Do Up Diary #65: Replacing An Edwardian Oriel Window With A Contemporary New Model

Replacing an existing oriel window

Yep, I know, it’s been a while since a Do Up Diary post! Since finishing the major building works and getting water tight in Spring, Mr M and I have been working hard to earn pennies to carry on at Moregeous Mansions. It’s been tough living like this but as everyone keeps saying “it’ll be worth it in the end”! The only major external things which still need doing are the two huge bays (circa £15k excluding fitting – ouch) and moving all the original incoming water pipes and drainage, but we should be able to carry on with the inside stuff soon – a new boiler to run rads and underfloor heating, the re-wire and then all the plastering / flooring before bathrooms and a kitchen finally go in. I feel like we’re about 1/2 way up the mountain now, the summit is in site but still a fair distance away.

In the meantime, smaller jobs are getting done in between ‘normal’ work, things that don’t cost a lot and we can mostly do ourselves without specialist help or big purchases. Like….. the oriel window to the old living room above. An oriel window is a type of bay, projecting from a main wall but not reaching the ground, and designed to catch lots of light from different angles. More often to be found on upper floors, occasionally they’re at ground floor level and that’s the type we have. Although a really pretty little window, the openers were long since painted shut, the draughty single glazed panes cracked and the original timber rotten.

Oriel 3

I decided that rather than try to restore what was there, a near on impossible task, I’d have a new timber replacement made, one more in keeping with the look of the bi-folds. It’s been sitting patiently gathering dust waiting to be installed for a few months, so it was brilliant to get it in this week.
First the old window was removed ready. All the bits looked very sad in the bucket and I felt a tinge of guilt at not restoring it… which lasted about 5 seconds until the fab new frame was dusted down.
Replacing an existing oriel window
Replacing an existing oriel windowReplacing an existing oriel windowEven die-hard restorers would have to admit the new one looks fab! It suits the aesthetic of the bi-folds, lets more light in the room on a dark elevation, will be way warmer with double glazing but is still a bit quirky with the original roof and base.
There are some issues to counter with gaps. The original window had clearly been built in situ and the new one made off-site means it’s not exactly a copy, but there’s nothing which isn’t do-able.
I love it!
The timber window is painted in Railings but I can’t decide whether to paint the roof and under frame in dark grey or off white – what do you think?
Replacing an existing oriel window
And, finally, guess who’d inspected it from the inside within about ten minutes…..IMG_1727

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