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Ventrolla has renovated the windows of a historic family home in the heart of the Lake District, whilst it undergoes intensive care to restore its period features.
Wraysdale House in Coniston is being completely refurbished by its owner, Dr Simon Fisher, who plans to have the 19th-century building restored to its former glory.
He instructed Ventrolla Lancashire to oversee repairs to the 17 sash windows at the three-storey property, many of which are rotten, broken or screwed shut.
Nestled in the picturesque beauty of the Lake District, a 19th-century home and a local GP surgery stood as historical landmarks, each adorned with 17 traditional sash windows. The ageing windows, witness to decades of changing seasons, required meticulous restoration to retain their charm and functionality. The restoration project aimed not only at preserving architectural heritage but also at enhancing the energy efficiency of these significant structures.
Working on both a residential property and a medical facility presented a unique set of challenges. The need for precision, adherence to heritage guidelines, and minimal disruption to daily operations at the GP surgery required a carefully orchestrated restoration plan.
Balancing the preservation of historic features with the integration of modern comfort and energy efficiency posed a delicate challenge. The sash windows, characterized by their vertical sliding design, intricate glazing bars, and distinctive hardware, needed a comprehensive restoration strategy.
An in-depth inspection was conducted on all 17 windows across both properties. The restoration team collaborated closely with the homeowners and the GP surgery management to understand their restoration goals. A customized plan was crafted to address specific issues unique to each window while ensuring uniformity in the overall restoration approach.
The wooden frames of the sash windows, bearing the signs of weathering and decay, underwent targeted repairs. Skilled craftsmen meticulously repaired damaged sections and, where necessary, replaced components with matching wood to restore structural integrity.
Preserving the original charm of the windows required detailed hardware restoration. The sash weights, pulleys, and other components were carefully refurbished or replaced with replicas to ensure that the windows retained their historical authenticity.
A critical aspect of the restoration was the integration of discreet draughtproofing solutions. Weatherstripping and seals were applied to address gaps and improve energy efficiency without compromising the exterior appearance of the windows.
Coordinating restoration activities at a functioning GP surgery demanded careful planning. Work schedules were devised to minimize disruption during operational hours, and specific measures were implemented to ensure patient comfort and privacy throughout the process.
Given the heritage significance of the properties, the restoration team collaborated closely with local heritage authorities. This involved obtaining necessary approvals and ensuring that the restoration adhered to conservation guidelines while meeting the energy efficiency objectives.
The restoration of 17 sash windows across the Lake District properties yielded impactful results:
Dr Fisher said:
“The building hasn’t had any repair work done for at least 20 years and the windows are in a particularly bad state. We estimate that seven need replacing completely, while the others can be renovated to make them look smart and function properly.”
“It’s a major project but things are progressing well. I’m especially pleased with the standard of work from Ventrolla and the professionalism of their team while we remain living on site.”
“Ventrolla came recommended to me by a friend and based on the results achieved so far I’d have no hesitation in doing the same myself.”
As well as living accommodation, Wraysdale House is also home to the village surgery where Dr Fisher is the resident GP, having relocated to the Lakes from Newcastle with his wife in May 2008.
The traditional stone property has previously served as offices for a local slate quarry business and a tailor’s shop.
The Coniston area of the Lake District is home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the whole of Cumbria, including the Coniston Fells and Coniston Water.
The restoration of 17 sash windows in a 19th-century home and a local GP surgery in the Lake District exemplifies the successful marriage of heritage preservation and modern functionality. This case study highlights the importance of tailored restoration plans, collaboration with heritage authorities, and thoughtful coordination to breathe new life into architectural treasures while respecting their historical significance. The refurbished windows stand as a testament to the commitment to preserving the past for the enjoyment and well-being of present and future generations.
Ventrolla offers a bespoke renovation service for timber sliding sash and casement windows as well as timber doors. The company’s central office is in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, with regional Ventrolla offices located throughout the UK.