Arched Windows- Help!!

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Hello knowledgeable people,
Looking to replace steel frames single glazed windows. They cannot be refurbished. Most windows are fairly straight forward for a heritage aluminium frame.
However… we have two larger bow windows each made up of five windows, each is arched. Aluminium company cannot bend astragal bars to match current layout in the arch (semi circle bit). They can do astragal bars in other shapes (straight lines, rectangle shapes to be as similar to what it is now as possible). Our issue is DUPLEX BARS (in new double glazed units) everyone we have spoken to for glazing say they can mirror what we currently have (no good as astragal bars can’t be done) but they basically can’t do anything else. This seems odd to me, I don’t understand why? Are we just speaking to unhelpful glazers? If there is a decent helpful company out there who can help with this we have the entire house glazing that we need to supply (North Wales) Thanks in advance
 
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Opps, thanks, we might have to go to steel for just these windows, it’s seriously expensive though.
 
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Y I'm sure those are crittal. You are going to really struggle to recreate that in double glazed without it looking much heavier. I think because they are such a feature (and look really nice) I would be trying to keep them - maybe look at supplementary draft proofing - you can get replacement catches etc.. There are many listed houses that have to retain single glazing and I think I would be tempted to keep it single and look at other ways of insulating - thicker curtains round the bay? perhaps solid shutters (might be tricky).

Another option might be to get replacements made by a bespoke joinery company in timber (suggest Accoya) which could retain the thin sections and would be equally as durable. You might be able to work in very thin DGU (4-4-4), but even that would make the sections heavier.
 
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John, one of the only two crittal approved companies in my area, the only one who does refurbs.
 
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The top arched sections of those windows look to be what is called "curve on curve" work which in timber joinery is generally regarded as some of the more complex, and therefore, expensive, work to undertake. I agree with Mr. Rusty that if you can't find a shop to do this in metal then a good joinery shop should be able to do an appropriate timber replacement providing they are good enough to do curve on curve work (and I'd insist on seeing an installed sample of this as many shops simply won't have the appropriate experience). But I am also dubious that a double glazing firm could handle the curved DG units for those top sections - I've seen DG units made to curve in a single plane and DG units with an arched top, but never one with an arched top on a radius. Maybe worth asking around DG suppliers to see how feasible that is before considering other repairs or replacements?
 
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John, one of the only two crittal approved companies in my area, the only one who does refurbs.

The top arched sections of those windows look to be what is called "curve on curve" work which in timber joinery is generally regarded as some of the more complex, and therefore, expensive, work to undertake. I agree with Mr. Rusty that if you can't find a shop to do this in metal then a good joinery shop should be able to do an appropriate timber replacement providing they are good enough to do curve on curve work (and I'd insist on seeing an installed sample of this as many shops simply won't have the appropriate experience). But I am also dubious that a double glazing firm could handle the curved DG units for those top sections - I've seen DG units made to curve in a single plane and DG units with an arched top, but never one with an arched top on a radius. Maybe worth asking around DG suppliers to see how feasible that is before considering other repairs or replacements?

I have a suspicion that what they mean is "cannot be refurbished at a price we can sensibly do commercially". Everything can be refurbished at a price. As @JobAndKnock identifies these are complex windows. They look great - the thin glazing bars and the architectural form of the windows is excellent. I suspect that the vast majority of companies will only price for a "near enough", which might be just about acceptable (but won't fully reproduce the architectural detail) or will, in fact, look horrendous, changing complex curves for flat panes.

What is actually wrong with them - from the photo they don't look too bad at all. It's not as if a window is some piece of precision engineering like a classic car engine or something like that which needs exotic machinery and skills to repair - a window is a fairly basic construction. I'm sure each panel could be removed, temporarily blocked up and then disassembled, repaired, painted and reassembled. I would be doing everything to keep these because they are definitely worth keeping. In my view windows are critical to the architectural integrity of a building, and so often people replace what was original with some horrible alternative that just looks wrong.
 
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I think we may go for replacement in steel but double glazed. The crittal approved company can do this and it will be extremely similar to what we have now. We wanted to explore options as aluminium has greater thermal efficiency which is important, we are close to the sea and it’s pretty windy too!
 
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I think we may go for replacement in steel but double glazed. The crittal approved company can do this and it will be extremely similar to what we have now. We wanted to explore options as aluminium has greater thermal efficiency which is important, we are close to the sea and it’s pretty windy too!
I was going to say...
Your view looks fantastic :)
...and the windows do it justice! ;)
Good luck
 
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I think we may go for replacement in steel but double glazed.
That's the issue, though, can you actually make a DG unit which is curved in one plane with a rounded top? I've seen DG units curved in a single plane with straight tops and bottoms - which were very expensive, I've installed round-topped ultra thin DG units with arched heads in a couple of listed jobs (glazed screens inside barrel arch openings), but I have never seen the two combined in a single frame. I suspect that it is either impossible to do, or if it is possible it will be hellishly expensive, as indeed the original windows would have been.
 
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I understand that the arch can remain but the curve will be lost. It’s a shame but I hope still very aesthetically pleasing as they are individual units the whole bay still curves it will just be a flat window within each section.
 
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