Living in the unspoilt, rural surroundings of Dartmoor has plenty of advantages. But as the location of our client’s home, over the years the doors and windows of this former Rectory in Chagford had succumbed to some of the area’s harsher weather. To recreate their former splendour, our client now wanted complete replacements throughout their home.
Recreating the look
Built in 1888, the Rectory was once home to the village’s Rector, while also providing a study and office to meet with his parishioners. In keeping with the architectural style used for this type of building at the time, the Rectory features high ceilings in each ground floor room which meant several larger than standard window openings.
Though repairs have taken place over the decades, many of the old Rectory’s original 130-year old wooden window frames and doors were now beyond realistic repair. With wet rot spreading, the frames were left spongy and crumbling, and no longer up to the task, leaving their strength and stability weakened.
In serious need for replacements across both ground and first floors of the house on each elevation, our client looked to us for help. Tasked with the challenge of recreating the look and style of the original doors and windows, together with the installation of each one, it was a challenge we were more than able to take on.
A sustainable design choice
The project uncovered several obstacles to overcome in the early stages, including the number of windows required across the property–approximately 30–together with a French double door set.
The floor to ceiling height of several windows would also require a sizeable space for us to manufacture and spray finish. Plus, with the profile of the frames being thicker than the timber we were able to order, we needed to extend the profile thickness to replicate the original moulds.
Having specialist cutters made, exactly matching the original window frames, the individual sections were given both male and female profile joints, allowing them to be seamlessly secured and jointed together.
Working with the Rectory’s architectural features allowed us to reproduce the unique features and styling of the original period casement windows. With Chagford known for some extreme weather conditions, one area that deviated from the original was the upgrade to hand-fitted, thermally-efficient double glazing.
After consultation with the client, we used Accoya timber for the entire project. Notable for its durability, stability, and sustainability, Accoya gives superior all-weather protection, making it an ideal material for this project.
The finishing touches
With plans approved, we set to work on the careful handcrafting and manufacture of each casement frame. With several arched openings on each elevation, these were crowned with scribed arched cappings, creating a flush and seamless finish over the window.
In the last stages before installation, the client chose the ironmongery to be used throughout. Consisting of casement fasteners, butt hinges, and stay arms, their choice of an aged, bronze finish gave the perfect detailing for a faithfully recreated appearance.
As well as including internal and external handles in the same style, the double doors were also fitted with a multipoint locking system for improved security. The final frames have also been RAL colour-matched in white and spray-coated for deep weather protection.
Authenticity and durability
Throughout the project, we gave our client a stress-free experience and kept any disruption to a minimum, despite the scale of works. With the project now complete, the property has a full and authentic set of handcrafted wooden windows and doors that will be secure and durable for many decades to come.
What the client said
We were replacing 130-year old windows and briefed Nathan to copy – as faithfully as possible – the originals that had been designed specifically for our Victorian rectory. The finished result looks fantastic, has been finished to a high standard, are extremely sturdy, and gives us confidence that we won’t be replacing them again in our lifetime. Guests are still – unprompted – complimenting us on how good they look. And so are we.