Streatham Bay returned

Square Bay Window

Streatham is a huge suburban area of South London which has become very desirable. The houses are mainly Victorian, Edwardian and early 20th Century. I was asked to turn this modest bay back to its former glory. However, the owners wanted to paint the stone and retain the pebble dash, which to remove properly is an arduous and expensive process.

1980s style treatment to a Victorian bay

Design and Build

We had to take into account the alterations made to the bay and as with all these things you never know what lies underneath. I was expecting the stone lintels to be still there, but instead we had a  concrete lintel and bricks above. All this had to come out. The roof was self supporting as is often the case, but old and slightly sagging, but the sides would keep it up anyway. Our new stonework would prop it up.

One of the freshly worked capitals in my workshop

Rush before Christmas

The owner who has a young family, was very keen to have the works completed before Christmas, for obvious reasons. Normally I would put the window in and the window maker would come and measure the reveals and go off and make the windows. In this case however, he and I had to work together so the windows would go in immediately after.

Any builder is trained to make everything perpendicular and horizontal, but when you are dealing with old buildings there is barely a right angle to be had, so adding new work you have to go with the building and meet it half-way. As my old tutor used to say, ‘if it looks right it IS right’. This is the reason I could not give exact dimensions of the reveals before they were made. The walls were leaning back into the house and in to the centre.

The joiner and myself agreed on the dimensions of the whole reveal and the box frame was manufactured and installed, then my pillars went up immediately later that morning.

Bay as naked stone having just been completed with wooden boarding inside.

The Finished Bay

We used bricks to fill in the sides and then the sashes were installed by the joiner, and the builders restored the pebble dashing and the whole was painted. While I wouldn’t recommend painting or pebble dash for stonework, everyone has done a good job. I was impressed with the window maker who was an easy person to work with (not everyone is!). All completed before Xmas. From the demolition of the bay to the installation of the stone, took 3 days.

 

What do you think?



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