Bay window cracks

31 May 2008
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United Kingdom

We went to view a 1920s house yesterday with a large bay window to the front. I noted that in the ground floor living room there was a visible crack around the coving in the bay. There were also cracks running vertically down the wall where the bay meets the house. In the upstairs bedroom there was a crack in the plaster work at the centre of the bay running from the base of the windowsill down to the skirting board level. As the floorboards were exposed it also looked like the floor may have dropped slightly away from the skirting board in the bay. I could not see any cracks to the external brickwork.

Some pics:

I know that there can be problems when replacing the original windows with UPVC in this type of house which has been done here, however is some movement normal following window replacement or is this more sinister?

Basically should we walk away now before we spend anything on a survey?


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I had this with a house that was built in 1908. The floor in the front room sloped down as you walked towards bay.

Have a look outside and see if there is any cracks in outside brickwork.

If there is then you may have settlement. maybe even a little susidence.

If there isnt then it could be the joists in the bay have slightly perished and sunk. In my house the ends of the joists had rotted away some and the floor had sunk accordingly. Leaving a 25mm gap between the floorboards and the skirting. I used this as a leverage for getting a price reduction and bought the house and fixed the problem. I was taking the floorboards up anyway to place a radiator in the bay.

Could you take some Floorboards up in the bay and have a look ?

When you look outside at brickwork around the bay if there are no cracks look for recently replaced bricks. Or recent repointing that may have been done as a patch up.

Good luck. Do post back.
Hi, thanks for the reply.

Sorry for the confusion, I was actually referring to the bedroom floor where there was a small gap between the skirting and floorboards in the bay - it may be nothing it wasnt huge and I wouldnt have noticed if it wasnt for the cracks. The ground floor seemed fine. Unfortunately the photos I have taken are quite poor as I forgot to put a memory card in my camera and had to resort to my phone which had no flash. Was it a big issue? The floorboards look in good condition sanded and varnished - I very much doubt the current owner would agree to lift them.

Separate to the bay issues I also noted this line of recent re-pointing up the corner of brickwork. Whats happened here, anything to be concerned about?


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The cracks where the bay window joins to house may be where the windows were replaced and the new plaster work/filler has just dried out too quickly.

Looking at the photos it doesn't look too bad at all. Nice looking house in fact.

The new pointing up the ashlar effect corner actually looks like it's been done with a mastic !! It all looks solid though. If i bought house i'd be raking that out and pointing with mortar. Nothing looks wrong it just looks like it's been filled on the quick.

I don't think a survey would be waste on this property.

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