welcome to emmas housethought

restoring windows

If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a girl builder and a boy builder I can tell you right here.

I’m now set up in my friend’s garage for a bit of paint stripping on my old windows for the annexe. As I packed at home in a hurry, I forgot a few handy little bits, including a set of small paintbrushes. Rather than snuff around through my mates’ 100 boxes of stuff I remembered the fab care-package sent by a friend earlier in the week : a serious stash of cosmetic goodies, from Le Mer samples to herbal nail treatments and whatnot. Unreal, especially right now as I’m needing that makeup brush to apply a dainty layer of toxic chemical on my DIY project of the moment…

OK, so a guy builder could have thought of it, sure, but would he get away with it? Later in the morning session I felt the need for an emery board, to get at those pesky corner bits. As it happens I was given a rather large pack of them for Christmas, from another intuitive female who I’d never met but who obviously could sense that I was the tricky-creative-random-tool/emery-board-emergency kind of person. Now, boys, don’t go stealing the lady’s stuff. Get your own.

About these windows. I’m going to do a crazy thing. I’m going to ask for your advice.

Eyes being the windows to the soul, windows are the soul of a house.

And new windows ain’t got no soul, man! I’ve acquired some 40 or so windows and doors that have been ripped out of a chateaux in France, or fell off the back of a truck or whatever. They are gorgeous. Trouble is, big, old, single pane windows do nothing to help insulate against cold. It snows in my village. Snow = double glazing. The second most important thing after insulation in designing an energy efficient house is double glazing. So. I’ve decided to make old fashioned double glazed windows, as in this:

Massive job. Stripping 34 windows and making 17 boxes to contain them. Plus the windows most likely contain lead paint, and there’s only so much lead poisoning a girl can take. Let’s put aside the cost for a minute because the alternative is also expensive: new timber double-glazed windows for my place will cost upwards of €5000 or more than €300 a unit. So far, it’s taking about a week to strip each window, so there goes the rest of the year if I’m going to do the lot myself. That’s out. So how can I simplify what needs to be done, while still using the old windows but upgrading their insulation potential from single-glazing?

Anyone got any paint stripping tips? Does anyone really vouch for a hot-air gun over sanding? Know anyone in the furniture restoration business, who can strip them for a good price, and possibly stain them? And that someone will not be dumping the waste in the nearest river.

Maybe then I just make the boxes. Is this style of box the way to go? It’s been suggested that I could stick on a single pane of glass over the top of the existing with a 5mm air gap, but I can see condensation and mould, because the air space is useless if not sealed. Does the frame need to go inside another rough frame? I’m thinking not, (in a unusual instance of self-restraint). What are your thoughts regarding expansion and movement? Treat against insects? Treat against water penetration? Oil or polyurethane stain? Sill gasket, foil, or insulation between the frame and the stone surround? Chocks and spray insulation? Any bright ideas anyone?

Or here’s a third idea from a “get-on-with-it” type builder: don’t strip the windows back to timber, just prep them for more painting. And he’s got a point because in my all-white-Scandinavian-modern style interior, the window interiors would be white, and not stained timber. It certainly would be a travesty to have stripped the windows beautifully, expensively and toxically if only then to paint one side anyway… so, I put it to you, dear reader, could we work with painted timber windows for the exteriors? I’m thinking slate grey or chocolate brown. I like the idea for it’s skipping the stripping process, but I baulk at it from an aesthetic pov (not that there’s any evidence that the windows are made from a noble timber, or that there is any thing worth “revealing” from the paint stripping process). And, as pointed out by someone else – there will always be an apparent difference of the timbers of the old windows and the new boxes, which painting would sympathise. Is there any added protection against humidity and insects with a paint finish other than a oil or stain?

casa do xisto

typical house from the 'aldeias do xisto' in this area

 

Painted timber windows anyone? Or does everyone want to remind me what a economically crushing massive overproduction this idea is?

