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Spectus Helps Ring Changes at Historic Church Cottage

Published: 14th September 2012

When Church Cottage in the historic village of Tarring, West Sussex, had its timber windows replaced for the very first time, the owners of the grade II listed 18th century building thought they would have a fight on their hands to be granted planning permission to replace them with more insulating and cost-effective PVC-U profiles. The reality, as it turned out, was very different.

One of the village’s oldest properties, Church Cottage was originally a pub known as the Black Horse until 1770 but it closed its doors in 1839 as the Black Lion. The pub was converted into Church Cottage and over 300 years later, still had its original timber window frames, which owner Samantha Bick described as ?old, rotten and in desperate need of replacement’.

Her heart was set on PVC-U windows and Samantha thought it would be a struggle to get the planning department at her local council to agree to them, but she was wrong. Although she applied for and obtained planning permission, in the end it wasn’t needed because the PVC-U Vertical Slides from Spectus Window Systems fitted perfectly with the design of the cottage, helping it to retain its character and charm.

Using Spectus’ Vertical Slider profile, Warwick Developments Specialist Window Division in Sheffield fabricated six white vertical sash windows with Ovolo finishing and brass accessories to match the cottage’s interior, which were then installed by Worthing Windows.

Samantha said: “The old timber windows were rotten and I couldn’t put off replacing them any longer. I wanted to use PVC-U as it was half the price of timber, but looked just as authentic. We did get planning permission but ultimately it wasn’t required as the council believed the windows remained in with the traditional period design. The new windows are stunning and have boosted the whole property. As well as this, my home was much warmer over the winter and my bills were lower ? I really couldn’t be happier.?

Warwick Developments fabricated windows for all the rooms in the cottage, which comprises a lounge diner, kitchen, utility, two bedrooms and a bathroom. Its general manager, Aaron Fountain said: “What we like about Spectus’ Vertical Slider profile is that it brings together advanced technology and traditional design, making it perfect for period properties like Church Cottage.

“The profile provides authentic-looking sash windows that bring to period properties high performing modern materials, energy saving technology and thermal efficiency, but look fantastic and can really maintain the traditional aesthetics of the building.

“We’ve noticed that homeowners in general are increasingly becoming environmentally aware and as a result are requesting PVC-U more and more for their period properties. It competes with the timber historically favoured for period buildings on energy ratings and thermal performance. In fact, it can achieve a Window Energy Rating of band ?A’ with an appropriate insulation glass unit.

“We also find the profile can compete on an aesthetic level as there’s a choice of designs and shapes to choose from, as well as an extensive range of foils. Foiling technology has improved rapidly over the past decade and can coat both sides of a window, so we can usually fabricate windows to match different building materials or colour schemes.”

Worthing Windows installed the windows at Church Cottage and managing director, Mark Winzer says both his customer and his company are delighted with the finished result. He explains: “Of all the requirements we had to meet with the windows, the most important was that they fitted in well with the look of the heritage property. Timber would have been the natural choice, but it was expensive and in addition to this Samantha wanted a low maintenance window. PVC-U fitted the bill because not only does it cost less and look authentic but also it doesn’t need painting in its lifetime.

“We got great feedback from the customer who told us her old windows were drafty but her new windows eliminated this problem. Spectus’ Vertical Slides have proved great value for our customer and we know that she has had very positive comments about her windows from other villagers.

“When it comes to conservation projects, it’s a case of achieving a balance between ensuring a building meets its legal requirements, lowering its impact on the environment and keeping in with the rest of the conservation area. This is a lot easier to achieve than some would believe.”