Project description

Brook House with its elegant wooden sash windows is a former Georgian Laundry set in an idyllic location in the heart of the Peak District in Derbyshire. The Grade II listed property was named after the brook that runs through the garden which was used by the washer women to clean the clothes of the wealthy local mine owners and dignitaries.

Renovating the 1970s wooden windows was hard work

With a long history of hard graft as a working building, the property is now home to Paul Hodgkinson and his family. They have invested 15 years of their own hard work into renovating the property, including trying to keep the deteriorating 1970s timber windows going.

I was having to repair and fill the old window frames every other year, plus they caused condensation and damp, it was becoming a losing battle.

Paul Hodgkinson
Old casement window from 1970s with condensation
Old 1970s windows with condensation
Cream painted Georgian style Sliding sash window in Derbyshire Dales
After – new double glazed window

Conservation Officer’s support is key

Having decided to replace the windows with modern high performance ones, Paul contacted a few companies for designs and prices. Being listed, he needed to involve the local Conservation Officer. At first, he wasn’t happy with some of the designs where the window bars were too thick or deemed not to be sympathetic to the historic property. Running out of options locally and with the challenges of Covid-19 lockdown, Mr Hodgkinson discovered George Barnsdale and enquired about their historic style windows and doors. He was referred to the company’s approved partner for the area Lifestyle Home Solutions in Ilkeston who managed the entire project from survey to installation.

Having opted for Spiral Balance sliding sash windows, the Conservation Officer expressed concern that they should be traditional box sliding sash windows. However, this would have made the windows very narrow and unlike those in the original photographs that Paul had from the turn of the last century

Photo of Brook House laundry
Brooke House Laundry, circa 1900

Armed wth evidence that the original windows were most likely held open with a block of wood wedged into place by the laundry workers, the spiral sash windows were passed.

External image of George Barnsdale cream sliding sash window.

It’s so useful to be able to refer back to historic photographs when dealing with the renovation of a listed building. Without them, we would have ended up having narrower sash windows in order to accommodate the box and weights.

Paul Hodgkinson

One further concession was made to the Conservation Dept – the spacers in the narrow double glazed units were changed from silver to white. This more closely matched the paintwork which was finished in RAL 9001, a very subtle cream colour that works beautifully with the Derbyshire Grit Stone that the property was built with.

picture showing narrow glazing for historic properties with white spacers and cream timber window
Narrow double glazed units with white spacers and discrete locking system

Putty and lambs tongue – original features

In addition to this, putty style glazing, slim (18mm) lambs tongue sash profiles and solid glazing bars result in sash windows that are highly sympathetic to the original Georgian ones.

Historic sliding sash windows surrounded by wisteria and autumn red virginia creeper
Elegant and understated historic style sash windows framed by wisteria and autumn red Virginia Creeper look like they’ve been there forever
Sash window framed by wisteria with a bench below - perfect place to sit and listen to the babbling brook that runs through the garden
Perfect place to sit and listen to the babbling brook that runs through the middle of the garden
Perfect example of a former Georgian laundry with Georgian sash windows from George Barnsdale and a brook running through the garden

In addition to the sliding sash windows, George Barnsdale also supplied a set of elegant historic style French Doors.

Timber french doors outside on Brook House
Historic style timber french doors.

We are so happy with them, in fact, I’ve recommended them to my neighbours who are having them installed themselves soon.

Slim IGUs (insulated glazing units) offer an historic aesthetic with the benefit of enhanced performance. The family are definitely noticing the difference; their home is much warmer and quieter and they no longer have problems with condensation. With the current cost of living squeeze, energy efficient windows and doors have helped them manage without heating for longer than they normally would this autumn/winter.

Commenting on his new windows, Paul said “Our new windows have made such a big difference to our home, both the appearance which has been transformed and also the fact that it is no longer draughty and damp. “