43 Comments

  1. Fletch January 25, 2010 11:21 am Reply

    Paint.

    The colour will need to match that of the region. The pic you show of a ‘typical’ build in your area appears to have an unfinished wooden frame.

    In our Ribatejo area the doors and windows are either ‘Green’ or ‘Bordeaux’.

    Painting will disguise a whole host of problems, but by the time you have to address them, your finances will be in a much healthier state.

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: January 27th, 2010 at 4:08 am

    I like. Thankyou.

    [Reply to comment]

    http://paradise-discovered.blogspot.com/

  2. Derek January 25, 2010 7:47 pm Reply

    Agree with Fletch, paint, but i would suggest natural pigments paint to match (ok maybe just come close to) ‘typical’ regional colors.

    I like the idea of the old-fashioned ‘cabinet’ style double glazed windows, but i think the idea of simply inserting a second pane trapping a 5mm air-gap has some precedent in the DIY permiculture crowd:

    De12ambachten (The Twelve Trades) under Inexpensively insulating glass, here:

    de12ambachten.nl/enggreentech.html#anker238339

    You can see that a small ‘chamber’ is dug into the frame under the air-gap with a small opening into the gap, this chamber is filled with salt which acts to absorb the condensation which will collect there, smart.

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: January 27th, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Also like, a lot. Loving natural pigments. And seriously liking that link. They are full of simple, sensible ideas. I think I’m going that way, think def worth a test, and that’s what I have an annexe for. And the test window will be a particularly difficult bathroom one… no reason why the siliscon/salt trap couldnt run all the way along the bottom of the frame… hmmm. Thanks derek, much appreciated.

    [Reply to comment]

  3. sophie January 25, 2010 8:26 pm Reply

    yes, i agree with the paint option because:
    1. i’m sure you have better things to be doing this year than stripping paint and (1a) if you do that you’ll be needing all those emery boards and brushes and nail treatments you’ve already used as diy tools to try to repair the damage you do to your hands plus (1b) i always tend towards the least-work option.
    2. better not to strip the paint and either create a load of toxic dust or use a load of chemicals.
    3. you can use natural paints (i can recommend a fab book if you want) which will help preserve and protect the timber.

    i LOVE the box window double glazing!

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: January 27th, 2010 at 4:19 am

    words of wisdom here from sophie. I need to meditate daily on “least-work option”. I’m loving how the comments agree with each other – natural paint, dont strip, options on the double glazing… it’s all good news, great news.

    [Reply to comment]

    http://www.portugalsmallholding.org

  4. Isabel January 25, 2010 9:21 pm Reply

    Can you read French? If not, click on the links anyway, you might get some inspiration in the site of a friend of ours (the English version seems to be forever under construction…):

    http://www.xylonis.com/index2.php?idx=2&lg=fr

    Too bad they say their prices are only competitive within 50km from Brussels 🙁

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: January 27th, 2010 at 4:29 am

    “profitez de la qualite de bois de vos chassis anciens” by golly I do read french: ils parlent mon langue! wow it’s like the modern world where you are n’est pas? Are you having coffee with william now?

    [Reply to comment]

    Isabel   Reply: January 27th, 2010 at 6:41 am

    @Emma, yes, I do have coffee with William every morning 🙂

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: January 27th, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Oh I’m so slow, it took me 20 long seconds… For the first 10 I’m going “oooo scandal in Brussels, but at least all the clever people know each other” tehehe Sir William, is Williaminho! Bill! Of Isabel Fame!

    [Reply to comment]

  5. monica January 25, 2010 10:12 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing this interesting article and lovely images of this house.

