Restoring an old cottage...

Tag: windows

Bathroom Walls & Windowsills

A few weeks ago, we had the plasterers in to lime plaster the bathroom walls. They also offered to fit our oak windowsills as part of the service, so we agreed.

Wish we hadn’t, mind…

The plasterers did a beautiful job of the plastering, and we’re really pleased.

We wanted curved window returns, and smooth as possible everywhere else (given that it’s lime and a very old house, we weren’t expecting or wanting perfectly modern smooth).

Isn’t it beautiful?

Beautiful plastering gloriousness

The windowsills, though, were another matter.

Honestly, I don’t know what goes through people’s heads sometimes — what they think is acceptable, and what they think their clients will think is acceptable.

We bought a great big chunk of green oak from Ludlow Salvage, which is gorgeous, and our plan was to cut it to size and fit it in the windows.

So we explained what we wanted to the plasterers, had a chat, and they said no problem. Off they went.

I checked in every now and then cos I work in the garden, but didn’t want to be an annoying hovering client.

Should’ve hovered.

Because instead of doing what we would have done — scribed the edges of the unplastered window returns to get a snug fit before the plastering was done — the workdude guessed.

We assume he guessed, anyway, because the fit wasn’t anything like snug on one window, and he just flat out cut out a big square chunk for the other window.

And the plasterers didn’t plaster over them to cover the gaps.


And on the other one, they filled the hole with plaster. Good lord.


Massive eye roll all round.

Sloppy AF.

Lime plastering is enormously expensive, so we did not find this amusing, especially given we absolutely could have done a better, neater job of this ourselves.

After much arguing and withholding of balances, they eventually came around and did an appalling job of “fixing” it.

They tried to argue that the wood was “inadequate”, whatever the hell that meant. At this point, I got Joe to do the talking because the usual Men Talking Down To Women bullshit happened and honestly it’s exhausting and I had a lot of sharp objects to hand, so I couldn’t be bothered.

Whereupon we did some more arguing and withholding of balances, and generally grumbled about standards and wasted time.

And eventually they did an acceptable fix. It’s not ideal, and we’re still pretty annoyed, but at this point it was dimishing returns.

I know most people won’t notice, but I do, and it’s like a gnat bite. Unimportant but irritating.

Still, it looks flipping gorgeous now because we sanded the sills until all the watermarks and saw marks were gone, and gave it several coats of Osmo oil, and now they glow in the sunlight.

See the little piece in the left hand corner they cut and glued in? YES SO CAN I EVERY DAY

Sloppy workmanship aside, we’re deeply happy with this room so far!

We’ve painted the walls and ceiling in Flutterby chalk paint by Earthborn, and it looks gorgeous.

Surprise Windows

You wouldn’t think a person would forget they’d ordered—and paid the deposit for—very expensive oak windows, would you?

Well, we did.

Back at the end of June, I got a text message to say:

“I’ll be delivering your windows tomorrow afternoon—will you be in?”

“Um—what windows?” said we.

A little searching of memories and emails revealed the bathroom window order. And lo! the bathroom was on track again.

Side note: our deadline for having the new bathroom done is Christmas 2021. At which point I shall climb into a hot bath and stay there until spring.

So… yeah.

The Stone Room—soon to be the Grand Bathroom—now has beautiful new windows that actually close. And open.

It doesn’t have a ceiling, floor, or respectable walls, but who needs those things anyway?

Here’s what the windows looked like before. They were cheap, ugly, and single-glazed. The little one on the side of the house was so rotted it wouldn’t even close anymore, so this winter should be considerably less draughty…

View of old single-glazed window with platform on roof below

This is the old window facing the back garden

The side window in the stone wall

Side window was so rotted it wouldn’t close

3/4 view of exterior walls showing old windows

The old windows looking shabby

And from the inside, they didn’t let in much light, making a large room rather dingy and misery-bear:

View of the original window from inside the Stone Room

This tiny window didn’t let in much light

As you can see, we decided to enlarge the window opening as much as we could, bearing in mind the roofline below this window. It’s made a big difference.

Enlarged window opening complete with rubble on roof

A great big ‘ole

Here’s the rather alarming state of affairs we found when we pulled the old windows out and revealed the frameworks:

Blank window opening with wall held up by wood brace

Exciting times!

We discovered, on removing the old window, that the rotten old frame was structural. Standard! So Ken and Phil sourced a new lintel for us and fitted it, thus removing the risk of the entire wall collapsing on us in the bath. Hurrah!

And here are the new windows, looking rather gorgeous… and letting in much more light!

View of the new windows from the inside, letting in much more light

More light!

And the little side window is much more sturdy now:

Small window with new lintel above

Looking much sturdier

We still can’t do much in the bathroom because of the bats, but in August we are going to crack on with removing the floor and putting new extra-strength joists in, so it’ll support a bathtub.

Then in September, we can put in a new ceiling, make sure the bats are happy, and crack on with a proper bathroom.


© 2024 Project Dingle

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