Windows (18)95

Published Categorised as Life in General No Comments on Windows (18)95


I live in an area where there are lots of big old Victori­an houses and hotels that were carved up into flats in the past, and subsequently neglected by land­lords for years and years.

The build­ing I live in was built in the 1870s, and still has the origin­al wooden windows. Well-looked after origin­al examples are highly prized in the UK. Unfor­tu­nately mine were not well looked after by owners in the past twenty years or so (I bought this flat in 2019 after inher­it­ing some money). Conser­va­tion rules thank­fully stop them from being replaced by plastic ones, and they are completely repair­able, but it’s a special­ist profes­sion­al job involving scaf­fold­ing, and I just don’t have the money at the moment. All of the paint inside is flakey, old and gross; some of the windows are painted shut from the outside (and are too high up to chip open myself from the outside as the down­stairs neigh­bours had to do); and some of the wooden bars and slid­ing mech­an­isms need repair­ing.

It also makes clean­ing very diffi­cult- paint falls off when you clean the frames, dirt accu­mu­lates on the outside of windows in spots you can’t get to (I’m on the second floor in UK terms, and third in US), it’s too high to use a ladder, and I’m loathe to get a window clean­er with one of those jet spray brushes to come round in case it makes more of the dodgy paint come off.

You can, however see the sea through the right hand pane (one of the ones that is painted shut and has a broken vent­il­a­tion fan inser­ted into the glass).

This is one of the worst cases- but at least this window opens. No matter how much you try to clean this paint­work, it will never, ever look clean. The whole thing needs strip­ping down, having the wood­work and cords repaired, repainted, and new draught-proof­ing fitted. However the pandem­ic, and my result­ing loss of work and income, has made fixing the windows some­thing that has had to be put off. Being home all the time and seeing how manky they are every day has certainly made me dream of getting them fixed.

A haven for spiders and dust and muck, that both­ers me every time I have to touch it.

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