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: January 27th, 2010 at 4:29 am

    and thank you for sharing too. x

    [Reply to comment]

    http://www.propertyturkeyforsale.com

  6. William January 25, 2010 11:51 pm Reply

    As a repairer of wooden boats, and as a restorer of carousel animals, I’ve had way too much experience removing old paint!
    There is no easier way to remove large sections of paint from, say, a hull, than with a spatula and a heat gun. But for detail work, a heat gun is worse than useless; it will burn the edges of the moulding, and won’t touch the recesses. For your windows, I recommend a thick liquid gel caustic soda (lye) stripper (protect your eyes, skin, and clothing), some small brass brushes (broken-off bristles won’t rust), and a cheap set of hobbyists wood carving tools. Rinse the wood well after stripping it… It’s not a bad idea to spray the frames with a boric acid/water mix at this time (1/100) to keep any bugs out.
    It’s important to get rid of the old paint so that you can get oil back into the wood. The oil will help keep it stabilized and prevent rot. I like to slop as much oil onto the wood as possible before painting. I start with about a 50% linseed oil/turpentine mix, and give it a day to soak in. I may give it another coat after that… more oil, less turp.
    Always use an oil-base paint on wood. If you can wash your paint brushes in water, then don’t let that stuff anywhere near your wood. A polymer paint (like acrylic or latex) will trap in moisture, which will eventually leach the oil from the wood, and severe weathering and/or dry rot will soon follow.
    BTW: Boric acid is about as dangerous to us mammals as salt, and you can use your leftover caustic soda for making soap 🙂

    [Reply to comment]

  7. Dangerous Derek &famous Danny January 26, 2010 3:43 am Reply

    We at Vida Nova Towers have often come across this type of dilema, Although the “get on and do it builder” does have a valid point, we feel that some other options should be considered.
    Perhaps consider top of the range shinny aluminium windows, pest free, no painting and no one is going to steal them, (it does happen, i heard of a chateu in France that is now a little breezy)
    A eco friendly option would be to employ the use of “cling Film” stretch the Miricle product across the gap, looks like the real thing, costs next to nothing and safe for small birds to fly into. (although they may accelerate away from the window at great knots)
    or just leave the windows open and glass free. this is by far the cheapest option, (although heating bills may increse slightly over the winter period)
    Or perhaps some mock leaded glass windows,(like an Essex mansion) could be more appealing. just use a grey marker pen on the Cling film.
    we will just be happy when you make a decision, get them installed and finished!
    it will give us boys at Vida Nova Towers a warm (slightly wet) feeling inside, knowing we could be of some help.
    Looking forward to your update on this weeks show.
    Know stop reading this and go build some windows….or we will be round to put a Bat up your night dress…..
    Love over the airwaves,
    Dangerous Derek & famous Danny

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: January 26th, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Dear Darling Dangerous Derek and Dannyfamous
    Your advice, as always, is sage. And salsa. And broccoli.
    But what about faux-aluminium windows, like, in plastic?
    Bat up my nightdress? Is that a promise?
    I’m missing you more, until saturday…

    [Reply to comment]

  8. William January 26, 2010 5:16 am Reply

    In reference to Derek’s post citing “The Twelve Trades” (a most interesting alternative to pumping argon or dry nitrogen in-between the glass), I’ll mention that the “silicone seal” should not be the kind of silicone sealant that you’d find in your average ‘five and dime’ hardware store. That is not the stuff you’d ever want to bed your glass in… it creates a weak physical bond which will soon separate from between the glass and wood. As a side note, by using two different thicknesses of glass you’ll significantly cut down any outside sound transfer.
    The best product I’ve found for caulking is Dolfinite. Unlike most bedding compounds (essentially linseed oil mixed with chalk) Dolfinite will not dry out, and remains flexible for years… Problem is, they just went bankrupt 🙁 You may still be able to find some here and there. It’s worth a look.
    I’ve heard that Polysulphides, such as ‘Boatlife’ are the next best alternative, though I’ve never used them.
    For a permanent bond (and I do mean “permanent”), I know of nothing that can beat 3M’s 5200 polyurethane adhesive. Should you decide to make double glass ‘cells’ to insert into your frames, 5200’s gotta’ be the way to go.

