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What is timber retrofit double glazing and what is our process?

There are many advantages to timber joinery. If you are considering retrofit and you have timber joinery, we would recommend keeping your timber frames unless there is severe rot on the outer frame where you may need new replacement windows.

Homes built using timber in the early 1900s were typically built using more hard woods such as Rimu, which is a more durable timber than the likes of plantation pine.  Therefore, allowing for better durability and more accommodating to retrofitting with the larger frames. With the obvious point – maintenance is key for timber; homes that have been well looked after will last longer compared to homes that have not, as deterioration occurs from the water getting into the frame over time which in turn often leads to causing rot.

  • Villas typically had double hung sash windows which can be retrofitted with a single double glazed unit for each window frame. Weights are upgraded, and typically one window is fixed, draft seals are added, and the colonial bars are removed. 
  • For most bungalows, window units consisted of side-opening casements with small, top-hinged windows above. Some also had double hung sash windows like Villa’s used
  • Art deco houses typically had timber-framed casement windows, though steel was sometimes used around the 1930’sand sometime both. The timber used for the sashes was most commonly redwood or western red cedar, but rimu was also used.

If you can, it can be more affordable to retrofit your existing timber joinery than getting new joinery, due to many contributing factors; like new plaster board, architraves, paint wallpaper etc, where as retrofitting your existing joinery allows you to reuse your existing frames.   It is also key in keeping the character of your home be it a villa or bungalow styled home.

The wood from tree’s, and the timber derived from it is a naturally insulating material. Air pockets within timber's cellular structure create a natural barrier to heat and cold. 

Our dry glaze RetroFit double glazing system involves removing your existing timber window and replacing the existing single piece of glass out with our factory sealed new double glazing unit. This only applies to sash frames, there are also frames that are directly glazed which we don’t take out.

For us to fit the unit into your timber frames we will modify your existing timber sashes by routing it and making the ‘glazing rebate bigger to allow for the new double glazed unit. However, if you have existing rot in your sashes that is beyond repair.  In consultation with you, we will replace these with new sashes, which our experienced glaziers will advise.

Our dry glaze RetroFit system uses new timber beads to hold the new double glazing, with the system having a better performance than traditional putty or wet glazing such as silicone. You should also consider getting draft seals as sometimes timber windows have gaps that do not close fully, which will help prevent unwanted excess airflow in and out. As previously mentioned timber is an excellent insulating material and we want to retain your timber joinery as much as we can, which will also allow you to maintain the character of your home and give you the thermal performance of double glazing.

Though the process we prime the exposed timber surfaces, however, is key to the performance of the window system over time that the windows re painted after the retrofit process. Click here to check out our Timber retrofit double glazing process

Here is an example of a before and after retrofit double glazing diagram

Some of the key benefits of aluminium retrofit double glazing is:

  • Warmer home in winter
  • Cooler home in summer
  • Reduce condensation for a drier home
  • Reduce noise 
  • A safer and more secure home
  • Better resale value
  • Privacy

Click here to read up on the benefits of double glazing