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Part 14 – Windows – Written by Gary King

The original windows in our property weren’t actually that bad. The main problem was that they were wooden framed, single paned (where glass was still fitted) and in some cases very much in need of some loving care and attention.

With this in mind we decided the best thing to do was to replace them throughout. The next question was whether to use wood or plastic. We made rough measurements and gave these to our local branch at Colwick in Nottingham.

They came back to us with two quotes – one for wood and one for uPVC. Both were very reasonable, with the wooden option being about 30% more expensive than the plastic. Which to choose?


Our property was built in 1907 by a farmer. He built a terrace of three so that he could house his sons in local convenience and no doubt keep his eye on them. Our neighbours have already had their windows replaced and they have all used white uPVC.

That made the decision for us based on the fact that it didn’t make a huge lot of sense to go against the grain so to speak (and the extra expense) of making our house different to the adjoining ones.

After that it was plain sailing. We paid £150 for a surveyor from Astraseal to come and measure up, the alternative being we did it ourselves and if the windows didn’t fit then it was our own fault. Once we signed off the designs we placed the order and about the three weeks later our delivery arrived.

I paid a local fitter to install them and they went in like a dream. It was at this point our ruinous shell started to feel more like a proper house. For one it was now properly sealed from the elements, and the double glazed units blocked out noise from the road outside.

Externally it was beginning to look more like a real dwelling as well. With the scaffold dropped and sun reflecting off the brand new panes of glass I could just about imagine what it would be like to actually live here. I certainly wasn’t thinking that three months before.