    [Reply to comment]

  9. Sam C. January 26, 2010 5:57 am Reply

    Painted part of my way through Alfred University years ago. Now back in the North East (Albany, NY area).

    Lots of experience with old storm windows, newer storm and screen stuff (those ugly aluminum jobs affixed to the outside frame around a window.

    You actually CAN get pretty decent affect by placing a second pane outside of the original. But only IF you remember to allow for slight weepage of moisture and air. Put a couple small gaps at the bottom. And one on each side a couple inches down from the top. That allows a very And the small holes at the bottom allow any water buildup to drain. 🙂

    [Reply to comment]

  10. William January 26, 2010 6:52 am Reply

    Emma writes: “Maybe then I just make the boxes”.
    I live in a supernaturally cold and dank place. As of this last winter I’ve started to use a rather vulgar name for it, but on most maps it’s called “Brussels”.
    The back wall to my yard, four windows (8) and two doors (4), are made exactly like the “boxes” you’re considering.
    Maybe these boxes could have been sealed better. Maybe there is just no practical way to insulate the inside of a stone wall from the cold world outside. Maybe, here, God is not in his Heaven… My living experience with the “box” approach does show an improved difference, just not a whole heck of a lot of it.
    Also, as an emigrant from California, these windows (and doors, especially) are my bane… they are Heaven-forfend, inconvenient! 🙂

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: January 27th, 2010 at 1:54 am

    🙂 supernatural … can’t write, still laughing

    [Reply to comment]

  11. sophie January 27, 2010 4:36 am Reply

    “Or perhaps some mock leaded glass windows,(like an Essex mansion) could be more appealing. just use a grey marker pen on the Cling film.”

    oh please do this! please please please 🙂

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: January 27th, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Why does everyone I know come from Essex? (ahem, East Anglia thankyou very much i can hear them say). OK I’ll do texta-essex windows, and then I might get a job on a DIY show on the tele, where I can do tips like hanging the clothes on the line in a colour-coordinated way to make them dry better.

    [Reply to comment]

    http://www.portugalsmallholding.org

  12. Adam January 27, 2010 8:20 am Reply

    I’m backing everyone who says just paint ’em. Painted timber will last much longer than a stain or varnish. Much.

    There are all sorts of super tough acrylic paints these days that’ll go on straight over the old lead paint. Easy

    And, in the spirit of keeping things simple, I’d ditch the double glazing and hang heavy curtains. Open them when the sun is shining in winter and you can get some heat in, otherwise close ’em up and wait for spring.

    Sheesh, stop making work for yourself. Maybe that’s the real difference between girl builders and boy builders- the boy will always look for the lazy solution to a problem?

    [Reply to comment]

  13. Eliane January 27, 2010 9:55 am Reply

    lovely picture of all those gorgeous windows leaning against the stome wall. but paint stripping…. all …. really all of those???? what a nightmare. we have and had a similar problem. those gorgeous old windows made us shiver during several heavy storms (and here at the southwest-coast of ireland they can be really heavy), the curtains were dancing! so we have to replace, one by one, those loved old ones by modern windows. they are made of timber, all right, but they look like plastic. and they save a lot of energy. sigh….

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: February 1st, 2010 at 2:24 am

    I must confess I underestimated the audience: I wasn’t expecting good advice but my word all this has been helpful. I’m especially relieved to hear you don’t think painting them is tacky; and seriously persuaded by Penfold having already done it (he’s somewhere here in central portugal too); now I’ve got something to see. And Adam, I have actually imagined navy velvet curtains, which would look hot, but I also know you’ve probably just come back from the beach, and snow is but an abstract memory :). Thanks everyone, and thanks to rick for the inspiration. I’ll keep you posted…

    [Reply to comment]

    http://scents-and-senses.blogspot.com

  14. penfold January 30, 2010 10:36 pm Reply

    We’ve ended up with dark gray (matt) windows on an old stone house and they look really good.

