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After photo. External view of home with white casement windows and tilt and turn windows

Why replace timber framed windows with PVCu windows?


Timber windows can be beautiful but are notoriously hard to maintain and once they show signs of ageing. They can be difficult to open and clean. Many CR Smith customers choose to replace their timber frames with PVCu windows. This is due to their durability and convenience.

Replacing timber framed windows with Lorimer PVCu windows is also an effective way to increase the energy efficiency of your home. You will be able to enjoy increased comfort levels all year round by reducing heat loss and a likely reduction in your energy bills.

Modern window design provides looks, strength and energy efficiency and switching to our Lorimer range of windows can enhance the comfort of your home without losing any of its character. We’ll help you find the perfect window to match your home and personal preference. The Lorimer range comes in a variety of styles, colours, and finishes.

The CR Smith difference is transformative. Take a look at some before and after photographs of a recent customer installations below. The owners of this chalet style house in Milnathort, Fife, trusted our experts with their complete home transformation.

Our window experts have answered your top three questions when it comes to replacing timber windows with more energy efficient, PVCu windows.

Before & after

Before photo of a home with rotten timber windows

Original timber sash and case windows with signs of damage from the elements

After photo. External view of home with white casement windows and tilt and turn windows

Fresh exterior with bright white Lorimer reversible double glazed windows

The issues the owners faced with their original timber windows are common to many people. The windows required extensive on-going maintenance; often suffered damage from the elements with some external sills rotting; and the ageing timber made them difficult to open and clean.

Hearing about the Lorimer range was quite an eye-opener and something of a relief, because we could provide them not only with windows that would be durable and easy to maintain, but windows that were also designed to suit and enhance the character of their much-loved home.

Creating the perfect look

All of the Milnathort property’s windows have been designed to mimic the appearance of the previous timber sash and case windows, featuring a ‘transom bar’ across the middle. Like most timber windows, these CR Smith Lorimer windows are mechanically jointed for a clean attractive finish and no unsightly bird beak welds. 

Our advice, and the customers’ preference, was for white PVCu frames. This has brightened up the exterior dramatically while the window designs retained the property’s traditional charm. Furthermore, the unique slim frames of the Lorimer window ensures that plenty of natural light flows into the home, just as it did before.

Before photo of a rotting timber sliding sash window. External view

Timber sash and case timber frames with signs of damage

After photo of white casement windows with a mid rail transom bar

White Lorimer PVCu casement window with transom bar to replicate the original design

Choosing the right window style

At the Milnathort cottage, we installed a combination of Lorimer casement and tilt & turn windows. The Lorimer casement window is closely based on the design of a timber window, and is our most versatile and popular style of window.

Both window styles are easily maintained, and to comply with Scottish Building Regulations, the upstairs tilt and turn mechanism allows the outside panes to be easily cleaned from the inside – a system that also means they can act as an escape route in case of fire. 

Both styles have a window energy rating of ‘A’ for thermal efficiency. 

Attention to detail

On this project we also installed Lorimer PVCu patio doors, which provide a high standard of weather proofing and security. Unlike the originals, we design our patio doors so that they slide on the inside, ensuring that no external debris can block the track. This attention to detail is at the heart of the whole Lorimer range. 

Before photo. Close up of a rotting timber framed sliding patio door

Timber patio door with external sliding mechanism and rotting frames

Close up of a new Lorimer sliding patio door

Low maintenance PVCu Lorimer patio door with internal sliding mechanism

Keeping the ‘brand new ‘ sparkle

For our customers in Milnathort, looking after their new windows couldn’t be easier. We recommend that the glass is cleaned on a monthly basis with a standard glass cleaner (or even just clean water with a dash of vinegar) and a soft cloth.

Hinges and locking mechanisms should be cleaned a few times a year and given an application of a lubricating oil such as ‘3 in 1’. To maintain the timber sills and surrounds, they just need a quick polish with a regular furniture polish as part of normal household cleaning.

Your top three questions, answered.

Our window experts have answered your top three questions when it comes to replacing timber windows with more energy efficient, PVCu windows.

1. Will PVCu windows suit the character of my period home?

Good quality window design, such as the Lorimer range of windows and doors from CR Smith, and expert advice on styles will ensure that PVCu windows work sympathetically with the character of your home.

Lorimer has a unique slim frame and comes in a range of colours – white, American light oak, rosewood or anthracite grey – so you can make choices to fit with the style of your home.

The addition of transom bars can give a casement or tilt & turn window the look of a traditional sash and case. Astragals create the impression of smaller individual glass panes and stained glass designs can also be applied to recreate traditional looks. 

2. What are the benefits of fitting PVCu windows over timber replacements?

If you’ve had timber windows, you’ll no doubt have had to deal with rotting sills and drafts as the frames age. Lorimer PVCu windows have the advantage of being durable and easy to maintain.

Whereas timber windows require extensive maintenance to protect them from the elements, Lorimer PVCu windows can be kept in mint condition with some simple cleaning and a few easy steps to look after the hinges and handles.

Plus, the modern design and engineering of our Lorimer range make these windows easier to use and as attractive to look at as the timber originals.

3. What choice of window styles are available for my period property?

It is possible to choose from a range of double glazed window styles for a property that do not compromise the exterior look of your home, but which make cleaning easier, or which even act as fire escapes.

The Lorimer range from CR Smith includes casement windows, tilt & turn windows, reversible windows and sliding sash windows. All are energy efficient, rated ‘A’ for thermal performance and CR Smith will advise on what is needed to meet the exacting standards of Scottish building regulations.

If you are looking for help and advice on how to sympathetically replace the windows and doors of a period property, our experts can guide you through the options and benefits of choosing from our Lorimer range of double glazed windows.

Book an appointment today.

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