Saturday, 16 January 2016

One hundred years of one house in Chorlton part 61 ............ replacing the old and tired

The continuing story of the house Joe and Mary Ann Scott lived in for over 50 years and the families that have lived here since.*

Old leaky and tired
I hope Joe and Mary Ann would approve of the project to replace our old and tired set of windows which after a century are showing their age.

Some are better than others and a bit like those generations of aristocratic families we are embarked on a programme of renewal which could stretch into the future.

Ironically the window that prompted the project was relatively new having been installed just over 40 years ago.

It was built by John who in his zeal to stamp a modern feel on the house had ripped out a heap of period features including fireplaces and picture rails.

Now in the case of the window I suspect 40 years was pretty much all we could hope for.  He wasn’t a carpenter or a builder and as far as I know it was his first attempt.

Looking more than their 42 years
If I am being generous the window faces south and takes the full force of the bad weather and in fact lasted longer than its companion on the ground floor level which clocked just 31 years.

That said the remainder of the originals will have to go in the fullness of time, but given that we are dealing with two more bay windows, three smaller windows and three doors it is a rolling programme.

So far the work moves at a pace and the chaps from the company have been all that we could ask for and the windows are looking good.**

Of course a century has made a big difference to the design of what we are getting so while the frames are wood they are double glazed and are more secure so that as the wind swept in from the south the difference between the old leaky ones and our new fit for purpose ones was apparent.

Not that this is an advert for double glazing more a reflection on how all things have a time limit and more especially how we go about that renewal.

Like so many other home improvers I have made a botch of some things and while I did try to put back what had been ripped out I didn’t always source the exact period which means we now have a cast iron Victorian bath, an Edwardian lavatory cistern and two fireplaces which while they look the part will be much older than 1915 when the house was built.

I doubt that some of the “improvements” will detract from the overall appearance although I have to say putting in the picture rails upside down was a monumental blunder.

Just in on what was a cold wet evening
As for the bigger things we didn’t knock through and that has proved to have been to the good.

When the lads and their partners all moved back for a while we still had the discreet living areas offering that flexibility for everyone to go off and spend a bit of time away doing different things.

And now that they have gone again we settle in just the one room heating that to perfection and allowing the rest of the house to tick over on a very moderate level of warmth.

Which of course is how Joe and Mary Anne would have lived a century ago.

*The story of a house,

**Reddish Joinery,

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