    Much more important than double glazing is having your doors and windows completely draft (or is that draught?) free. I did lots of research into u values when I was fitting windows in Londinium and the major heat loss (especially in older houses) is a good old fashioned gap around your sashes.

    If you do want to fit sealed units, take all the old glass out and get a local carpenter to deepen your rebates with a router (pretty quick if he’s good) and fit thinner units than normal (you can get 5mm gaps instead of 10). Painting the frames with no glass in them would be twice as fast too…

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: February 1st, 2010 at 2:08 am

    If you see a stranger lurking with a cake box, please don’t shoot… 🙂

    [Reply to comment]

    penfold   Reply: February 2nd, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    @Emma, rule 1: NEVER shoot anybody carrying cake (we shoot them after the cake is retrieved)

    [Reply to comment]

    http://www.papersurfer.com

  15. matt February 1, 2010 3:49 pm Reply

    Good onya Emma.Sounds like you’ve got the windows sorted.
    Are you building frames to suit the sashes you have aquired?
    Do opennings in the masonry walls exist.?If not make sure whe
    you create the opennings for the window frames support the stonework over the proposed openning first.Depending on the width of the window create a slot every 700-800mm about 150mm above the position of the timber lintel above the window.Insert solid timber beams to project 1000mm inside and outside.These must be propped on both sides.You probably don’t have access to screwprops so good old timber props and wedges would be ok.I think you get the idea .We don’t want the stonework to come down when creating the hole for the window.An extra pair of hands is good when setting up the props.And of course once stonework is supported over proposed hole ,remove enough masonary to insert timber lintels.Make these secure .Remove stonework for window openning.Then insert window frames.stonework around frames.Release props,remove support pins.Patch up slots.Goodluck and of course they may not do it like this in Spain.
    I have seen an expanding foam product used around uneven masonry work to reduce drafts.Self expanding Sounds abit eco unfriendly but is efficient.Maybe if you go that way keep it back from the facework so as to disguise it.Or apply on the inside and the mortar over it.Cheers

    [Reply to comment]

  16. Sergio Freire February 3, 2010 9:36 pm Reply

    Ola!

    I read about your blog in last weekend’s Sunday Herald Sun magazine. It made me feel nostalgic for the country of birth, a place I’ve only returned to 4 times since my parents emigrated to Australia when I was 8 months old.

    My father’s home village is Bouxinhas near Alvaiazere, and my mother’s home village is Casal da Sobreira near Freixianda. Don’t suppose either of those places is near where you’re living?

    The modernisation in that part of Portugal has been exponential since my first visit as a 10 year old in 1985. I still have vivid memories of the peasant villages: the paddocks backbreakingly worked by hand; donkey and cart as the primary form of transport on the cobblestone roads connecting village to village; my aunts and cousins spending the evenings watching Brazilian telenovelas on one of the two RTP channels on black and white tvs; the flash modern houses with concrete floors – the older people’s houses with floors of beaten earth; the old toothless ladies with creased tanned faces dressed in widow’s black; my late avó praying the rosary as we drove her past the shrine at Fatima; the dinners of boiled potatoes, chick peas, silverbeet and bacalao drizzled with olive oil; the trips to the open markets; sipping on bicas while standing at the bar of the local cafe (yes, as a 10 year old); bashing olives out of the trees with a big stick…

    [Reply to comment]

  17. Ana Teresa February 10, 2010 7:28 am Reply

    Hello Emma.
    I’ve found your blog last year and then lost track of if. Found it again last week and I’m happy now.
    About your windows, they are amasing. I really like the original idea of boxes for insulation. and they look pretty too.
    I’ve been reading the advices given above and I agree that you must keep the paint. I’ve had the idea of stripping some doors and I was really disapointed with the wood below. Not beautifull at all.
    Nevertheless, for stripping large flat areas, the hot-gun is teh best option. But the details…
    I live in a dense traffic area so double glazing is essencial because of the noise. As €€€ are not abundant, I’ve transformed my old single glazing windows just by adding another glass.
    But I like the “boxes” idea better.

