Building work here at the cottage started back in May and since then we’ve been camping out there in one room. The kitchen was taken out, floors taken up and slowly, the house has been rewired and a new central heating system installed.

One of the renovations we’ve been most looking forward to has been putting in new doors and windows. Our old windows were put in when the cottage was rebuilt in the 1970s and have had to withstand all the Welsh weather has thrown at them during the past forty years. Their single glazed, timber frames were in dire need of replacement, with those facing up the valley (and getting the worst of the rain and wind) being rotten through, showing daylight through the bottom. During the winter we lived with newspaper stuffed into our bedroom windows to plug the draughts. But, they were attractive to look at – thin timber framing making the most of the views and their casement design bringing a simple elegance to the cottage.

The cat models the window, with the mountain reflected behind him.
So, replacing them has both of the biggest items we’ve been tackling, both aesthetically and financially. After much deliberation, we decided to replace them on a like for like basis, replicating the casement design with ‘monkey tail’ handles. They’re a sturdier version though, the 2014 update, allowing for the FENSA regulations that probably didn’t trouble their 1970s counterparts. They’re a robust hardwood with a thin double glazing, but with no central mullion to obstruct the views. On good days (and there have been many recently) the lack of central mullion means we can throw the windows open and have a completely clear view of the hills opposite. 
We’re delighted with how they’ve turned out. They arrived in their undercoated form, and still have to be painted. Again, the decision regarding colour was a difficult one as we over ten windows on the front of the cottage alone, so they dictate much of the house’s first impression. After a lot of testers, we decided on Farrow and Ball’s Pigeon, a soft light green that will complement and fade quietly into the grey stone.



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