Renovating their original Edwardian timber sash windows was a priority for the owners of a Listed Pitlochry B&B. The only slight problem; the house has a lot of windows!
Graeme Fish and his partner Susanne Wallner bought the listed Torrdarach House six years ago and began renovating it with a keen focus on retaining heritage and original detail.
“I loved the windows on the property but on closer inspection there were several problems. Firstly, the windows had been painted over and over, never meeting any sandpaper along the way. Many of the windows were sealed causing a potential fire hazard to us and our guests and on the outside of the building, the sills at the top of the windows were pointing inwards which allowed all the rainwater to go into the lintels.” says Graeme.
“At first, I took a piece of sandpaper to one of the windows myself and was pleased with what was underneath. A local roofer told me to contact Ventrolla for advice. They went into every detail of what could be achieved and showed me examples of windows that had gone from battered to beautiful following restoration.”
The large number of windows on the property meant Graeme chose to stagger the work over several years. Ventrolla started renovating Torrdarach House’s windows in 2013, completing two windows every November when the B&B was closed to guests.
Susanne added: “In 2019, we have completed the restoration of all of the windows. The results are incredible. Aesthetically, we couldn’t be happier and the improvements in the functionality of the windows has made them like new – I can open them easily with just one finger.”
“The biggest difference we have noticed is thanks to the draught‐proofing Ventrolla carried out as part of the work. All the windows were previously very draughty and with our Highland location, the rooms could get very cold. The guest lounge has a big bay window and previously I would put the two radiators on all day and light the open fire at 4pm, and by 9pm the room would still only be 12.5 degrees. Now the temperature is normal – well normal for an old Scottish house in winter.”
Traditionally, sash windows require a 3mm gap around the sash for functionality but inevitably this gap allows in draughts, dust and noise, causes annoying rattles and leads to loss of heat. Once installed, the Ventrolla draught proofing system seals this gap and cures the various problems without limiting the window’s movement in any way.
“We couldn’t be more grateful for the wonderful service we have received from Ventrolla, not only with the results of the windows but also the care and attention to detail Keith demonstrated. He helped us to locate missing hardware at local salvage yards and the new beading that has been applied is so in keeping you wouldn’t know it’s new. I’m confident the windows now have another 100 years in them – I will sand and paint them when required though!”
Torrdarach (meaning Hill of the Oak) House was initially built in 1901 for William Briggs, founder of William Briggs & Sons Ltd, pioneers of fuel oil and a Bitumen roof system. The house was built as a summer house and designed to be cool even in the Highlands of Scotland. The house is a beautiful shade of pink and its distinctive colour is part of its listed status.