    I love your project.

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: February 17th, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    excellent, great to hear other people have done the ‘add a pane’ thing, I’m still going to do a few ‘boxes’ on the most featured, special windows… but loving the second pane idea. Thanks ana.

    [Reply to comment]

  18. Radiant Barrier February 21, 2010 4:44 pm Reply

    You’re obviously a carpenter to undertake this type of project and skilled at that. Storm shutters are the only recommendation I could give. They would act as storm windows increasing the efficiency of your single pane windows. As you know wood window won’t perform as well as plastic anyway but certainly look much better and can be matched to period houses.

    [Reply to comment]

    http://www.insulationstop.com

  19. Pete February 25, 2010 9:02 am Reply

    First of all, well done with the blog — your lime render post was a godsend: we’re using a 13 sand-3 cal-1 white cement mix suggested by one commenter.

    ——–
    I like the chateau windows, but they seem to be a bit big for a schist house: making holes big enough for them could require rebuilding walls, or the entire house. Plus boxing them will take you an age. If you can really get double-glazed windows with interior blinds for 300 euros a unit, I’d consider biting the bullet — when we got quotes for wooden windows for our ruin (in the Alto Alentejo just below Marvao), the unit amount was closer to 600 euros — and 800 for traditional chestnut ones. Even the ugly aluminium ones were 450 a pop.

    For our project, the cheap option for wooden windows — based on a tip from a blog about renovating stone houses in the Dolomites (similar, simple houses to central Portugal schist and Alto Alentejo granite) — was to travel to the French DIY chain Bricodepot. The nearest branches to Portugal are in Spain in Toledo, Valladolid, Jerez — see http://www.bricodepot.es. Bricodepot sells mass-produced wooden windows. I’m not sure if you have standard size windows, but the sizes they come in are 50wx60h, 80wx80h, 80wx100h. They work out at a bargain 95-130 euros a unit and, with a little sanding here and there, don’t look half bad (much like the ones in your ‘aldeias de xisto’ photo actually). The single glazing isn’t ideal, but using the inside wooden blinds provides the insulation in winter, keeps out the sun in summer and will save us having to buy curtains (once our ruin becomes a house). We’ve spent the money we saved on the windows to buy high quality doors from a good local carpenter, and some Danish Solarventi heating panels for winter warmth.

    P.S. Good luck with the renovation: ours is progressing at a rate 100% slower than a house we fixed up in Belgium, and 300% slower than one in Germany. We think they should put amphetamines alongside the fluoride in the water here!
    P.P.S. If making the 4-hour trek to Bricodepot in a van, try to stock up on other building materials: they’re far cheaper than AKI, Maxmat and Portuguese builders’ merchants.

    [Reply to comment]

  20. Helder June 19, 2010 11:47 pm Reply

    Hello Emma, always pleasant to read Your adventures there.

    About the windows:
    I am quite handy and somewhat knowledgeable in paint and adding extra glass to windows for insulation. (I always start itching to jump over there and give you a hand 😀

    Paint – do not strip it, if it is in acceptable condition,it is a monstrously time-consuming work! And You may become desillusioned of the resulting aspect of the naked wood – windows for naked wood frames need to be build with care for the aesthetic look. So there is a reason they are painted, should You opt for removing paint, search google for removing with the aid of an infra-red radiator – much less danger of destruction and effective, as some pro’s claim in Sweden..

    You will have to check thoroughly what kind of paint is in the frame before painting it over with a new layer, since many paints are not compatible over long time and can make the underlying coat peel off.
    – If You manage to investigate what kind of paint is on the frames now, You will have no problem finding a compatible coating for long time stability 🙂

    That was about paint!

