Victorian Library receives perimeter sealing system and sash window repair by ventrolla

Key features: Commercial,  Sash Windows, Public Building, Renovation, Ventrolla Perimeter Sealing System (VPSS), Victorian.

Ventrolla lent a hand with the renovation at Gants Hill Library, Ilford, repairing 12 period timber windows.


Restoring Heritage Charm at Gants Hill Library, Ilford – Renovation of 12 Period Windows


Gants Hill Library, situated in Ilford, boasts a rich heritage and architectural significance. The library’s period windows, with their distinctive charm, had weathered the passage of time. The Ilford Council recognized the importance of preserving the historical integrity of the library while addressing the practical aspects of energy efficiency and maintenance. The decision was made to embark on a comprehensive renovation project for the 12 period windows.

The Challenge

The challenges faced by Gants Hill Library were twofold. First, the windows required careful restoration to retain their original character and historical value. Second, there was a need to improve the windows’ energy efficiency, ensuring that the library could benefit from modern comfort without compromising its heritage.

3 Month Project

The work formed part of a major refurbishment project overseen by Ongar based construction company, Bolt & Heeks Ltd. The project took three months to complete and involved extensive repairs to the building’s original Art Deco features, including a number of architectural glass roof lights and the parquet flooring.

Paula Garsdon, Marketing Manager for Bolt & Heeks, said:

“The library dates back to 1938 and it was important to carry out maintenance work in a way that was sympathetic to its origins. We liaised closely with the Borough’s Conservation Officer and carefully selected partners, including Ventrolla, who specialise in dealing with historic buildings.”

“The library has been refurbished throughout and this, together with the renovated windows, creates a comfortable and welcoming environment for visitors to enjoy”

Gants Hill is the oldest library in the London Borough of Redbridge. Now reopened to the public, it features new study areas, an additional eight computer terminals, wi-fi access in the reading room and new themed areas for children and teenagers.

Restoration Process

Professional Assessment

A team of skilled restoration experts conducted a thorough assessment of each window. This involved inspecting the condition of the wood, identifying any signs of decay or damage, and evaluating the state of the original hardware.

Wood Repair and Replacement

To address issues of wood rot and decay, a meticulous wood repair and replacement process was undertaken. Damaged sections of the window frames were carefully replaced with matching materials, preserving the overall aesthetic of the windows.

Hardware Refurbishment

The original hardware, including hinges and handles, was meticulously refurbished to ensure that it functioned seamlessly. Where necessary, replicated hardware in keeping with the period design was crafted to replace irreparable components.

Energy Efficiency Integration

Draughtproofing Solutions

Understanding the importance of energy efficiency, discreet draughtproofing solutions were integrated into the restoration process. Weatherstripping and careful sealing addressed gaps and cracks without compromising the external appearance of the windows.

Upgraded Glazing

To enhance energy efficiency further, the windows were upgraded with modern, energy-efficient glazing. This not only contributed to improved insulation but also reduced external noise, creating a more comfortable environment within the library.

Preservation of Historical Features

Customized Restoration

The restoration process was highly customized to ensure that each window retained its unique historical features. Craftsmen paid careful attention to details such as glazing bars, ensuring that the restored windows seamlessly blended with the original design.

Period-Authentic Finishes

Special care was taken to use finishes and paints that were period-authentic, preserving the colour palette and aesthetics of the windows in line with the library’s historical era.

Results and Impact

The restoration of the 12 period windows at Gants Hill Library yielded significant results:

  • Preserved Heritage: The library retained the authentic charm of its windows, contributing to the overall preservation of its architectural heritage.
  • Improved Energy Efficiency: Draughtproofing and upgraded glazing significantly enhanced the energy efficiency of the windows, reducing heat loss and making the library more comfortable for patrons.
  • Extended Lifespan: The restoration efforts not only addressed immediate concerns but also extended the lifespan of the windows, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.


The renovation of the 12 period windows at Gants Hill Library in Ilford stands as a testament to the successful integration of heritage preservation and modern functionality. By carefully balancing restoration with energy efficiency upgrades, the library now enjoys windows that not only tell a story of the past but also contribute to a sustainable and comfortable future. This case study showcases the possibilities of marrying tradition with innovation for the benefit of historical landmarks and their communities.


Ventrolla offers a bespoke renovation service for timber sliding sash and casement windows as well as timber doors. Its unique Perimeter Sealing System significantly improves the window’s performance and energy efficiency.

The company’s central office is in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, with regional Ventrolla offices located throughout the UK and Ireland.

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