision from our Conservation Officer about what colour we can use.  We are hoping to paint them a Cotswold green or cream.  I am hoping that brilliant white will be unacceptable, given the age of the property.  However, I have to admit that I quite like this battleship grey.

They look better already, don't you think?

When I'd finished painting, S looked at the instructions.  'Do not paint at temperatures less that 8C', it said.  Oh.