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We are in the process of converting the loft of our Percheron Fermette.  It has a tiny window on either end, no doubt there for ventilation in the days when it was used to store hay.  Has anybody dealt with these themselves - i.e. any practical suggestions as to how we can make them weatherproof without spoiling the look of the end wall of the house.  No "off the peg" windows are small enough.  We have thought of fitting "vollets" on the exterior of the walls but they won't be easy to open and close due to the thickness of the walls and probably won't provide enough draught-proofing.  Any ideas?
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If the windows are high up towards the apex of the loft, give serious thought to ventilation,(This is what the windows were for origionally ) It is well nigh impossible to remove hot air from the apex of a loft, the use of extractor fans either end would make a tremendous difference in the height of summer. Set well back in the wall they would be barely visible.

Having used a ceiling fan in my own loft, which is totally useless, I wish I were in the position to do the above.

An alternative to fitting volets externally is fit internally.



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We had our small windows made to measure by local artisan (cost 360 euros for the two four years ago) - they look like babnik's but open which is useful during the summer.

Our front, south facing bedroom ceiling (converted grenier) was lined with silver foil sandwich insulation (between valige and plasterboard) which deflects the heat, so that room stays quite cool.
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We had FOUR of these, at just above floor level, two on either side, front and rear. The originals were "blocked" off, (if that's the right word) with a mixture of wooden frames with chicken wire over them, shoved into place, old jute sacks and black bag  binliners over the lot, and held in with forked sticks propped on the floor, and lumps of tree trunk.

We junked the whole lot, keeping two jute sacks and the two bigger tree trunks that now do service as chopping blocks for firewood.

The replacements were made here in the UK to my measurements, out of uPVC with single openers, hinged at the top. I also had to bring some uPVC strips which I used to cut to shape and fix inside and outside at the tops of the frames, as the openings were slightly arched. They wer cut with a jigsaw, fine blade, slow speed.

The windows were first wedged into place with commercially available wedges, again, bought in the UK, , then stuck in place with white silicone window fixing adhesive.

The arching was shaped, glued to the frame with superglue, then gone round with a thin bead of silicone.

The whole took about two days to do, including removal of old stuff, cleaning up and fitting new. It wasn't easy working from the inside, as it had to be done while lying full length, and propped on my elbows. Leverage was well nigh impossible. Outside work was up a long ladder. It's a neat job, even though I say it myself, and the windows CAN be opened for ventilation.

They DO need frequent de-webbing in spring/summer/autumn though.


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