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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