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Greek revival outbuilding, South Dorset, Vermont.

Movement in masonry or timber-framed walls may lead to the distortion of the window, causing it to jam, and in some cases actually making the glass break. However, old buildings can tolerate a surprising amount of movement without any trouble, and remedial works such as underpinning can do more harm than good, particularly to old buildings. Movement may also be old and no longer active, and the windows may have adjusted to suit their realignment. If they continue to work effectively, all that is require is to check their joints for gaps to be filled, and that their paint covering is sound. Only a structural engineer who is experienced in dealing sensitively with old buildings will be able to give reliable advice as to whether further work will be required.

Wrightson, David. The Conservation and Renewal of Timber Windows, Public Information Leaflet, Cathedral Communications, Wiltshire, England [PDF file]

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