DIY Doctor

Bay Window Issues

Postby martin13 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:29 am

Hi Everyone

I have a potential issue with 1st floor bay window that I'm looking for some guidance on.

I have been living in an upstairs flat for 6years, part of a big house built in approx 1900 that has a first floor bay window overlooking the street. My next door neighbours used to have an identical looking bay window about 10years until they had to replace it.

I called in a builder a couple of weeks ago to quote what I thought was purely decorative work as the underside was coming away and looking unsightly, it's got significantly worse in the last few months. I was just looking to have it replastered, painted and weatherproofed. I have since been advised, that I might have structural issues with the window as it may not be tied into the main structure of the building. I think this view is being taken from the experiences of my next door neighbour. They were carrying out some similar work 10 years ago and the whole bay window collapsed for that very reason. They expect mine to be similar - and in their resulting collapse - they lost their sash windows, small pitched roof...etc and had to replace the lot which would be a disaster.

The builder I have been speaking has advised that he'll look to underpin the bay window before he takes the underside away just in case and has quoted to replace any timbers, woodwork..etc upto the windowsill. I'm getting worried now, but I maybe worrying about nothing so not quite sure what to do: a few comments / observations:

1) I want to ask the builder to quote for purely decorative work and ignore any structural concerns which is only being raised because of next door's experiences. My uneducated view is that the window has managed to last 100+ years so it must be tied into the building in some way so surely it will last a few more years. Any views on this?

2) How would a typical buildings insurance policy view this?

Look forward to any comments or view on this topic.

Kindest Regards

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