1. What is a leaded light?
Glass held within a lead structure often inserted within a window or door. There are many techniques in which to colour glass. The point I want to make is that some window panels made of lead can have really interesting glass texture but no colour. This is one of the reasons why these are sometimes to referred to just as “leaded lights”.
2. What is stained glass?
There are numerous ways in which to apply colour to glass. Some people will argue that the true definition of stained glass is when it has been painted with silver nitrate which is what gives the distinctive yellow / brown appearance. This is typically seen in European church/cathedral windows as the use of silver nitrate was introduced in the 14th century. Glass which has not been painted but is still coloured, like this, has been made using a chemical compound at the point of production. For instance copper is added to make it green.
Frankly I have given up trying to define the term “stained glass”. The term is used generically for commercial ease.
3. Your reclaimed stock looks lovely but what can I do with such things?
Internal fixtures (e.g. above a door/stud wall partition)
Ornaments/ hanging suncatchers
Reinsert as external windows if in suitable condition.
See ideas for what previous happy customers have done.
4. Where do you get the salvaged stock from?
I go to great effort to rescue from all over the United Kingdom. They are usually removed from Victorian to 1930s era domestic property. The owners are of the mindset that they are “upgrading” the property with modern alternatives. I often have to bite my lip when going into a rescue situation.
Above. Typical British three bedroom semi detached house in which the wooden windows are removed. I buy the sections within the top of each window unit which are referred to as “toplights”.
5. Do you do repairs?
It depends what you mean by “repair”. I can arrange for one of my trade suppliers to remake your leaded light panel if you remove it from its window sash or door and deliver to me in Harrow (I may be able to collect). The panel would be completely taken apart, releaded, glass cleaned and broken glass replaced using as close a match as possible.
I do not provide onsite repairs for the odd piece of damaged glass. For such a service any leaded light maker worth their salt will charge a premium for their travelling time more than the repair itself which we commonly call in the trade a “stop-in”. Even if the panel contains only one or two cracks its structure after 70+ years often needs renewal having been exposed to the elements. Panels in doors and opening windows suffer in particular due to stress of slamming so you may find that a “stop-in” repaired area may crack again if the overall structure is no longer fit for purpose. Consider how renewed in strength and appearance the panel is in this example (click here).
Unfortunately I do not offer a deglazing/reglazing service. Given the added expense of getting your panel to me it might be easier to have one made completely from new if you can send me an image of what you would like. Please see my copies page (click here). I can arrange delivery.
I do not repair or provide new window frames if yours are rotten. I recommended you establish whether your current frames are in good condition before commissioning restoration of your panel(s).
To summarise I offer a competitive “online order price” aimed at people who have the confidence to remove/fit panels themselves or know someone who can.
6. I am looking for a big window to go in a landing, about 1.2 x 1.5 metre, have you got anything?
I am able to help but there are two things you need to consider:
i) I rarely have “windows” for sale. I consider “windows” to mean the complete casement which slots into the wall. Is that what you mean? I sell the leaded light panels which are inserted into windows. I sell reclaimed (salvaged) leaded light panels which often come within sash frames which would have fitted into a window casement. If you are looking for a complete window casement it is unlikely you will find one in your size from any reclaim dealer as these are so large/heavy it is not practical to transit and store. I can certainly provide the panels. This is relatively easy but first you might want to investigate the services of a joiner/carpenter who can make and fit you a window unit.
ii) For something this size you are going to need several panels which will join together. Reclaim is unrealistic for sourcing multiple matching panels in the right size and in reasonable condition. I can easily provide traditionally made leaded light panels (please see my copies page) each in a maximum size of about 600 x 1000mm. I am not prepared to deal in anything larger due to risk of damage.
7. Can you recommend someone to fit leaded light panels and new timber windows?
Mark Stanton is a carpenter based in Ruislip who will travel around the London area: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07958 293925.
He had made and fitted new timber windows for me – click here for photos.
8. What’s your view on dipping doors to remove the paint?
If you want a rustic look or the door is to be fitted internally then it may not bother you that the chemical treatment will remove some of the binding glue or any filler. Having had a few internal doors dipped myself I was happy with finish though once saw a door which having been dipped had a ‘furry’ texture to the wood – weird. Handstripping a door is not without risk either. For instance if using a heat gun to remove paint be careful not to scold the wood if you are not repainting! Take care not to use too fine an abrasive when sanding down after stripping. Don’t bother trying to use a chemical to remove the paint yourself as you need it in industrial quantity to make any progress.
My response to common statements!
- We liked the old windows but they had to go because it was too cold and the frames were rotting.
This is a myth the uPVC double-glazing industry has peddled because they want to sell you their mass produced Putrid Vicious Crap. Take a look at my newly made windows. I have also used two-part filler to repair one set of windows which were not too rotten and had secondary glazing installed. In my opinion the secondary glazing was cheaper and is warmer than conventional double-glazing: come and see! If your pre war home has already been mutilated with PVC I can sell you a set of leaded panes for new frames to be made!
- The old doors are drafty.
Old houses need to have some ventilation. They need to breath to prevent problems such as damp. Old buildings are made with materials that are not designed to be hermetically sealed in with ghastly modern insulation products. Fact: humanity has evolved over millions of years with a bit of draft. I would rather put on a jumper and see something like this everyday: