Michelle Gallen's Picture

Michelle Gallen

  • 26 posts
We have new (old) windows

A young-to-us couple bought a house in our street shortly after us. While being much the same, it was almost in original Edwardian condition, with original windows, plasterwork, layout and even a stunning stained glass fitting for the skylight (ours is long gone...) and no central heating. They jumped straight into a renovation and we've traded knowledge a few times as their works have progressed. We're thrilled that they've donated their original windows to us having made a considered decisions to install new windows. This means we now have 11 new-to-us windows in our garden and shed. 11 windows didn't sound like a lot to me,

Read more

We know the wooden-framed, single-glazed windows in our house need to be replaced when possible. We're currently researching our options for new windows - weighing up traditional vs modern, PVC vs wood, cheaper vs horribly expensive. Although the current windows were probably installed in the 1980s they are in reasonably good nick, apart from the attic bedroom. The top pane of glass had been broken at some point. The only way to fix it properly is to erect scaffolding to reach the third storey...which is apparently an expensive undertaking. Which is why the previous owner simply nailed some plastic in place instead. Because the window

Read more

It looks like we have original Lincrusta running below the dado rail from the front door all the way through the hallways from the bottom of the house to the third floor attic room. Lincrusta is deeply embossed wallcovering. It was launched in 1877 by the British man who patented linoleum and rapidly replaced the painstaking plasterwork previously used to ornament walls and ceilings in houses, mansions and railway carriages. Lincrusta is made from a paste of gelled linseed oil and wood flour spread onto a paper base which is rolled between steel rollers to imprint a patter. This stuff is tough and only gets tougher

Read more

And so the days become months... We've had a long break from blogging to accommodate: A lovely first family Christmas in our wreck. Recuperation for me after finishing up my old job. The new family routine required for my new role in RCSI. A business trip to Amsterdam (Mehdi, not me). Installation of polycarbonate double glazing Flu, flu and more flu. Potty training. and the rest... It's been weeks since any of us have had the energy to tackle things to be done in the house in any coherent way. I've only had enough brainpower to scrub stuff clean on the days where I've had the

Read more
Day 85 - Curtains as insulation

While learning about insulation technologies from various chaps, I wondered why curtains weren't much mentioned. Curtains seem to be thought of as some kind of household accessory - something to accent a room (the curtains that were here when we moved in certainly lent moods to the rooms). But no one we spoke to seemed to rate curtains as insulation. This struck me as odd, as I know the importance my mother placed on well-lined curtains in the house I grew up in. We drew the curtains as soon as dusk fell, and we were told that this 'kept the heat in'. So off I went

Read more