    Now for insulation:

    I am quite biased against making a box adding a extra window inside – since it is: 1- bulky and awkward to open ( a typical qick and dirty solution from around the 17th century if I am right)
    – not optimally effective since it gives way too much room for air convection (that would be responsible for most of the heat transfer /or relative ineffectiveness in this case)

    I propose that You look into making a small thin frame of wood aluminium , plastic – whatever you find and Suits You best. (there may well be prefabricated frame material specifically for this use, just cut and fit).

    You should then measure the size to fit one big pane on the inside of your gorgeous windows.

    The frame may be very thin and the distance between the glasses don’t need to be more then some millimetres ( to trap an hold the air still).

    It should be easy to make it look as an integral part of the windows construction, looking like as it was always there originally.

    Small ventilation holes or moisture traps still have to apply as written in the above posts (if You do not ask a Scandinavian or German/French/whatever firm, to make You a 3-layered custom sealed frame (may be worth searching, You could bump into a cheap occasion).

    It is worth making the inner pane easy to open/remove for cleaning purposes and You could even go tricky an make the x-tra frame a double layered one – in this case the glass in the middle need only be the thinnest one available since it functions only as an air trap. And it should not add much thickness to it, since you only need some millimetres between the glasses.

    I am an (ok, somewhat experienced but..still) layman on this and You may find better info about the optimum distance between panes etc.. I am open for more knowledge 😉

    Good Luck!

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: June 20th, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    oh superb motivational talk there helder, I´ve got to get out there!

    [Reply to comment]

    Helder   Reply: June 21st, 2010 at 12:18 am

    @Emma,

    Thanks dear!(if I may?)

    I just saw one of the videos from You blog.

    Expect it to be from inside Your house.
    With that traditional cooking/fireplace I saw , (although it is very good in summer), You should have a serious draft.

    I think it would be simple to manufacture a remote mechanism allowing You to close(or adjust) the chimney when not used in cold weather.
    – It will not help insulating the house as effectively as a spacesuit If You have a big open hole on top 😀

    But do not go blind, You can not seal it without adequate ventilation – or humidity/fungus will increase.

    Would be nice to visit, and see it for my own, if I ever come by..

    Warm Hug

    [Reply to comment]

  21. Roger George August 8, 2010 12:10 am Reply

    Hi Emma.
    I have bought an large old Moinho Vento between Caldas and Benidita. see my Facebook page albums
    I need a good Windows and Doors. Maybe i need newly manufactured UPVC windows and doors?
    So may I please ask you if you know where I should visit.

    I am desperate to weather seal the place before the winter.
    I am returning at the end of September for just one month.
    Best regards Roger

    [Reply to comment]

    http://Facebookwindmillrental

  22. Guy November 22, 2010 2:37 am Reply

    Hi Emma,

    Those white windows look lovely, I am a big fan of the old style. We are lucky here in Berlin to have a lot of these original windows in the older buildings as opposed to the ugly new double glazed ones. Although, they are a lot more effective with keeping the cold out. What did you go for in the end?

    Thanks

    Guy

    [Reply to comment]

    http://www.weekendblog.co.uk/

  23. chris December 31, 2010 12:51 am Reply

    I know nothing of window renovation, But I love a good read lol
    thanks Emma

    [Reply to comment]

  24. Richard December 30, 2011 1:32 am Reply

    This is an awesome article. very helpful. currently went full time with my business that i’ve had for seven years (only as a hobby) now im all in. great tips.
    thanks

    [Reply to comment]

    http://www.propertyturkeysale.com

  25. Guillaume May 28, 2013 9:44 pm Reply

    I really like your idea to renovate those old windows. As you mention those have soul.

    I read that the use of those windows what not a total success in the end ; but I guess one of the reason is that your project changed in between and that u were not allowed anymore to change the size of the existing windows to fit on the bought ones.

    I ‘m also considering buying a countryside house in Portugal…so maybe I could be a buyer for your remaining windows if u still have them at that time 🙂

    [Reply to comment]

  26. Edwina November 21, 2013 2:37 pm Reply

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    [Reply to comment]

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